Review: Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (March 27, 2018)

From 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.


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

I was so excited to be chosen to review this novel after reading the synopsis, that I can't even find the words to describe how disappointed I am with the overall story. Don't get me wrong, it started off strong, but it just couldn't hold the momentum. 

To begin with this novel both bounces around from character point of view to character point of view (at times becoming confusing), but the author tends to be a little too descriptive at times - and not in a good way, but rather in a way that just makes the story seem to drag on without adding anything useful to it. 

The characters were lackluster and for the most part forgettable - in fact the only character that really stands out is one that I rolled my eyes at every time their name was uttered. I get it, you fancied yourself in love with the guy and it didn't work out in a bad way. But to constantly read about her moping over it and being depressed over it just made me want to shake her and demand that she get a hold of herself. 

When I requested this novel I was expecting a gripping novel that would keep me glued to the pages with twists and surprises I didn't see coming. What I got was a look at small town life when someone disappears and everyone realizes they didn't really know their neighbors despite having considered themselves friends. A true enough feeling, but not enough to make me really invested in this story. In fact, it was entirely way too predictable for my liking. Which was unfortunate given the potential. 

I do still think this novel may appeal to those who like the "small town" vibe, with chapters that jump from character to character, and who don't care about the "thrill" level in their stories. This one was just not for me. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


                                Not That I Could Tell 
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