NO ONE KNOWS
By J. T. Ellison
Publisher: Gallery Books (2016)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
On their last night together, Josh Hamilton was annoyed with Aubrey for making them late for their friends’ bachelor/bachelorette parties. A fender-bender on the way to the Opryland Hotel made them even later. Aubrey rushed to the reception desk to check them in while Josh set off to join the party. He flashed her that devastating grin and vanished into thin air.
Five years passed. Aubrey went through hell, not knowing if Josh was kidnapped, murdered, or if he’d simply left her. She was suspected of killing him, but was finally cleared. She suffered mentally and physically, all the time claiming that he was not dead, that he would come back to her. Now, though, his death certificate had been issued. Her mother-in-law, Daisy, had petitioned for it to be issued early so that she, and Aubrey, could move on. That’s what Daisy said, but the truth was, she wanted to claim the insurance payoff. She’d never liked Aubrey, resenting the time Josh spent with the orphaned girl when they were kids, hating it when they fell in love. She was against the marriage, and was infuriated when she discovered that Josh had named Aubrey as the beneficiary of his insurance policy, after telling Daisy she would inherit it.
Aubrey made some symbolic gestures: she closed his email account, replaced the ancient cell phone that contained his last texts, and started accepting her friends’ requests to go out for meals and drinks. To her astonishment, she even began dating again. She was attracted to Chase Boden, a mystery man who’d popped up in her life out of nowhere, and invited him home. That he reminded her in some way of Josh was both worrisome and comforting.
The declaration of Josh’s death did not end the matter, however. Strange things began to happen, both trivial and dangerous, as details of her husband’s life were revealed. She realized she didn’t know Josh as well as she’d thought. She wondered if even her closest friends might be involved in something sinister. Tension built as she came closer to the truth of Josh’s disappearance, not knowing who to trust, not knowing why she was being hunted down.
Ms. Ellison has created another heart-pounding thriller. The twists and turns of the plot will leave the reader reeling, and the twist at the end is worthy of O. Henry at his finest. GONE GIRL pales in comparison to this highly recommended novel.
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