No One Knows is a novel that is hard for me to describe. I went back and forth about whether or not I liked this story about Aubrey and her missing husband, Josh. First of all, it is described as a thriller. For the majority of the novel, I found it extremely unthrilling. The plot was mysterious, but it lacked the heart pounding action filled plot that I expect in an actual thriller.
The story switched back and forth from the present to the past and was narrated mostly by Aubrey and her mother-in-law. Some of the stories that were included just seemed pointless. For example, right from the start the reader knows that Josh’s mother, Daisy, hates Aubrey. Some of the flashbacks to Josh and Aubrey’s budding romance as youngsters helped to demonstrate how much Daisy hated Aubrey, but the actual reason wasn’t overly clear. I think the puppy love and relationship history between Josh and Aubrey was supposed to correlate to some of the surprises at the end, but it just didn’t for me. What they had didn’t seem like true love.
I also felt that there were still numerous holes in the overall plot at the conclusion of this. I guess the psychological element in this was the question of whether or not Aubrey was emotionally disturbed. As a protagonist, she was nowhere near as pathological as Amy in Gone Girl, and I have just about reached my limit with authors and publishers claiming their heroines are similar when they must know these subsequent characters don’t even come close to the craziness and destruction Amy inflicted.
The writing was stiff and gave this a clunky feel, and I don’t know why I kept reading this. I think the author was so focused on the surprise ending that she purposely made some of the plot vague, but that ended up hurting the overall impact for me. This was okay, and I was interested to see if the new guy in Aubrey’s life was actually her husband in disguise, but honestly, I would not recommend this.