Unknown Truth

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
448 Pages
Reviewed on 06/09/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite

It had been seventeen years since her parents' deaths and each year, on the anniversary of the accident, Laura was hit with fresh grief as if the whole nightmare had happened only yesterday. Except for that, Laura lived a happy and contented life with the love of her life, Nick, to whom she had been married for three years now. That is until Nick went missing. The only thing worse than the devastating disappearance of a loved one is discovering that you never really knew the person you called your soul mate. How could he just disappear without a trace? With no answers coming from the police, Laura teams up with her brother and Nick's best friends to find some. Soon they start to put the pieces together, but still a lot does not make sense. So far, what they know is that Nick seemed to have disappeared without a trace; it happened on the anniversary of her parents' deaths; the man who killed her parents suddenly reappeared in her life; and her home was burgled. Nick had disturbing family and career secrets and then there was the issue of the dead Mafia hit man. Connecting these pieces and eliminating those that didn't fit would be key to uncovering the real truth behind his disappearance.

You can always tell that a novel is going to make for great reading by the time you are done with the first chapter, but in the case of Unknown Truth, I knew by the time I was done with the first page that I was in for a great reading experience. Unknown Truth by Connie Nellos is the stuff of award-winning sleuth stories as they should be told. Each part of the plot is revealed at just the right time - never too early or too late. Connie Nellos showed masterful skill in the art of keeping the reader captivated all the way through with well-balanced suspense that glues readers to the pages. She has delivered an absolute winner in the genre.

Sherri Fulmer Moorer

Unknown Truth by Connie Nellos tells us the story of Laura DeMarco, a successful chef in Napa Valley who lives a life that most women would envy. Her husband is a successful businessman and a co-owner of her restaurant, and they have a beautiful home and a blessed life together. That is, until their three years of wedded bliss come to a screeching halt when her husband goes missing. Suddenly, her life is filled with mystery, police officers, FBI agents, and questions. When her house is broken into days after her husband disappears, it leaves her wondering if the life she knows is real or an illusion.

Unknown Truth is a powerful testament to the damage that secrets can have on a family. Laura finds her husband's secrets and the tragedies of her own past coming back to haunt her present, showing that you truly can't leave the past behind unless you come to terms with how it's impacting on your future. It calls perception of truth into question, and forces readers to face the challenge of how much they could tolerate, both in what they share and in what they hold back from those closest to them. What would you do to protect those you love? What would you expect them to do? What would you want them to do? How could you hold up if a big, tragic secret came to light? Connie Nellos handles these issues expertly in her book, as she explores the boundaries of trust and love in intimate relationships. It's a good read and a good mystery.

Romuald Dzemo

Unknown Truth by Connie Nellos is a sizzling crime story with heartbreaking surprises, a work of great finesse that will entertain and wow fans of crime fiction with complicated plots. For seventeen years, Laura DeMarco has been plagued by the thought of her parents’ death which left her an orphan at thirteen. She can’t come to grips with the fact that they were murdered. Now with a flourishing restaurant business in the Napa Valley and a loving husband, she believes she’d made a life for herself, but when Nick, her husband, goes missing, she files a missing person report and initiates an investigation that will prove deadly to her. The man she’d thought to be a caring and loving husband could be the worst monster she’d ever known. As she digs into Nick’s disappearance, her life becomes endangered. She’s set herself up against a formidable adversary, and now she needs protection. Will she get to the truth before the enemy gets to her?

Unknown Truth is a mind-blowing tale of murder, intrigue, and revenge, a story that is so well-written it will be so hard to put down. From the very first page, the author captures the interest of readers with powerful descriptions and a compelling portrayal of the narrator’s psychological state. The narrative voice is powerful and it comes alongside the equally powerful dialogue to completely absorb the reader’s interest. Connie Nellos is a master of the crime novel craft with a great gift for character and plot. The action is intense and it fills every page. The realization that one is married to someone one doesn’t really know can be heartbreaking and a very powerful hook, and the author has presented this hook in an irresistible way. You’ll get hooked; you’ll read this gripping story to the very last page and still be salivating for a very long time after. You’ve got a page-turner here with memorable characters and excellent writing.

Gisela Dixon

Unknown Truth by Connie Nellos is a fast-paced thriller and murder mystery. The story spans a period of time and follows one family’s struggle with lies, secrets, the Mafia, and hidden truths. We first learn about the mysterious disappearance of Nick, who simply goes missing one fine day. His wife, Laura, immediately notifies people and the search begins. But as more facts come to light, the persona of Nick becomes even more of a mystery as Laura grapples with the fact that her husband may have led a secret double life. As the plot thickens, Laura gets caught in a web of secrets, drama, revenge, and even murder. Is there a hired killer at work? Is the underworld involved? Is this a killing for love, money, or revenge? Questions like these make for a classic whodunit that keeps one guessing till the end.

Unknown Truth by Connie Nellos revolves around the life and secrets of one family. Although the writing style is somewhat simplistic at times, the plot itself kept me engaged till the end. I found the characters well drawn and Laura, in particular, in her role of a wife and a successful working woman whose life changes overnight, is well sketched and believable. The notion of revenge explored in the book brings home the fact that some things are never forgiven or forgotten. The dynamics of family and relationships set the backdrop against which the mystery is played out, which makes for an interesting read. All in all, Unknown Truth by Connie Nellos is a book that mystery lovers will surely enjoy reading.

Ray Simmons

I like thrillers and murder mysteries and Unknown Truth is a good one. Most thrillers and crime dramas are told from the point of view of seasoned professional spies or criminals. They take their world and that particular lifestyle for granted. But what happens if you are a happily married woman, a professional chef, who finds out under the worst possible circumstances that the man you love is connected to the terrifying world of organized crime? That is the situation Laura DeMarco finds herself in, and author Connie Nellos tells her story perfectly. Suspense should build and the suspense in Unknown Truth, secrets kept just to stay alive, is a great example of how this should be done. We watch Laura and her friends and family as they go through an ordinary day in their ordinary lives, but little by little things veer away from a beautiful California lifestyle into the world of vengeance and murder.

What was new for me was watching a capable but very ordinary woman come to terms with the world of secrets and violence. It is a lot for anyone to handle and Connie Nellos carefully shows Laura fall apart, then recover and fight for the life and man she loves. There are a lot of supporting characters all portrayed very realistically and sympathetically. The plot is solid. The setting is perfect and the characters are all on point. A solid thriller all the way round. I think Unknown Truth is a rare read that will excite a lot of female readers who normally may not be fans of the thriller or mystery genres.