Title: No One Needs to Know by Kevin O’Brien
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A SECRET WORTH KILLING FOR…
In July 1970, actress Elaina Styles was slain in her rented Seattle mansion along with her husband and their son’s nanny. When the baby’s remains were found buried in a shallow grave close to a hippie commune, police moved in—only to find all its members already dead in a grisly mass suicide.
Now, decades later, a film about the murders is shooting at the mansion. On-set caterer Laurie Trotter ignores gossip that the production is cursed. But then people start dying…
As Laurie digs deep into what happened all those years ago, the truth emerges more twisted than any whispered rumor, as a legacy of brutal vengeance reaches its terrifying climax…
No One Needs to Know is another suspense-laden and intriguing mystery by Kevin O’Brien. This slow-building novel has multiple story arcs that keep the story moving at a brisk pace while frequent plot twists make it impossible to guess how the seemingly unconnected storylines will converge.
The novel opens with an ominous confrontation between Laurie Trotter, a widow with a young son, and a customer at the diner where she works. At first, she cannot figure out why someone would target her, but once the connection becomes clear, Laurie is anxious to keep a secret from her past from being revealed. She suffers in silence as she is mercilessly stalked and after an altercation turns violent, she is desperate for a new beginning. Her new job working as an on set caterer for a movie production is the answer to her prayers, but Laurie’s dream job quickly turns into a nightmare when people connected with the movie begin dying under mysterious circumstances.
Unbeknownst to Laurie, her new boss Cheryl Wheeler is keeping a few secrets of her own. Not too long before hiring Laurie, Cheryl’s co-worker and friend, Maureen Forester, met an untimely death when their food truck exploded. Although the police ruled out foul play, Cheryl is convinced the explosion was no accident, but she does not let this stop her from hiring Laurie to work with her on the movie set.
The pair immediately hit it off, but Laurie rapidly senses that all is not right with Cheryl. Doubts quickly set in after she learns startling information about Cheryl from her new neighbors in the complex where both women live. Cheryl’s behavior on the movie set is also quite suspicious and her unsettling familiarity at one of the film sites raises even more red flags. But it is not until Laurie sees Cheryl arguing with a man in public and the man (along with his wife) are later murdered that she becomes truly fearful for both her and her son’s safety. However, before she can get herself and her son out of harm’s way, Laurie becomes an unwitting accomplice in Cheryl’s quest for justice.
In No One Needs to Know, Kevin O’Brien seamlessly weaves events from the past and present into a fast-paced and riveting mystery that is virtually impossible to solve. The main characters are sympathetic and well-developed with complex histories. The premise is unique and the plot is quite interesting with numerous of twists and turns that effectively keep readers guessing whodunit (and why) until the novel’s dramatic conclusion. An absolutely outstanding thriller that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.