Friday, February 2, 2024

No One Can Know by Kate Alice Marshall

No One Can Know
by Kate Alice Marshall
Published January 23, 2024 by Flatiron Books

The author of What Lies in the Woods returns with a novel about three sisters, two murders, and too many secrets to count.

Emma hasn't told her husband much about her past. He knows her parents are dead and she hasn't spoken to her sisters in years. Then they lose their apartment, her husband gets laid off, and Emma discovers she's pregnant―right as the bank account slips into the red.

That's when Emma confesses that she has one more asset: her parents' house, which she owns jointly with her estranged sisters. They can't sell it, but they can live in it. But returning home means that Emma is forced to reveal her secrets to her husband: that the house is not a run-down farmhouse but a stately mansion, and that her parents died there.

Were murdered.

And that some people say Emma did it.

Emma and her sisters have never spoken about what really happened that night. Now, her return to the house may lure her sisters back, but it will also crack open family and small-town secrets lots of people don’t want revealed. As Emma struggles to reconnect with her old family and hold together her new one, she begins to realize that the things they have left unspoken all these years have put them in danger again.

5 Stars

No One Can Know is a sinister tale of three sisters and the secrets they’ve kept since the night of their parents murder. They’ve been estranged for so long that they no longer know one another anymore, but it’s obvious they all have their own agenda. As they return to their childhood home, it is apparent that neither the town, or each other, have forgotten the events of that night. For the town, that means continuing to blame Emma, the middle sister, for the murders despite the investigation never closing. For the other sisters, it means covering up the parts in it they played, no matter how small. The story they told as children is about to be unraveled. It’s an every-man-for-himself thriller that I could not stop reading, at least once I got out of my reading slump.

I loved the changing character POVs and the flashbacks to the past, it gave such a great insight into who the sisters were at the time of the murder and the total impact it had on them and continued to as adults. We’re given the chance, as readers, to form a bond with Emma, to carry sympathy for her, even as the story twists. We see how she gave up her inheritence, how she's the nice quiet one, the way she works hard for her marriage. However, we meet the other siblings through her lense. That tainted perspective was actually super fun for me, because it made it harder for me to figure out truth from fiction. JJ was the perfect one, but she's shed that skin now, and Daphne just freaked me out from start to finish. Even as we get to know their past and their whys, Emma's perception carried on in my mind. Seeing how they work together and attempt to dig one another down was just fascinating.

With family drama, police corruption, and even a second murder, the pace of No One Can Know is breakneck. There is so much happening, but Kate Alice Marshall weaves it together so perfectly. It’s a haunting tale that I truly could not figure out, which means instant 5 stars from me!

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