Pushed out of her hometown after high school, a woman returns to solve the riddle of her family and a horrific crime.
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Why I love it
L. Alison Heller
Author, The Neighbor's Secret
As a reader of mysteries, I have a bad habit: I always try to guess reveals before they happen. So, when I find a book that consistently remains two steps ahead of me—and then jolts me with a perfect shock of an ending? First, I get chills. Then, I want to tell everyone I know about it.
In Everything We Didn’t Say, Nicole Baart has gifted mystery- and suspense-lovers an emotionally affecting story of a woman confronting past trauma. The summer after her high school graduation, Juniper Baker’s neighbors, Cal and Beth Murphy, were brutally murdered on their farm in Jericho, Iowa, and Juniper’s beloved brother was named the primary suspect. When Juniper returns home fifteen years later, she finds both the community and her family still fractured from the unsolved killings. Pulled into investigating the cold case, Juniper unearths long-buried secrets, including her own deliberately unexamined memories of that one explosive night years before.
Baart is masterful with plot twists, but what makes the book so special is how she roots the puzzle of who killed the Murphys in emotional truths: Jericho is populated by characters so real that they’ll break your heart before they mend it. I picked up Everything We Didn’t Say with the best intentions of pacing myself, but read late into the night, gripped by suspicion and concern, feeling the frosty chill of the gorgeously described Iowan winter. An utterly riveting whodunit as well as a moving exploration of why we lie to those we love, Everything We Didn’t Say is an absolute stunner.
Juniper Baker had just graduated from high school and was deep in the throes of a summer romance when Cal and Beth Murphy, a childless couple who lived on a neighboring farm, were brutally murdered. When her younger brother became the prime suspect, June’s world collapsed and everything she loved that summer fell away. She left, promising never to return to tiny Jericho, Iowa.
Until now. Officially, she’s back in town to help an ill friend manage the local library. But really, she’s returned to repair her relationship with her teenage daughter, who’s been raised by Juniper’s mother and stepfather since birth—and to solve the infamous Murphy murders once and for all. She knows the key to both lies in the darkest secret of that long-ago summer night, one that’s haunted her for nearly fifteen years.
As history begins to repeat itself and a dogged local true crime podcaster starts delving into the murders, the race to the truth puts past and present on a dangerous collision course. Juniper lands back in an all-too-familiar place with the answers to everything finally in her sights, but this time it’s her daughter’s life that hangs in the balance. Will revealing what really happened mean a fresh start? Or will the truth destroy everything Juniper loves for a second time? Baart once again brilliantly weaves mystery into family drama in this expertly-crafted novel for fans of Lisa Jewell and Megan Miranda.