One Saturday evening six women sit around a fire, drinking, sharing, oversharing and having fun. The next morning one of the women is missing, her children gone too. What happened to Kristen and her children? And what secrets are the beautuful houses on the street hiding?
The writing is engaging, pulling the reader into the story and allowing them to wonder what has happened to Kristin and her children. Although she doesn’t really appear, she is a fully formed character, as things are revealed about her by the police that wasn’t apparent to her friends. This allows the reader to care more about her and to be more invested in her disappearance.
This is a slow burn of a novel. There are no action sequences, bloody murder scenes or fast paced sections. It is this slow burn that builds the suspense. The reader is always aware that things are not as they seem. As the reality of the situation is revealed the reader is compelled along with Clara to seek out the conclusion to Kristen’s tale.
All of the characters are well drawn. There is Clara, determined to find out what happened to her friend, to figure out what caused her disappearance. Izzy is a completely different character. Where Clara is happily married, Izzy is desperately sad at her single state. Her state of mind is such that, whilst it did grate slightly, is needed for the progression of the story. Then there is Paul, the estranged husband of Kristen, who impinges on the story in many ways.
It is more than just Kristen’s tale. This is a novel about the secrets that any respectable house can hold. It is a story of how rumours can spread rapidly, impinging on lifes in a number of ways. It is a tale that shows that everyone is not always as they seem and people shouldn’t be taken on face value, and that we don’t always know people as well as we think we do.
I throughly enjoyed Not That I Could Tell. I’ll be looking out for more from Jessica Strawser in the future.