O’Leary, Beth. The No-Show. Berkley, 2022. ISBN 978-0593438442 352 pp. $16.00
Miranda, Siobhan, and Jane all know Joseph Carter by a different name, and at first glance, he is dating–and playing–all three. The novel opens on Valentine’s Day with each woman waiting for Joseph to show up for their respective breakfast, lunch and dinner dates. The author would like you to believe he’s a cad… and then you think, maybe he’s hurt…?
Life coach Siobhan is doesn’t want to let anyone in, thanks to her last failed relationship, so her same-time-next-month with Joseph suits her lifestyle perfectly. Arborist Miranda might like more with Carter but uses him to keep AJ, a co-worker who makes no secret of his interest, at arm’s length. And Jane is in hiding from something and takes pleasure in simplicity and routine, and her friendship and two-person book club is just what she needs in her life right now. The narrative advances in chapters that alternate from each of the women, with multiple vulnerable, heart-breaking moments and a very satisfying ending.
Through superb plotting, it turns out that all three ladies have more than just Joseph in common, and things are definitely not what they seem. Strong in plot, setting and character, with a wonderful twist, the only thing that marred the narrative for me was an outdated notion that a guy should push after a lady says she doesn’t want to date him. Several references to AJ’s pushiness with Miranda left a sour taste in my mouth and prevented this 3-star book from being a four-star book.
I received an advance reader’s review copy of #TheNoShow via #NetGalley.