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No One Can Know by Kate Alice Marshall

No One Can Know

Repeat author

Kate Alice Marshall is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include What Lies in the Woods.

Early Release

This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait to read it.

by Kate Alice Marshall

Excellent choice

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Quick take

Small-town secrets and family tensions are unleashed when a married couple moves into an old home with a bloody past.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_NonLinear

    Nonlinear timeline

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Unreliable

    Unreliable narrator

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MarriageIssues

    Marriage issues


Emma hasn’t told her husband much about her past. He knows her parents are dead and she hasn’t spoken to her sisters in years. Then they lose their apartment, her husband gets laid off, and Emma discovers she’s pregnant―right as the bank account slips into the red.

That’s when Emma confesses that she has one more asset: her parents’ house, which she owns jointly with her estranged sisters. They can’t sell it, but they can live in it. But returning home means that Emma is forced to reveal her secrets to her husband: that the house is not a run-down farmhouse but a stately mansion, and that her parents died there.

Were murdered.

And that some people say Emma did it.

Emma and her sisters have never spoken about what really happened that night. Now, her return to the house may lure her sisters back, but it will also crack open family and small-town secrets lots of people don’t want revealed. As Emma struggles to reconnect with her old family and hold together her new one, she begins to realize that the things they have left unspoken all these years have put them in danger again.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of No One Can Know.
No One Can Know



She looks at the body of her mother, sprawled in the hallway. If she turns her head, she will see her father, slumped in his chair by the fireplace in the next room, one fingertip still touching the side of a glass in which his whiskey, the ice long melted, still sits. She looks down at her hands to see if there is any spot or smear of blood, but they are clean.

She turns to her sisters. They stand apart from each other. She picks out details: the blood drying on the cuffs of the soft blue pajama bottoms, the wet hair hanging in stringy clumps, the hands rubbing together as if trying to get clean. She starts to speak, falters. She wets her lips and tries again.

“This is what we’re going to do,” she says, and when she tells them, they don’t argue. They don’t say anything. They simply obey.

Twenty-three minutes later, she picks up the phone from the kitchen counter and dials. When the emergency operator answers, she speaks in a level voice.

“My name is Emma Palmer. Our parents are dead. We need the police.”

She looks at the clock on the stove. It is 5:13 a.m.

She hangs up. They walk together to the porch and wait. When the cruiser pulls up in front, they are still standing there. The lights flash over them. Red, blue, red, blue. Hair dry. Faces each a study of numb shock. Dressed in clean clothes—there will be no blood found on them, no bloodied clothes found anywhere on the property. None of them look at the others. None of them reach out for comfort, for reassurance, or offer it in turn. They are each a world of their own.

Emma holds a hundred questions between her teeth, biting down until her jaw aches. She doesn’t ask. Will never ask.

It isn’t that she’s afraid of the answers.

She’s afraid she already knows them.

“Our parents are dead,” she says again, to no one in particular.

It’s the last true thing she says for a long time.

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Why I love it

As the holidays approach, there are always plenty of people to see and a long list of tasks that need to be completed. During this hectic time of year, I often turn to thrillers for their quick pace and twists that make it impossible to stop reading—even when I have a million and one other things to do. No One Can Know immediately drew me in with its atmospheric writing and cast of suspicious characters, each with their own secrets.

Emma hasn’t been completely honest with her husband about her past. He knows that her parents have passed, but what he doesn’t know is that they were brutally murdered in Emma’s family home . . . and that Emma was a suspect. Although the police never found the person responsible, Emma has never been able to shake her small town’s suspicions. When financial hardship strikes, Emma and her husband are forced to move back into her parents’ old home, which brings her estranged sisters back home as well. As memories and secrets reveal themselves, Emma and her sisters start to question what happened the night her parents were murdered and who is responsible.

No One Can Know perfectly blends family drama, long-buried secrets, and surprising twists, leaving you guessing until the very end. A completely unforgettable read, Kate Alice Marshall’s latest is the perfect start to your December reading. Don’t forget to add it to your box—you’re in for an exciting journey.

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Member ratings (23,221)

  • Olivia G.

    Brooklyn, NY

    Oooo, full of twists! Definitely asks the question on whether or not you can even trust your own memory, and poses the lengths someone will go. Kept me guessing and very engrossing! 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Aryonna E.

    North Hollywood, CA

    This book…. Was frustrating. Not in a bad way more of a “just talk to each other!” Way lol you think you know what happens and you literally don’t until the last couple of pages. Finished it in hours

  • Marjorie N.

    Black Creek, WI

    This kept me guessing the entire read and kept my interest the entire time. There were a few “didn’t see that coming” moments but loved how my constant curiosity kept me in this book the entire read!

  • Mackenzie S.

    Iowa City, IA

    4/5⭐️ Couldn’t put this book down! Loved the alternating perspectives throughout and just had to know what was happening next. Kinda predictable ending (IMO) with a slight twist thrown in just before.

  • Danielle D.

    Manhattan, KS

    2nd book by this author and definitely an auto-buy. Loved it all and couldn’t put it down; satisfying conclusion also ❤️ While both are amazing, I liked this one much more than What Lies in the Woods!

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