Member Reviews

I picked up this book because the premise sounded interesting. I received a free copy of this ebook from the publisher through Netgalley. This is my honest and voluntarily given review. I quit reading about halfway through because I was no longer interested. I found it slow, unrealistic, too long and occasionally repetitive.

Was this review helpful?

I was only able to read the first book of this series. I honestly couldn't read the rest because the first I couldn't get into. I don't know if it was me because I'm used to thrillers or what. But the first book seemed anti-climatic for me. I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop and it never did.

Was this review helpful?

I was attracted to this trilogy by the title and the description which seemed to me to suggest that it was a domestic thriller or mystery. In the past I have greatly enjoyed books in which after a loved one's death, a survivor learns surprising/disturbing secrets about their lost love. I also frequently enjoy stories in which the main character experiences great loss and has to deal with grief along with life's usual struggles, until they can eventually find a path forward. For these reasons, the "What She Didn't Know" trilogy caught my attention.

I read to the 60% mark of the trilogy, which was the entire first book plus the first 30 chapters of the second, and then I decided the books were really not for me and stopped reading.

My reasons for not continuing:

Characterization: The characters remain a mystery to me even 60% in. The writing style does a lot of telling and very little showing, and the characters' words and actions are often at odds with what the narrative says about them. It was impossible for me to make out whether the discrepancies were due to an accidental lack of continuity in the writing or a purposeful use of multiple unreliable narrators. By the time I stopped reading, I had become convinced it is the former.

I found this confusing enough that for much of book 1 I expected that Sally was going to be tried for her husband's murder, and I even thought perhaps she was guilty! I was so distracted by the many inconsistencies and contradictions that I was unable to feel anything for her or the other characters.

Sally's reactions were often puzzling and either over-the-top (i.e. her book 1 anger at the woman from the insurance company, and her book 2 anger and demand to go home (in silence) right after the detective begins to tell her something that any sane person would have felt an absolute need to know more about), or so underwhelming as to give the impression that she doesn't care about the things we've been told she cares deeply about (i.e. her husband's infidelities, money mismanagement, failure to tell her he would not have kids with her, and even his death).

And Sally is not the only inconsistent character. Her husband Tyler, her brother-in-law Ryan, and the detective Jace all do or say things that are at odds with what we've been told about them. Tyler's ex-wife, Victoria, is the only consistent character, and that's because she is uniformly portrayed as an evil, selfish, abusive, grasping, lying, and money-grubbing villain.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing to me about characterization in this story is that while even Tyler's supportive brother describes him as extremely insecure, terrible with money, cheating, and not very bright, it is the women in his life who are either blamed (i.e., it's Victoria's fault he cheated on her with Sally) or voluntarily take responsibility for his money woes and infidelities (i.e., Sally deciding these are partly her fault for pressuring him by wanting to have kids).

One of the other big issues for me with the stories: setting.
The setting is supposedly modern-day New York City, but the characters, dialogue, and attitudes seem more like those of the 1980s, updated with a few mentions of computers and cell phones and a couple of snarky out-of-the-blue remarks about covid mask mandates.

While I did not enjoy "What She Didn't Know" as much as I had hoped, someone who likes stories about troubled relationships and reclaiming your own life after adversity, with a bit of mystery sprinkled in, might like it just fine.

I did not attach a star rating on the Goodreads review linked below, as I did not finish the trilogy.
I would prefer not to give a star reading here either, but I'm required to give one when submitting a review.
I'll go with a 2.
This review reflects my honest opinions on the first 60% of the trilogy. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read the e-ARC.

Was this review helpful?

So sorry but i DNF this at 38%. Just was not for me, so sorry. But thank you for an ARC copy from Netgalley and the publisher

Was this review helpful?

I did not finish this. It wasn't that good. I did not enjoy it. I'm sorry it just wasn't for me. Thank you anyways though.

Was this review helpful?

The first book was ok, I almost put it down but kept going. I wish it had more plot twists in the first book. The best one of this series was the last book. The ending is not anywhere close to what you thought it would be.

Was this review helpful?

I love a good thriller. These books were no different couldn't put them down. Characters were great. So much happened I didn't see coming

Was this review helpful?