No One Knows

No One Knows

by J. T. Ellison

Audio MP3 on CD(MP3 on CD - Unabridged)

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Overview

In this riveting and complex thriller from the author of Lie to Me, a woman must figure out if she’s losing her mind, or if her husband has really returned from the dead...

The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring the closure she needs to move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage—they were happy, weren’t they?—screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in her husband’s disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his best friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting Aubrey’s new life?

In No One Knows, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison peels back the layers of a complex woman hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller is perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781511368124
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 03/22/2016
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes dark psychological thrillers and pens the Brit in the FBI series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in twenty-seven countries. She is also the Emmy Award–winning cohost of the premier literary television show A Word on Words. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens. Visit JTEllison.com for more information, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @ThrillerChick or Facebook.com/JTEllison14.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1


Aubrey

Nashville

Today

One thousand eight hundred and seventy-five days after Joshua Hamilton went missing, the State of Tennessee declared him legally dead.

Aubrey, his wife—or former wife, or ex-wife, or widow, she had no idea how to refer to herself anymore—received the certified letter on a Friday. It came to the Montessori school where she taught, the very one she and Josh had attended as children. Came to her door in the middle of reading time, borne on the hands of Linda Pierce, the school’s long-standing principal, who looked as if someone had died.

Which, in a way, they had.

He had.

Or so the State of Tennessee had officially declared.

Aubrey had been against the declaration-of-death petition from the beginning. She didn’t want Josh’s estate settled. Didn’t want a date engraved on that stupid family stone obelisk that loomed over the graves of his ancestors at Mount Olivet Cemetery. Didn’t want to say good-bye forever.

But Josh’s mother had insisted. She wanted closure. She wanted to move on with her life. She wanted Aubrey to move on with hers, too. She’d petitioned the court for the early ruling, and clearly the courts agreed.

Everyone was ready to move on. Everyone but Aubrey.

She’d felt poorly this morning when she woke, almost a portent of the day to come, but today was the last day of school before spring break, so she had to show, and be cheery, and help the kids with their party, and give them their extra-credit reading assignments.

From the second they arrived, her students buzzed around her. It didn’t take long for Aubrey to catch the children’s enthusiasm and drop her previous malaise. It was a beautiful day: the sun glowed in the sky, dropping beams through the windows, creating slats of light on the multihued carpet. The kids spun through the light, whirling dervishes against a yellow backdrop. She didn’t even try to contain them; watching them, she felt exactly the same way. Breaks signaled many things to her, freedom most of all. Freedom to go her own way for a bit, to explore, to read, to gather herself.

But when her classroom door opened unexpectedly, and Principal Pierce came into the room, the nausea returned with a vengeance, and her head started to pound. Aubrey watched her coming closer and closer. Her old friend’s face was strained, the furrows carved into her upper lip collapsed in on each other, her yellowed forefinger tapping against the pristine white-and-blue envelope. She needed to file her nails.

What was it about moments, the ones that start with a capital M, that made you notice each and every detail?

Aubrey reminded herself of her situation. The children were watching. Trying to ignore the stares of the more precocious ones scattered about the classroom, gifted youngsters whose sensitivity to the emotions of others was finely honed, Aubrey took the letter from Linda, handed off the class into the woman’s very capable nicotine-stained hands, and went to the ladies’ room in the staff lounge to read the contents.

The letter was from her mother-in-law. Aubrey knew exactly what it contained.

She tried to pretend her hands weren’t shaking.

She flipped the lid down on the toilet, locked the door, then sat and ripped open the envelope. Inside was a piece of paper folded into thirds, topped with a handwritten note on a cheery yellow daisy-covered Post-it. Aubrey felt that added just the right touch. Her mother-in-law always had been wildly incapable of any form of tact.

There was no denying it now; her hands trembled violently as she unfolded the page. She looked to the handwritten note first. The words were carefully formed, a schoolgirl’s roundness to the old-fashioned cursive.

Aubrey,

For your records.

Daisy Hamilton

Scribbled in print beneath the painstakingly properly written note were the words:

Joshua’s Mother

Well, no kidding, Daisy. Like I could forget.

The sticky note was attached to a printout of an email. It was from Daisy’s lawyer, the one who’d helped put this vehicle in motion last year, when Daisy decided to petition the courts to have Josh declared legally dead.

Aubrey fingered the scar on her lip as she read.

Dear Daisy,

Per our earlier conversation, attached please find a copy of the Order entered from the civil court today by Judge Robinson. As I explained to you on the phone, this Order directs the Department of Vital Statistics to issue a death certificate for your son, Joshua David Hamilton, as of April 19 of this year.

Now that this Order has been officially entered, we should take another look at the estate plan. Josh’s life insurance policy will be fulfilled as soon as the declaration is received, and I’d like you to be fully prepared if you plan to contest the contents. I will be forwarding you a final bill for my services on this matter in the next couple of days.

Best personal regards,

Rick Saeger

And now it was official.

In the eyes of the law, Joshua David Hamilton was no longer of this earth. No longer Aubrey’s husband. No longer Daisy’s son.

No longer.

Aubrey was suddenly unable to breathe. Even though she’d been expecting it, seeing the words in black-and-white, adorned by Daisy’s snippy little missive, killed her. Tears slid down her face, and she crumpled the letter against her thigh.

Daisy was a bitch, always had been, and Aubrey got the message loud and clear.

Get over it. Get on with your life. And watch out, kid, because I’m coming for that life insurance money.

But just how do you move on when you can’t bury your husband? Five years later, there were still no good answers to the puzzle of Josh’s evaporation. One minute there, the next gone. Poof. Disappeared. Missing. Kidnapped, hit over the head, and suffering from severe amnesia, or—worse than the idea of his heart no longer beating—he’d chosen to leave her. Dead, but not dead. Without a body, how could they know for sure?

Damn you, Josh.

He was dead. Even Aubrey had to admit that to herself. It had taken a year to formulate that conclusion, a year of the worst possible days imaginable. As much as she hated to believe he was really gone, she knew he was.

Because if he wasn’t, he would have let her know. He was the other half of her. The better half. The responsible half. The serious half.

For him to be taken, or to have run away—no. He would never leave her of his own volition.

Which meant he must be dead.

The circle that was her life, a snake forever eating its tail.

Aubrey didn’t know the answers to the riddle. Only knew that one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five days ago, Josh had been nagging at her to hurry up and get in the car because they were late for one of his closest friend’s joint bachelor/bachelorette party. That they’d had a serious fender bender on the way to the party, which resulted in the small white scar that intersected Aubrey’s top lip in a way that didn’t detract from her heart-shaped face. That they’d arrived at the hotel over an hour late, and Aubrey had offered to get them checked in while Josh went to find the groom and join the party. That he’d kissed her deeply before he went, making the cut on her lip throb in time with her heart. That he’d glanced back over his shoulder and given her that devastating half smile that had been melting her insides since she was seven and he was nine and he’d pushed her down on the hard playground asphalt and made her cry.

That she’d repeated the words of this story so many times it had become a mantra. To the police. To the lawyers. To the media. To Daisy. To herself.

Her world was broken into thirds.

Seven and seventeen and five.

Seven years before he came into her life.

Seventeen in-between years when she’d seen Josh almost every day. Seventeen years of joy and fury and love and sex and marriage and heartache and happiness. Of prepubescent mating rituals, teenage angst, young-adult dawning realization, the inescapable knowledge that they couldn’t live without each other, culminating in a small wedding and three years of marital bliss.

Five years of After. Five years of wondering.

She thought they were happy. Late at night, in the After time, Aubrey would lie in their bed, still on her side, wearing one of his white oxford shirts she pretended held the lingering bits of his scent, and wonder: Weren’t we? Weren’t we happy?

What was happiness? Where did it come from? How did you measure it? She’d always looked at the little things he did—from a sweet note in whatever book she was reading, to bringing her freshly cut apples when she was vacuuming, or having a travel mug of hot Earl Grey tea waiting for her in the morning as she rushed out the door—as signs that he loved her. That he was happy, too.

But then he was gone, and she had to pick up the pieces of their once life, shattered like the reflective glass of a broken mirror on the floor.

Seven, and seventeen, and then five. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness.

The State of Tennessee didn’t care about any of that.

All the state cared about were the cold hard facts: one thousand eight hundred and seventy-five days ago, Joshua David Hamilton disappeared from the face of the earth, and now enough time had passed that a stranger had declared him legally dead.

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No One Knows 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book keeps you guessing. I kept thinking this would be like every other obvious ending and it wasn't. I read it all in a day because I couldn't put it down. Really great read.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Read it when u have time to get to the end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just... wow. You can't put it down. Wish I knew how many times I said, "wait, WHAT?!?" Just... wow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had trouble putting it down . J. T. Ellison is now my favorite author .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book I have read in a long time! I couldn't put it down. The ending caught me off guard and there were so many twits and turns. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was mediocre until the end. Then it made no sense, as the ending was incompatible with the story. I will forget this book as soon as I finish writing this review.
7MAL More than 1 year ago
Excellent, with its twist and turns. J.T. Ellison knows how to spin a tale. I couldn't put the book down. And loved the surprise ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Without giving anything away, the many twists and turns became quite a roller coaster. Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ending is completely inconsistent with her thoughts throughout the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent!
JamesJohnCudneyIV More than 1 year ago
3 stars to J.T. Ellison's No One Knows, a suspense and thriller mystery novel. I received this as a giveaway but was very interested in reading it... in the end, I'm glad I did as there were many good parts, but the ending was definitely a puzzle. Story Aubrey Hamilton's parents died young and she fell prey to the repugnance of a bad seed in the foster system. She had a few people watch out for her, including one she married when Josh became the love of her life. A few years into their marriage, he disappears while at a friend's wedding and is presumed dead. Many think Aubrey did it, and she almost went to jail for it. After a few stints in rehab and jail, she finally gets her life in order, but she's not really enjoying her time. When her mother-in-law has her son declared legally dead, Aubrey's world turns upside down. She's due to inherit $5M but her mother-in-law plans to take it. Sightings of Josh occur around town, and people suspect he might be alive. A look-a-like falls in love with her and she gives him a chance. And a drug dealer starts stalking her. She's determined to figure out how it all fits together so she can move on with her life, but when it all comes to a crashing revelation 80% through, readers will be left spinning not knowing who to believe anymore! Strengths 1. Aubrey has a grave struggle, and readers will root for her. You want her to survive and either find Josh and have their happily ever after, or if he's truly dead, ride off into the sunset with Chase even though it started out as a lie. She even takes care of her mother-in-law (who HATED her) when she's sick... so the sympathy card definitely gets played. 2. It's a page-turner... I read 30 pages the first night and was really tired so went to sleep, but the next day, I sat for 3-4 hours to finish it because I just had to know... was he alive? did she have something to do with it? Was Chase a bad guy? Was it the mother-in-law all along? Was it the best friend? Was it Arlo, her husband's best friend? Someone was rotten and I couldn't stop til I knew! Suggestions 1. Oh what a confusing ending. And I'm a smart guy. Not Einstein, but pretty swift at solving this types of mysteries after reading a few hundred. No spoilers here, but a lot is left out for readers to interpret and/or choose their own ending. I like some openness, but I think the lack of true clarity was a big let-down. 2. Too many holes in the story. Parts left unanswered... Do Tom and Daisy stay together? Why did the foster brother tell us Megan was bad news without any real ending - what was Megan's deal? Where does the foster brother end up? Who gets arrested? The last page jumps 2 years into the future and is vastly different than the entire wrap up / epilogue. Too offbeat for me. Final Thoughts Overall, I still liked the book. I like the author's style... it could have been a little tighter, had more suspense and included solid, obvious structure to the way in which it was narrated. But if you can look past those things, and you like a good plot with some intense characters, and a bunch of guess-work, give it a chance! I will definitely try another book by the author.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
It took me several months to get through this book - partly because it wasn't a library book, so I didn't have a strict deadline, but also because it just didn't really hold my interest. The plot develops very slowly, and the story jumps around a lot through a 5 year timeline. Usually I like that type of writing style, but it didn't work as well for me with this book. Aubrey's husband Josh went missing on the night of his best friend's bachelor party 5 years ago. At the start of the book, the state has just declared Josh dead, so the insurance payout is coming soon. Aubrey's mother-in-law, Daisy has always hated her, and she wants the money for herself, even though she doesn't really need it. Thus begins the crazy ride that is this mystery. What happened to Josh? Aubrey is convinced he isn't dead. She just has a feeling, but no one believes her. I kept reading because I really wanted to know what happened to Josh. Other than though, I wasn't really very invested in this novel. I just wasn't attached to Aubrey. I'm not sure why, but I just didn't really feel anything for her. There are some interesting twists and turns, so if you like this type of book, you may enjoy it more than I did. The details were very well sewn together; things just didn't move quickly enough for me. http://www.momsradius.com/2016/07/book-review-no-one-knows.html
Mad_Maddie More than 1 year ago
Refreshingly good book. I couldn't put it down.. I recommended to multiple friends (one of which said 'I'm going to get fired.. I just cancelled a conference call so I could read!). I'm sure it will be a movie soon.
HumorMyWay More than 1 year ago
This story had me hooked from the first page, the ending will have you as speechless as it did me. The author gives you a wonderful plot going back from here and now to the past which is done very smoothly leaving you in no doubt about what is going on. You get to see how Aubrey and Josh’s relationship started from childhood friends, you also will understand why he is always so protective of her and she him. There will be no doubt in your mind these two loved and love each other deeply. There are so many twists and turn you will be running around trying to keep up. The author has a great brain process and is a very talented writer pulling her reader in and leaving your mouth hung open more than once. I loved this story but be prepared to have your mind blow right out of this world with this ending. Teri Schnaubelt and Nick Podehl’s voices blend so well giving this a wonderful powerful listen with to wonderful narrators. The things that impressed me most were when they went from one narrator to the other. They sounded like they were in the same room there was no adjustments in the volume as there are in so many two part narration. Both have outstanding voices that are smooth and pleasant to listen to with wonderful character voices leaving you in no doubt who was speaking and what emotion they were feeling. There are no background noises just a smooth and rich audio that you get lost in. If any breaks were taken you cannot tell it sounds as if the audio was finished at one setting. Both narrators gave a 5 stars plus performance Ms. Schenaubelt has a wonderful voice that I have come to love with rich and smooth tones, easily changing from one character to another. Her female voices are smooth and even (even though I didn’t like Jose’s mother the voice fit her to a T). Her male voices are deep and rich leaving you enjoying the listen as she takes you through each twist and surprise. She has a voice I could listen to all day from her sweet kind loving ones to her excited and scared one, along with her very powerful male voices where the character is over powering. Mr. Podehl’s narration was wonderful this is the first time I have listen to him and I was not disappointed at all. His female voices are pleasant and easy to listen to. His male ones are deep as he puts lots of emotion in each voice. He has Jose down to a T with the scared young man not knowing which end is up or down. He really had me hanging on and feeling sorry for Jose. For the story it’s self it was great and wonderful full of excitement, thrills, and even some chills. The twists and turns will have your brain going around in circles. The twists are so shocking you will have your mouth hung open more than once thinking wow oh my good lord never saw that coming. I was so invested in this audio I could not put it down finding things to do so I could listen longer. My heart truly broke for Aubrey and all she dealt with just how much more can this women take before she goes crazy and needs lock up. I even felt sorry for Josh knowing how he was pulled in and blackmailed into doing things he didn’t want to. The author had me in her hip pocket until the last few chapters when I stopped and looked around thinking what just happened. I have to say it was a little confusing and I felt it really didn’t go with the rest of the story. Had the author went back in the past as the character telling someone else what had happen I would have bought the whole thing. In this story th
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
Have you ever read a book and known where it was heading? Yet even knowing where it was heading you had no clue how it could possibly get there. This is that book. I could see where J.T. Ellison was taking me, I could feel the anticipation of getting there, but I was so incredibly clueless on how I could possibly be taken there. This book is quite a ride. Hold on tight! Coming to terms with the mysterious disappearance of your husband and having him declared dead is just mind boggling to me. How could a man just poof be gone? Where would he go? Was he dead? This is Aubrey’s life. Every day she has to deal with this over and over again. I felt for Audrey. How do you live like that? As she starts to move on with her life I want to cheer. The life insurance policy is paying out, which is not what she wants, but I could see how it would change her life and not necessarily for the good. She meets Chase, who seems too familiar, yet is becoming a good friend to her. No One Knows kept me up at night. It is a thriller with a psychological twist. I kept guessing, J.T. Elliot kept giving me clues but were they the clues to the right answer or just another twist? I didn’t see the ending coming. Boy, am I glad that I didn’t. It was absolutely amazing! I cannot recommend enough that you pick up a copy of No One Knows immediately! It is a must read book for 2016.
KelliJo More than 1 year ago
You will NOT see the end coming. Ellison will keep you guessing through then entire book and you will put it down and not be sure what just hit you. Fans of Suspense better grab this one. Carve out some time, because you will not be able to put it down. WOW!!
amendez14 More than 1 year ago
Very good read, didn't want to put the book down. Only thing is that the ending felt a little rushed. I wanted to know so much more in the end, but all good books do leave you wanting more. I was very sad once I finished reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fancygrl68 More than 1 year ago
Bev_Ash More than 1 year ago
This book is quite a change from the author's usual books. I thought the beginning was a little slow but then there was too many twists. Just when you got comfortable with one story line and thought you knew what was happening, it changed to something else. All the characters were a little wierd and had too many problems. While the book did hold my interest, I felt there was too much going on. I have read most of J.T. Ellison's books and this one was not one of my favorites . I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
JT Ellison’s first stand-alone thriller, No One Knows, is the best thing I’ve read in YEARS, from her unforgettable characters to her OMG, explosive ending she has really outdone herself. The storyline is heartbreaking, exhilarating and frustrating with fabulously thin morality lines that she delivers via her fast-paced, eloquent, addicting narrative, leading readers on a merry chase feeding us snippets of information while ever so slowly filling in her masterful puzzle pieces. Her characters are exquisite and unbelievably authentic from her mother-in-law from hell to her damaged yet resilient heroine and then she sweetens the character pot further with “the other man”. Her fluctuating between the past and present and the knock-your-socks-off ending are but two reasons this is a “must read” and one for your keeper shelf. If you’re looking for a mild-mannered read look elsewhere because this book should come with a warning. JT I’m in awe, Brava!!! Eighteen Hundred and Seventy Five days ago after disappearing without a trace Aubrey Hamilton’s husband, Josh has been officially declared dead. Against her wishes, her mother-in-law, Daisy successfully petitioned the court and will now also contest the payout of Josh’s life insurance policy trying to instill herself as the soul beneficiary. Her mother-in-law who has never for one-minute thought she was good enough for Josh, and who has been vocal about her allegations that Aubrey killed him. Maybe its time to put Eighteen Hundred and Seventy Five days of suffering, heartache, of accusations, of her being arrested for first degree murder, of incarceration, Daisy’s testimony for the prosecution and Aubrey’s eventual exoneration, behind her. Because her soul mate and love of her life would not have allowed her to go through al that pain and suffering if her was still alive. Can she let him go, can she move forward, is the man she just met who makes her feel alive her future, or is she still in the clutches of her Eighteen Hundred and Seventy Five day nightmare.
Queenbethanny More than 1 year ago
I'm a lover of JT Ellison's work, she never disappoints, but this book was a special, stand alone, thriller. A story of a husband missing for five years and a "widow" trying to get her life back together. Josh is about to be declared dead by the state of Tennessee and his life insurance will pay out, now new players come out of the woodwork. This story was told from different time periods in the story's whole and by different points of view leaving you twisted, turned around and breathless. I stayed up late at night needing to know what happened to Josh and what will happen to Aubrey. This book messed with my mind and the only book that has truly kept me guessing until this very last page. I truly had no idea what each character was capable of. Kudos to JT Ellison, please keep writing!!!
alterlisa More than 1 year ago
I've read twisty murder thrillers before but nothing, nothing on the scale of "No One Knows". Just as soon as you feel comfortable that you've got a hold on the truth and what's really going on, the rug gets ripped out from under you and you realize you don't know Jack! And this happens again and again. But it works! You don't feel cheated by the reveals because they actually feel right and make sense. The layers are peeled back one by one and until the very final paragraph do you feel that it is done. The characters are amazingly fleshed out and I never felt like they were acting out of character. I don't reread many books (who has the time with the awesome selection of good books out there) but this one is one I'll make an exception on and I know that it will be fully enjoyed and relished even though I now know the ending.
Fredreeca2001 More than 1 year ago
Aubrey is a school teacher whose husband, Josh, has been missing for five years. The state of Tennessee finally declares Josh dead. Aubrey cannot believe it. She feels deep down he is still alive and she cannot let go. Every single character in this novel is flawed and screwed up!! There is no hero or knight in shining armor. I think this is one of the main reasons this tale is so enthralling. Each character plays a unique part in the deception. The deceit and treachery running through this story really keep the reader riveted to the pages. Is he dead, is he alive, is he envolved in something??? The author did a great job keeping the outcome a secret. There were many times in the story I just KNEW I had it figured out. There were many scenerios floating around my thoughts. So, needless to say, the ending was a bit of a shocker. I had part of it figured out but not all. I am trying desperately not to give any spoilers away. So be prepared. A compelling tale indeed!! I received this novel from Simon and Schuster as an XOXpert
thereadingchick More than 1 year ago
Aubrey and Josh Hamilton seemed to have the perfect life. He was a med student at Vanderbilt and she was a grade school teacher. Newly married and very much in love, they'd known each other since they were children and knew everything about each other. One day, on their way to their friends bachelor party, Josh disappears, and Aubrey discovers she may not have know as much as she thought she did about her husband. The police look at Aubrey as the prime subject and her life goes into a tailspin. No One Knows is a very well crafted mystery novel. I loved how we were introduced to Aubrey the year her husband was declared officially dead. We were given tidbits of she and Josh's story in flashbacks, as we watched her current self struggle through her life. The contrast between Aubrey's fragility in the present to her strength in the past was the perfect smokescreen to the twists and turns of the plot. Aubrey had hidden depths, and her character had been through a lot more than appeared on the surface. I found her fascinating and really wanted to root for her, and in a way Josh. The story takes place in Nashville as all of her books do, and this time, they were living pretty close to my old neighborhood, so being able to picture the area really brought the story to life. Nashville always plays a lead character in her books, which appeals to me as a past resident, and is probably a big appeal to her fan base in Tennessee. I keep wondering when the characters will eat at the Pancake Pantry? This review doesn't contain any spoilers, but I will say that there was a moment where the author (and Aubrey) made a decision that I did not agree with, and at that point my interest waned just slightly, making the ending a little anti climactic. As you're reading you'll know exactly which decision I'm talking about. Let me know if you agree, and did you feel like the author made the right choice with that character? Regardless, I really enjoyed this book. J. T. Ellison really knows how to craft a great mystery, and this novel did not disappointment. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Gallery, through NetGalley, for my honest and unbiased review.