Today: Jul 16, 2024

Novel combines math and murder for intriguing mystery


Carisa McLaughlin

Arts and Entertainment Editor

Michelle Richmond’s novel “No One You Know” is not a novel that I would typically pick out to read, however, I came across it in a bookstore on the bargain shelf and found myself unable to put it down.

In the novel, Ellie Enderlin always thought of herself as an average person who did just enough to get by in life, while her older sister Lila was always the star of the family. Lila was an over-achieving math lover who usually kept to herself, while Ellie was always the popular girl at school who earned decent grades. But as different as the two girls were, they were still best friends who told each other everything – at least that’s what Ellie thought until Ellie’s world gets turned upside down and Lila is murdered.

Ellie starts to question everything about the relationship between her and her sister and what Lila could have been hiding from her. Ellie struggles to find a normalcy without her sister, especially at home with her parents. Ellie confides in one of her college professors and gives him almost every detail about her relationship with Lila and even how she was found murdered on a trail. After a few months, the professor
decides to write a novel about Lila. Ellie is hurt and confused and begs her professor not to write the book.

Ultimately, he writes the book anyway.

Once the book is published, Ellie refuses to read it until she overhears some women discussing the novel and how the author names the murderer. There was never anyone arrested for Lila’s murder, so Ellie didn’t understand how that could be possible. For almost 20 years, Ellie believes Lila’s murderer was the man named in the novel by the professor until she has a chance meeting with him and he convinces her that he was not the man who killed Lila.

As the book takes you through Ellie’s life without Lila and how she deals with knowing then not knowing who the murderer is, the plot takes several twists and turns. This novel is definitely a hard one to put down.

Richmond does a very good job of keeping the reader’s attention. However, because Lila was a brilliant math student, there are some formulas and theorems that slow the book down at times.

What I found especially enjoyable was the fact that I did not know who the murderer was until the author revealed it. I thought I had an idea each time a new suspect was introduced, but it was never the right one. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an intriguing and mind-bending novel.

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