Nicole Baart | Everything We Didn’t Say

The Book: 

Everything We Didn’t Say by Nicole Baart
Published November 2, 2021 by Atria
Date read: August 19, 2023

The Characters: 

Juniper Baker

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

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 for fans of Lisa Jewell and Megan Miranda.

How did Everything We Didn’t Say end?

Click here for book spoilers for Everything We Didn't Say
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Everything We Didn’t Say, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

Everett Stoakes (the cop) was the cousin of the man that took the fall for the Murphys’ death. The man was neurodivergent and confessed to the murders without really understanding what he was saying. He was sent to a group home and it ruined Stoakes’ life, so he had a vendetta against Jonathan because he thought he was the real killer.

Stoakes had poisoned Diesel, was calling and driving by the house, and had slashed Juniper’s tires. He was the one behind the podcast–Juniper had seen his murder board with his obsession all laid out. He was responsible for Jonathan’s accident because Jonathan had been trying to save Diesel.

Law, Juniper’s stepdad, was the one who killed the Murphys. Calvin Murphy was Jonathan’s father. He killed him to prevent Juniper’s mom from leaving him. Juniper figured it out because of the smell of bone glue that Law was covered in that night, and then Law confessed the rest. He lit his barn on fire and escaped.

The Ending:

In the epilogue, Jonathan and Juniper are friends again. He’s disabled but alive. Their mom moved away. Juniper and Willa are moving back to Denver, and she has finally told Sullivan that he’s Willa’s dad.

The Review: 

I enjoyed this slow-burn mystery in the creepy farming town of Jericho, Iowa. This town has secrets, and Juniper Baker is at the center of all of them. When she returns to town to help a sick friend, the past comes bubbling back to the surface.

Juniper was a good MC–while certainly flawed, she has grown up and is trying to do her best now. I enjoyed her perspective.

While the premise was great, the middle of the book dragged a little bit. The story jumps back and forth between the past leading up to the murders and present day as Juniper tries to uncover the truth. Both timelines got bogged down in the middle, and the story lost my interest a little bit. The beginning and the end are good, though, and the reveal is worth the wait.

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