She’s studying to take the entrance exam to enter law school, hoping to eventually find a nice apartment where she can bring her fourteen-year-old, orphaned half-sister to live with her. She asks her sister to bide her time until she can provide for her, but her sister forces the issue by attempting suicide which leaves Rosemary desperate to find the money she needs to get a nice place. One of her roommates steers her toward the Escort Service where she’s been earning the big bucks. Rosemary’s first encounter fell through when she couldn’t go through with it; however, it put her on the radar of Tech billionaire Leo Cross. He strikes a year-long deal with Rosemary to be his fake girlfriend and against her better judgment and without having a lawyer read the contract, Rosemary makes a deal with the devil. Warning bells are sounding! At the same time, she meets and falls for her musician neighbor Sam but has to tell him she can’t start a relationship because she has a “boyfriend”. At this point in the story, I thought this might turn into a typical love triangle which I’m not fond of, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
No One Knows Us Here quickly turns sinister and creepy via stalker vibes. Kelley sets a dire tone, a sense of impending doom, which keeps increasing as the story progresses. It’s soon clear to Rosemary and readers that something is off about Leo and the contract he drew Rosemary into – the one she failed to read. By midway, the story I thought was a romance turned into a domestic thriller with a dangerous life or death energy taking on a life of its own as it permeated the pages with a foul smell. Kelley’s expertise with descriptive prose added to the building tension, driving a steadily increasing tension-laden pace full force toward an ending this reader couldn’t wait to reach. While I could nitpick about a couple of little things, overall I couldn’t stop reading as the book kept me highly entertained and isn’t that one of the main reasons we read?
No One Knows Us Here is a dark, gripping domestic thriller about lives destroyed when obsession, control and power are abused and decisions are made based on guilt and obligation. This story is narrated solely by Rosemary – a woman partially driven by guilt from an event in her past who finds herself capable of doing unspeakable things to protect those she loves. How far would you go to protect loved ones?
Rebecca Kelley does a great job tackling some tough social issues including the way a troubled past can bleed over and taint present situations in No One Knows Us Here. I enjoyed the ending and the way there’s still a tiny bit left up to the reader’s imagination. While there may be a few bumps along the journey, it’s a highly readable story that I recommend to fans of domestic thrillers. I look forward to more from this promising author.