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.
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Albion , NY
The imagery in this book was beautiful, rarely do I read a book that I can “see” so clearly. Everything about it felt real, and it kept me guessing right to the very end. Unpredictable and delightful.
Loved it! I loved June and Sullivan and Cora. I loved the mystery and the “reveal”. I loved how a different mother-child relationship was shown. I would have finished this in one day if I had the time
I admit life got in the way of this book, but once I picked it back up, unable to stop. Full circle picture of the messiness and relationships that are life… and that’s what make’s this book great.
Shady Side, MD
This reminded me of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, which I loved too. This was a thriller, but I wasn’t as much invested in the thriller part as I was the rest of the storyline. Overall enjoyable.
Fairbanks , AK
The hints throughout that lead the reader to know what’s happening while the main character is still lost was a very intriguing and thoroughly enjoyed. I absolutely devoured this book it was so good.
At the beginning i honestly chalked it up to ending up on my “unfinished” pile. I sat down to give this book a couple more chapters and I’m so glad I did and finished it in one night, I loved it!
Kept me guessing which I loved. The interconnection of members of the town and families. The struggle to wanting to know the truth and being afraid of the truth. The desire to protect those you love.
Slow start,hang in there! Such details throughout. Bounces back from current times to the past, which makes the story unravel as Juniper as she finds out/remembers more from her last summer in Jericho
Yes, there was a mystery to solve, but I fell in love with Junipers story. The story of love, loss, tragedy and healing. I couldn’t put this book down as secrets and lies are revealed each chapter.
One of my favorites since being a member. I enjoyed the crime/thriller genre along with the family dysfunction/love/friendship stories intertwined. It flips between "then" and "now"; the year unknown.
A woman is trying to solve a 15-yr-old murder that her brother didn't commit. Farms being poisoned. People getting shot. Mother-daughter estrangement. A possibly dirty sheriff. Friends w/cancer. Phew!
Lincoln Park , MI
Quick read but I can't tell if it was because it was simple to read or if it was because I couldn't put the book down. Every time I thought I had it figured out, it added another piece to the puzzle.
La Crescent, MN
This book was both fascinating and pulled at my heart strings. So much misunderstanding that could have saved some lives and mended relationships. The end gave me hope that they could one day be oka
A woman returns to her childhood hometown to find closure. While there, she reconnects and opens old wounds, but also finds her true future direction. Her relentless pursuit to find justice-inspiring.
This took me awhile to get through, but I enjoyed it everytime I picked it up. I suspected the ending as soon as the first real hint was given. I love how the ending gave hope for happily ever after.
A really good mystery. I loved that it jumped between timelines and was trying to figure out the truth the whole time. I guessed the ending towards the end and really was satisfied with the mystery!
New Albany, MS
Five stars! Family drama with a murder mystery and thriller all wrapped up in the perfect package! Two time lines of the past and present made this story come together in the best way. Loved it!
This was a real page-turner. I couldn't wait to find out what was happening.... Nicole Baart's writing style draws the reader into the story making us one of the family. I highly recommend this book!
This is a story with heart, disguised as a thriller. It has twists, turns and surprises, but mostly, relationships and interpersonal struggles stemming from youth. Relatable. Well-told. Sad but good.
Tulsa , OK
This book is so good and very heartbreaking a definite must read it really keeps you wanting to reading it and found out what is going on but then part of you wants to prolonged it so it doesn't end