What He Didn't See

Romance - Suspense
154 Pages
Reviewed on 11/20/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jacqueline Simon Gunn is a Manhattan-based clinical psychologist and writer. She has authored two non-fiction books, and co-authored two others. She has published many articles, both scholarly and mainstream, and currently writes for Lifetime Daily. With her academic and clinical experience in forensic psychology, Gunn is now writing fiction in the thriller/mystery genre. Her Close Enough to Kill series explores the delicate line between passion and obsession, love and hate, and offers readers an elaborate look into the mind of a murderer.

In addition to her clinical practice and writing, Gunn is an avid runner and reader. Gunn is currently working on multiple writing projects.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

It's interesting to select a book and find that you're getting what you expected and a bit more. It was the genre that drew me to What He Didn't See by Jacqueline Simon Gunn. As this book is classified as romance/suspense, I was curious about how much suspense would be in a romantic story based on the hope of renewing a relationship after nearly 2 decades of the lovers being apart. That's where What He Didn't See starts: Jacob is a psychologist who hosts a phone-in radio show. When his frequent weekly caller begins to sound very much like Jane, the only woman he ever truly loved but didn't marry, his own unhappiness in a loveless marriage takes over his psyche: he has to find Jane and, if this caller is his long lost love, then he needs to get out of his marriage and grab what might be his last chance at happiness. Herein lies both the romantic and one of the suspenseful angles: will Jacob succeed? Complicating his decision is his manipulative, rich and gay wife, Fiona, who doesn't love him but can't let him divorce her if she is to inherit the family fortune. But the bigger issue for Jacob is the one that caused him to lose Jane 19 years earlier: Jacob is too worried about being a good son and doing what his father expects of him i.e. good Catholics don't divorce.

It is this aspect of parental control, of children doing what is expected of them rather than what they want to do, that is the "more" I referred to in my opening sentence. What He Didn't See is very much an exploration of family relationships, of the expectations, the conflicts, the unreasonable demands parents put on their offspring, and how these demands can mess up people's lives in later years. Given the author's background - Jacqueline Simon Gunn is a clinical psychologist - her portrayal of the characters, their motivations, and the events in this story have an authentic base: Jacob, Jane, and Fiona are believable and what each does in this short, easy to read novel is realistic. Summing up, readers of suspenseful romance get more than expected from What He Didn't See. What readers may or may not themselves see coming is the ending.

Arya Fomonyuy

What He Didn't See by Jacqueline Simon Gunn is a powerful story featuring compelling characters and life-changing choices. Jacob Temple is an attractive man, but he makes a mistake that changes everything for him. He is denied the right to be with Jane, the woman he pines for, by getting married to Fiona because of obligation. This hasn’t been an easy choice for him. Years later, Jacob has his own radio psychology talk show. A regular caller, Beth, reminds him of his poor marriage and apart from the fact that he feels wretched about his marriage, he could sense a distant connection with the caller. Could she be Jane? Can it be she’s been waiting for him all these years? What price would he pay this time to make the choice he wasn’t able to make two decades ago?

I was hooked from the opening of the story. Starting with Beth who calls in to the show to say she’s been trying to follow the advice of the expert but that she still believes her lover would come back is a good beginning. I began wondering who this man could be, and if Beth is sane, and couldn’t help reading on to find out. The writing is great and the dialogues flow naturally, enhancing the plot and offering insights into characterization. What He Didn't See presents a powerful psychological conflict that permeates every aspect of the story, intense and impossible to ignore. The characters are well-thought out and masterfully developed. Jacqueline Simon Gunn creates a story that will entertain readers and remind them that there is always a price to pay for the choices we make. A good romance with psychological depth.

Rabia Tanveer

What He Didn't See by Jacqueline Simon Gunn is the story of Jacob Temple, a good man and a great friend. He made one mistake almost two decades ago and, because he is a good man, he chose to marry Fiona because of a moral obligation and let go of Jane, the woman he truly loves. This was a hard decision for him to make, but it had to be done. Now, he is living in an unhappy marriage and there is not a lot he can do.

However, when he has the suspicion that his regular caller, Beth, on his radio show is actually Jane, he starts to think of ways through which he can let go of Fiona, get a divorce, and reunite with Jane. But Fiona’s family is very powerful and well connected, and she will not let go of Jacob that easily. What happens next is a mystery and a thrilling ride that you will have to take with Jacob, because sometimes love, happiness and discovery are worth it all.

The moment I started reading the novel, I felt that the writing was very familiar and then it hit me, this is the same Gunn who wrote Circle of Betrayal! I knew Jacob Temple felt familiar somehow! I had my little moment of hallelujah because I just love her writing and to know that I picked her novel unknowingly just boggles my mind. I loved Jacob then and I still love him. This novel is written in true Gunn style, the characterization is on point, and her dialogues were very deep and dark. I loved Circle of Betrayal and I loved What He Didn’t See. I cannot wait to see what she brings us next.