No One Can Know

Fiction - Thriller - General
384 Pages
Reviewed on 02/26/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Adrienne has aspired to writing novels since her days with Nancy Drew. She grew up in central Texas during the sixties and made journalism a business minor at UNT, going on to pen corporate PR and training pieces in healthcare and banking careers. The yen to craft story never left, however, and ten years ago she began to study fiction at night through SMU, knowing someday she’d tackle her dream.
Dallas is home, shared with a husband who keeps her laughing, and two highly amusing rescued mutts. At the center of life are regular visits from the children, especially her grandson, and while she’s always writing or reading, she’ll jet away on adventure at the drop of a hat.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite

There is no better place to be than a remote Texas ranch with thousands of acres if you’re looking to disappear. For Gabriel Haines, in No One Can Know by Adrienne LaCava, his friend’s ranch is not only the best place to be when the heat is on for a CIA operative, but a welcome change from company life, which hardly resembles the exciting action of James Bond, but holds all of the very realistic danger. Though Haines would rather retire and spend his time riding all 50,000 acres of the ranch on his mare Bella, he is caught up in the action of Cold War politics when the President comes to Dallas. Having been mere yards from President John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated, Haines feels like he was a little too close to being involved in the threat. With the combination of a motherless preteen worrier, a teen cousin that is always in trouble and a high-society aunt and her uncle’s mistress mixed into the equation, Haines isn’t certain if the marksmen who tracked him to the ranch or Ivy Jean Pritchard and her family are worse. He does know one thing: secrets, even those that are supposed to benefit the entire nation, are never good for a democratic society or the families involved.

Adrienne LaCava has written a thriller that has all of the promise of a John Wayne western mixed with a James Bond spy thriller in No One Can Know. Set in the 1960s Cold War and tracking alongside JFK’s assassination makes it not only an interesting read, but the mixture of genres is a good one and creates not only a thrilling story, but an excellent commentary on the damage that state secrets have on families and on people as well. Suspenseful, action packed and fresh, No One Can Know is an excellent addition to your library and a thrilling read which will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Kayti Nika Raet

No One Can Know by Adrienne LaCava revolves around the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. Though the shocking event looms large in the backdrop and many conspiracy theories are voiced, No One Can Know is not about what went down in Dallas. Instead, multiple points of view voice the thoughts of several characters. Haines, an ex-CIA agent trying to retire; his friend Tucker who's trying to use old connections to get closer with Lyndon B. Johnson; Tucker's brother Vincent, a man who had left Dallas after the untimely death of his wife; and Ivy Jean, Vincent's twelve-year-old daughter. Their stories all converge at the Dahl House on a weekend that begins when Carla, a friend of Vincent's wife and Tucker’s mistress arrives, slowly succumbing to a botched abortion. An interesting, dramatic read, No One Can Know mixes historical fiction with a coming of age tale and a dash of conspiracy theory.

No One Can Know was filled with lots of interesting characters that were so multi-layered and alive that I kept wanting to learn more about them. Even though not all the characters liked each other, and some were more reprehensible than others, I never felt that any one was supposed to be the bad guy, except maybe the circumstances surrounding Carla's fate. A well-written, enjoyable read, No One Can Know makes for a compelling novel. My only complaint was that I was so engrossed that when the end came I felt like I was abruptly cut out of the conversation. But who knows, maybe we can resume it again in book two.

Jack Magnus

No One Can Know is a historical thriller written by Adrienne LaCava. Gabriel Haines works for the CIA, but he's dreaming of getting back to his roots and working with horses on a ranch. He's accepted an invitation from his colleague, Tucker Massey, to become the foreman on Massey's ranch. They are both in Dallas on the day that John F. Kennedy is assassinated, and their proximity to the event could prove dangerous to each of them as investigations ramp up and rumors of conspiracies swirl about. Massey is sent to Mississippi on a special assignment for Lyndon Baines Johnson, the new president and a family friend. While he's gone, his concerns over his pregnant girlfriend, Carla, cause him to ask his brother, Vincent, to find her. Vincent brings his 12-year-old daughter to Tucker's ranch where she meets her cousin and aunt for the first time and also briefly gets to know Carla, who was her mother's best friend. Haines realizes that the ranch is being watched by operatives and is not sure if they are focused on him alone or Tucker's family, and he's prepared to leave to keep the others safe.

I am so impressed by this book. It was impeccably researched, and it immerses the reader in the 1960s. LaCava brings the events and uncertainties surrounding the assassination of Kennedy to light while blending that tragedy in with the lives of her characters. There's a chilling account of Tucker's time in Mississippi, and a tragic section where the crucial importance of having legal and safe abortions is made clear. There's also a grand coming of age story in No One Can Know. Ivy Jean, Vincent's young daughter, comes from a very sheltered and motherless life with her strict, but loving, father and older brother. She's thrust into a very different world on that fateful weekend, and it's inspiring to see how she observes, reacts, and comes into her own. No One Can Know is historical literary fiction that reads smoothly and fluently as it transports the reader into a different time and place. It's a marvelous book.