Thriller Thursday Audio: Something She’s Not Telling Us by Darcey Bell
I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.
Something She’s Not Telling Us by Darcey Bell
Mogsy’s Rating (Overall): 3 of 5 stars
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Harper Audio (April 7, 2020)
Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
Author Information: Website | Twitter
Narrators: Vivienne Leheny, Carly Robins, Pete Simonelli, Nancy Peterson
Rarely have I come across a thriller I didn’t enjoy. After all, books in this genre are meant to be gripping or to keep you engaged by their very nature. Still, some are definitely better than others. Case in point, while overall I enjoyed the premise and plot of Something She’s Not Telling Us, the story wasn’t as suspenseful as it could have been and the payoff was a bit lacking.
At the center of this tale is Charlotte, owner of a successful flower shop in trendy Manhattan’s East Village. She and her husband Eli have a five-year-old daughter named Daisy who is doted upon by her parents, even if they can be a little overprotective. Charlotte’s own relationship with her family is complicated, however. Her mother is temperamental and unstable, a dangerous combination when Charlotte and her younger brother Rocco were growing up. Rocco himself has had pretty bad luck in life, never having been able to hold down a steady job. In fact, the only thing worse than his career prospects is his taste in women. In Charlotte’s opinion, all the girlfriends he’s ever brought home to meet his family have been losers, crazies, or worse.
And so, when Rocco tells her that he’s met someone very special and is bringing her over for dinner, Charlotte has reason to be wary. And yet, to her surprise, his new girlfriend Ruth actually turned out to be pretty normal. Sure, she may be overly chipper and likes to talk a lot, but she seems like a genuinely good person and is also nice to Daisy.
As a matter of fact, Ruth might be a little too nice in that regard. She appears strangely fixated with the little girl, something Charlotte has noticed and does not like at all. Still, might it possible that she’s just being a paranoid parent, and maybe even feeling a bit jealous at the way her daughter has taken to Ruth? But then one day, Charlotte’s worst fears are realized when she learns that someone had kidnapped Daisy from school, and there is only one person she suspects.
To cut to the chase, this was not a bad book, but as a thriller it left much to be desired. Mainly, what I missed was the mystery and suspense. Without spoiling too many plot details, all I’ll say is that there’s not much fun in it when all the answers are given in the first half of the book. The structure of the story was also very messy, bouncing back and forth between past and present without revealing anything significant that readers haven’t already guessed from the first handful of chapters. As such, there was no real twist because you already knew everything there was to know about the culprit, which was that they had serious mental issues, a non-motive that is neither surprising or new for this genre.
I also did not care for any of the characters, and not because they weren’t likable, as that was most certainly by design, but rather because I simply felt they weren’t very well written. Charlotte’s personality was all over the place, and Daisy was a little brat because her parents both spoiled her and also tried to raise her in a protective bubble. Ruth at least had a reason for the fact she was unreliable character, but that got to be too much to the point I just started dismissing everything she did or said.
Suffice to say, there was not much subtlety to this novel; everything from its plot to the writing was exaggerated and over-the-top. Sometimes that can work for a thriller, but with this one, the execution just wasn’t there. As well, it probably didn’t help that I had just finished a couple of excellent thrillers involving kidnappers and missing children, so it was hard not to compare and see how this book fell short.
In sum, Something She’s Not Telling Us wasn’t terrible, but while it may satisfy all the conditions of a thriller-suspense novel, it’s clear many of its genre elements could have been handled better. It gets an average rating from me for that reason, for being highly readable but not too satisfying.
Audiobook Comments: I always love it when an audiobook gets multiple narrators, especially when each POV gets their own reader. This was the case with the audio edition of Something She’s Not Telling Us, and the positive effect was clearly evident, especially since they got such great voice actors. The narrators who performed Charlotte’s and Ruth’s chapters were particularly great, which made for a immersive listening experience.
As usual, another well-written critique, Mogsy. I can understand why you didn’t like this one. There are many thrillers where the killer is revealed in the first half (to the reader), but still the second half is suspenseful. Too bad this book wasn’t able to reach its potential.
Just 1 question: HOW do you read so many books? Do us all a favor- write a post on it! 😀
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yeah, with so many thrillers available to readers out there, I need mine to stand out! This one was okay, but I didn’t love it. There are definitely better ones out there.
And haha, my secret to reading a lot of books is actually quite simple – audiobooks! I don’t really have time to sit down and read books anymore, but whether it’s doing chores or being on the go, I can still get books finished if I have an audiobook in my ear 🙂 I can probably finish half of one in an afternoon of housework/gardening 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Ah! got it. Thanks for answering. 🙂
When a thriller story – in book or in tv – reveals the perpetrator’s identity and motives up front, I feel cheated because I prefer to follow the trail of clues and try to guess the answers, especially when I’m wrong and the author manages to “fool” me. So I can understand your frustration with this novel and the way it delivered what could have been a better story.
Better luck next time! 🙂
Yes! Cheated is exactly how I felt. The answers were given upfront, so what else do I have to feel exited for? 😛
Sure, she may be overly chipper and likes to talk a lot
Umm, with a foreboding that I’m deliberately sticking my foot in my mouth, this seems to apply to over half the female population that I’ve ever met in my whole life
Well, you won’t get crap from me – I laughed out loud 😛
LikeLiked by 1 person
It’s too bad that it wasn’t more there
Yeah it’s a shame, but oh well, next thriller!
I know you read a lot of thrillers, so I trust you when you run across one that doesn’t live up to your standards. Luckily thrillers are usually quick reads so hopefully you didn’t waste too much time on it!
Yeah, I’ve started reading a lot more thrillers, so maybe that’s made me more picky 😛
There are so many thrillers out right now I’m curious about that I think I’ll pass on this one after reading your review. I’m almost finished with “This Is How I Lied” and am LOVING it. I highly recommend it.
I’m definitely pushing This Is How I Lied up my priority list – I can’t wait to read it! I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying it!
I really liked Darcey Bell’s debut, A Simple Favor. It was a quick read, really fast-paced and funny. 💙
I’ve been thinking about trying A Simple Favor, since from reading reviews, a lot of readers seemed to have preferred that one over this book!
And rarely I come across a thriller I actually read, lol, ;=D But yes you have given me better tips than this
No problem! If you decide to try thrillers, I definitely only want to point you to the best ones 🙂
Well, this sounds like a bit of an elephant in a fine bone china shop – clumsy and obvious. It’s a shame but just goes to show how easy it is to mess up a thriller by being too prompt with all the information.
Pingback: Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup 05/16/20: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads | The BiblioSanctum
Sorry this one didn’t work, it sounds like it could have been written with a little more finesse. Hope you enjoy your next thriller better!
I really like multiple actors for audiobooks as well. it’s just a shame there wasn’t enough subtlety and that it left much to be desired as a thriller. great review!