No One You Know

mystery-month-2014I disappeared into this book.no one you know

While finishing No One You Know by Michelle Richmond before my monthly crime book discussion I had one of those episodes where all the white noise disappears and time stops except for your reading.

I think the clue as to why this novel so appealed to me is that the crime is resolved forty pages prior to the end of the novel.  What does that tell you?

Hey, was that a book discussion question?

What it told me was that this book, centered around the death of Lila Enderlin, is as much about the effect of her death than the resolution of who is her murderer.  In part, that is because the point of view of this novel is Lila’s sister, Ellie.  Ellie does not have a good self-image, believing that she could have prevented the death of her sister by offering her a car ride, believing that her parents loved Lila best, believing that Lila’s prodigious math skills made her a better person and, of course, believing that Lila was prettier.

The novel is told to us in two parts of time:  the early years centered on the lead up to, discovery of and immediate resolution of the murder of Lila.  The rest of the story takes place twenty years later when Ellie goes on a mission to re-examine the evidence and discover the reason of Lila’s murder.

The details, because they are revealed in such a delicate fashion, are best left to the reader to discover.

What I can say is that I found the book to be elegantly written with many passages from the work leading to book discussion questions.

“Privacy was just a comforting illusion”

“The seeds of a relationship’s demise is always apparent.”

“If we believe a thing to be true, we look for clues that will lead us to foregone conclusions.”

“Did obsession breed a deeper loyalty than love?”

This title proved to be a sure bet and the discussion was long and lively.  I say this often but this novel could be used by book discussion groups who do not think of themselves as a crime fiction discussion group.  But they will.

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About the Author:

Gary Niebuhr is the author of Make Mine a Mystery (2003), Caught up in Crime (2009), and other readers' guides to mystery and detective fiction. He was a Booklist contributor from 2008-2014.

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