Monday, May 7, 2018

Not That I Could Tell Review


I finally have another Monday book review for you!! And it's another Netgalley/Ninja book, so big thanks to the author and the Great Thoughts, Great Readers crew for sending it my way. We've had family in town for a visit, so my reading has been relegated to late nights in bed...which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I haven't been putting in the numbers I normally do. I'm trying to play catch up on my e-books, but that means my physical books are growing out of control. I need to spend a few weeks on a television and movie fast so that I can feel more in control of my TBR list!

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser was both very similar to other books I've read recently, and yet different enough to keep me reading. At first I thought, didn't I just read a book about a group of female neighbors and some sort-of mystery?? And it almost made me put it down, thinking I needed to put more space between the two books so I wasn't spending too much time comparing. But I kept going, and was happily satisfied that they were different enough to keep my mind from jumbling it all together.

Not That I Could Tell is the story of what happens with a circle of friends/neighbors/acquaintances in small town Ohio when their seemingly perfect Doctor's wife next door disappears one day with her two children, after a girls night fire pit. As someone who has partaken in many a girls evening of adult beverages and girl talk, I could totally relate to these women. They were relaxed, finally didn't have the kids with them, perhaps said a few things they shouldn't have...and then woke up to find one of them missing. Kristin was recently separated from her doctor husband, so a few neighbors are immediately suspicious of him...and when he moves back into the house to "wait" and see if his estranged wife returns with the kids, his every move is under surveillance, from both the police and the neighbors. But the newest arrival in town, Izzy, feels that maybe everyone is being a little harsh to poor doctor Paul...and his interest in her is a little more than neighborly. Clara, who was closest to the missing Kristin, has been in a situation like this before...and is immediately suspicious of the husband, and fearful that the troubles of her past may be repeating themselves.

What really DID happen to Kristin? Did she run off with some money, and start a new life? Did her husband kill her? Do you ever really know your neighbors?? Is there such a thing as being TOO cautious?? Should you ever hop on the back of a man you don't know well's motorcycle just because you're having a bad day? And more importantly, how do you get over your sister marrying the man you love?? These are all questions I pondered when reading.

In spite of the similarities it shares with other books I've read recently, I really did enjoy reading this one. I'm a fan of books about girl friends...probably because I'm a fan of MY posse of gal pals, and love hearing about other groups of close women. My head immediately went to thoughts of how I would feel if one of my circle of girls up and disappeared after one of our evenings of drinks and chats...and the worry you would have that you'd missed something important, some clue that life as you'd all known it would change forever the next day.

And as this book neared it's end, I had a minute of thinking...huh, well I guess that wraps it all up in a tidy little bow, maybe...but it's kind-of anticlimactic...I mean I sort-of saw that coming...but is that really it?!? I was feeling unfulfilled and like it petered out, and had mediocre in my mind. And then I flipped to that next chapter and was reading along, a bit zoned out...and then suddenly went....WAIT, what?!? And went back and re-read that bit again. BOOM, instantly bumped up a notch. The kicker at the end made it all worth it, and totally made this book for me. Maybe I shouldn't say that, as now if you read it you'll be looking for it...but I was happily and pleasantly surprised by how this one ended.

So, if you're a fan of contemporary light mysteries/thrillers, this one should definitely make your to-read list. On a side-note, I kept forgetting it was set in Ohio. To me it felt like Washington State outskirts of Seattle, or Austin, or some other typical quirky area setting...and then they would mention some other town in Ohio and I would be stumped for a minute!! Then I'd remember...OH yeah, it's set in Ohio! 😂 I actually really liked that. Also, these aren't a bunch of older girl friends really, most have young kids at home, and one is single. There is also a lesbian couple and a military family...so a lot of diversity, along with a tiny deployment subplot for my mil folks.

Big thanks again to Jessica Strawser, Netgalley and the Ninja Group for sending me Not That I Could Tell! 

Would love to hear in the comments what everyone else is reading!! I hope you are all starting on Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey for our Monthly Book Club also!!

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