Review: Everything We Didn’t Say by Nicole Baart

☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

Juniper Baker had just graduated from high school and was deep in the throes of a summer romance when Cal and Beth Murphy, a childless couple who lived on a neighboring farm, were brutally murdered. When her younger brother became the prime suspect, June’s world collapsed and everything she loved that summer fell away. She left, promising never to return to tiny Jericho, Iowa.

Until now. Officially, she’s back in town to help an ill friend manage the local library. But really, she’s returned to repair her relationship with her teenage daughter, who’s been raised by Juniper’s mother and stepfather since birth—and to solve the infamous Murphy murders once and for all. She knows the key to both lies in the darkest secret of that long-ago summer night, one that’s haunted her for nearly fifteen years.

As history begins to repeat itself and a dogged local true crime podcaster starts delving into the murders, the race to the truth puts past and present on a dangerous collision course. Juniper lands back in an all-too-familiar place with the answers to everything finally in her sights, but this time it’s her daughter’s life that hangs in the balance. Will revealing what really happened mean a fresh start? Or will the truth destroy everything Juniper loves for a second time? Baart once again brilliantly weaves mystery into family drama in this expertly-crafted novel. 



My Thoughts:

Wow—what an amazing page turner!  Nicole Baart’s Everything We Didn’t Say is a mystery, a thriller, and a family drama all in one.  Set in a small town in Iowa, where everyone knows everyone’s business, one would think that it would be hard to commit a crime, let alone a murder, and keep it a secret.  However, someone does for 14 long years.

Juniper returns to her home town to help a friend and fellow librarian. She might have an ulterior motive in finding the real murderer of her beloved neighbors. The story is told in dual timelines, toggling between the present and 14 years in the past in the fateful summer that changed so many lives.  There is solid tension from start to finish.  Emotions are raw and every turn reveals a little something new. 

The plot is well paced and the story is well written.  There are no throw-a-ways; every character offers something to the storyline.  While I guessed the cold-case murderer, I enjoyed every step of the journey.  After the slow build to the climax, the end is highly satisfying.  A #MustRead2021novel.

About the Author: Nicole Baart is a New York Times bestselling author, collaborator, ghostwriter, and speaker. Her critically acclaimed novels have been featured in Southern Living, Country Woman, Book Page, Glam, and Yahoo! Lifestyle among several others. Nicole’s 2017 novel, Little Broken Things, was a PEOPLE Magazine Editor’s Top Pick, a Goodreads Best Book of the Month, and featured in Library Journal. A perennial reviewer favorite, Nicole has received starred and featured reviews from Publishers Weekly, Romantic Times, Midwest Connections, and more. She is best known for her “wholly compelling” stories that are “ripe with complex emotion and vivid prose.”

Baart lives with her husband and five children in a small town in Iowa. She is the co-founder of a non-profit organization that partners with ministries in Liberia, West Africa, and a dual American/Canadian citizen. Her books range from literary to domestic suspense, but they always draw heavily from her personal experiences and her life in the Midwest. Nicole shares about her passion for travel, adoption, social justice, and bringing people together on social media. To find out more about Nicole, please visit:


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