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.
Small town, lovely neighborhood, friendly homeowners. There’s not a lot of privacy but it doesn’t matter because everyone gets along. Clara invites the neighborhood ladies over for BBQ and wine. They drink a little, laugh a lot, and share their stories. Izzy is the new girl on the block and is a little bit embarrassed when she wakes up the next morning. She’s hungover and knows she may have overshared a little bit as well.
Nothing bad happens in small towns, so when Kristin’s almost ex-husband knocks on Izzy’s door to ask if she has seen his wife, she thinks nothing of it. Then the police start to investigate. Kristin and her twins are missing. She was last seen at the BBQ the night before, but the women can’t think of anything that stands out in their conversations that could have predicted this.
Were they abducted? Did they run away? What about Kristin’s almost ex-husband? The investigation brings chaos to their quiet neighborhood and no matter how hard the ladies try to stay out of it, something tends to draw them right back in.
I really liked the characters in this novel. The women were intelligent and hard working. Often times when reading a book with so many female characters a certain cattiness comes out. That was not the case in this book. They were likable and relatable, each bringing a story, making them vulnerable and flawed.
Not That I Could Tell is a fast paced, quick read. I would call it a mystery rather than a thriller, and there is a twist at the end that I didn’t anticipate. I did not read Jessica Strawser’s first novel but am thrilled that I got to read this one. By the way, I LOVE the cover of this novel!!