Judith D Collins
Not That I Could Tell
By: Jessica Strawser
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 3/27/2018
My Rating: 4 Stars Drinks in hand, a group of neighborhood women gather around a fire pit to enjoy a Saturday night of laughter and shared secrets. The single newcomer. The imperfect mom. The newborn parents. The military wife. The almost divorcee.
By Monday morning, one of them is gone. An innocent night of fun takes a shocking turn in Not That I Could Tell, the next page-turner from Jessica Strawser.
When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.
By Monday morning, one of them is gone.
Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.
As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.
"Full of slow-burning intrigue, Strawser's second novel will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies and Jennifer Kitses' Small Hours." ― Booklist
"[An] engrossing, taut tale." -- Publisher's Weekly
"In NOT THAT I COULD TELL, Strawser tackles the secrets of suburbia, domestic abuse, and friendship in a gripping story about a neighboring family gone missing. The characters are unique, engaging, and relatable and the ending is both surprising and poignant. Fans of Liane Moriarty will adore Jessica Strawser; she’s a huge talent!" ―Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of THE BLACKBIRD SEASON.
"In NOT THAT I COULD TELL, Strawser has wrapped a mystery into the fabric of a tightly knit community. When Kristin, recently separated from her husband, leaves in the middle of the night after a night of drinking with her girlfriends, her neighbors can't help but wonder: did she leave of her own accord? Or if she simply ran away, why? When her soon-to-be-ex moves back into their house, and more secrets about Kristin are revealed, her friends begin to question whether they knew anything about her at all. Well-drawn characters, a perfectly cast neighborhood and a great puzzle; what more could you want in your next read?" ―Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of Fractured and The Good Liar
"In Jessica Strawser’s sophomore novel, Not That I Could Tell, we’re transported to Yellow Springs, Ohio―a charming small town, and the sort of place where neighbors are friends and nothing terrible ever happens. Until a woman and her children go missing and the residents of Yellow Springs realize they don’t know their neighbors as well as they thought. As the lies build and secrets unravel, you’ll probably stay up too late to finish the book as it speeds toward an edge-of-your-seat conclusion. Ultimately a story about the power of instincts and the strength of women, Not That I Could Tell is full of satisfying suspense and one to add to your “must-read” list!" ― Karma Brown, international bestselling author of Come Away With Me and In This Moment
About the Author
By day, Jessica Strawser is editor-at-large for Writer’s Digest magazine, North America’s leading publication for aspiring and working writers since 1920. By night, she is a fiction writer with a debut novel, ALMOST MISSED YOU, new from St. Martin’s Press (named to the March 2017 Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction shortlist!), and another stand-alone book club title, NOT THAT I COULD TELL, forthcoming in 2018. And by the minute, she is a proud wife and mom to two super sweet and super young kids in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Her diverse career in the publishing industry spans more than 15 years and includes stints in book editing, marketing and public relations, and freelance writing and editing. Having served as WD’s chief editor and editorial director for nearly a decade, she blogs at WritersDigest.com and elsewhere (if you’d like a guest post, contact me!), tweets @jessicastrawser (please do say hello), enjoys connecting on Facebook, and speaks at book clubs, libraries, writing conferences and events that are kind enough to invite her.
Let’s stay in touch. Join my email list for (very) occasional updates and hellos.
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