No One You Know is the story of one sister's search for the solution to her sister's murder many years earlier. Ellie Enderlin is 19, when her sister Lila--22 years old, a brilliant mathematician and something of a loner--is murdered. In her grief Ellie turns to Andrew Thorpe, her English professor, who is only too happy to listen sympathetically. Thorpe asks all of the right questions. After she has poured out all of her most intimate thoughts and feelings about her sister and their family, after she's given Thorpe a portrait of Lila's and her childhood, after she's invited him to her home, he tells her that he is writing a true crime book about Lila's case. Despite her pleas that he not, the book is published. Murder by the Bay is a bestseller.
Twenty years later and in another country Ellie runs into the man, Lila's married lover, who was named by Thorpe as the likely killer. Despite there having been no evidence, and despite his never even having been charged with the crime, Peter McConnell's life was ruined. He has lived for the last 17 years as an expatriate in Nicaragua, in a small town Ellie visits once or twice a year on trips for her job as a coffee buyer. Their encounter sets her on a quest to learn the truth about Lila's murder.
No One You Know is a gorgeous, beautifully written, character driven novel, but it is also a thriller. Ellie does her detecting, following leads that often put her in danger, and in the end she finds her answers, and some peace as well.
All in all, an excellent book, one that I can whole-heartedly recommend. Michelle Richmond is being hailed as a successor to Jodi Picoult and Jacquelyn Mitchard, but I think that--nice as a comparison to best-selling and Oprah-selected authors is--she may prove to be far the better writer.
What I'm reading now: Chasing Darkness, by Robert Crais
Disclosure: In accordance with new FTC guidelines for bloggers I must let you know that I received a free review copy of this title. My reviews are just that: reviews. They are not endorsements, nor am I ever compensated for posting my opinion.