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Murder Among Friends

Our Discussion and Skype On: "No One Knows" by J.T. Ellison

No One Know Cover with Tanqueray and Tonic Highball


J.T. Ellison with No One Knows in Book Safe graphic

We had a great time talking with her about this book, and about her career as an author. She could not have been more generous with her time (she let us Skype with her while she was on book tour in Denver!) and in answering our questions. Thank you again J.T.!

No One Knows is a dark, suspenseful tale that does not feature either of J.T.’s series characters, Lieutenant Taylor Jackson, or Dr. Samantha Owens. We asked J.T. to tell us the story of this story – how it came to be. She told us that readers might compare it to Gone Girl, but she wrote it before that book ever came out, back in 2011.  It was based on a dream she had when she and her husband went to a wedding at the Opryland Hotel in Tennessee.  After sending her a drink he disappeared! As she had just started working with Catherine Coulter on their joint series, the draft was put aside. After “numerous revisions” No One Knows got published as J.T.’s first stand-alone novel. Another inspiration for the story was the real life disappearance of a friend from a U2 concert in the early 90s. We all agreed that these circumstances would upset any parent or loved one who cared about the person. In the story, it definitely raised our sympathy for Aubrey.

The group also thought that Aubrey was already emotionally fragile having experienced such loss with her parents and adoptive parents. We felt that this was both plausible and realistic, so when Aubrey does questionable things, readers understand why she would do them. This trauma also made it believable that Aubrey would mistake Chase for Josh. We were glad though, by the end of the book that Aubrey had other reasons for liking Chase, as we think it will make any future for them healthier!

The story is told from multiple viewpoints, something J.T. has not done in her two series. She told us that in many ways, this book was her chance to try out a different kind of writing style, partly to see if she could, and because she liked the way that this enhanced misperceptions she wanted in the story.

We asked whether we missed any hints that led to the stunning double-twist at the end, and J.T. said there were a couple of very subtle things in there. When she mentioned a couple, we had some groaning for having missed them! She was very pleased that we liked the way we felt like we had visited Nashville and learned something about Southerner by the way she handled the setting and characters. Members told her that although she wrote this as a stand-alone – and that we think she ends the story beautifully – we would love to see a sequel (or even series!) based on this one. That doesn’t seem likely when we heard about all the present and future writing projects J.T. has lined up – but it’s a tribute to how much we liked the story! Almost as much as we like J.T. herself!

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