The No-Show

One of my most anticipated books of this spring is out today: The No-Show by Beth O’Leary. This is her fourth novel, though my first time reading her work. Sitting somewhere between mystery, romance, and women’s fiction, it’s a surprising novel that will work your mind and, in the end, your heart.


Special thanks to the publicists at Penguin Random House and to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! 

The No-Show begins on Valentine’s Day, when the romantic holiday goes awry for three different women. Siobhan, Miranda, and Jane each have a date, but all three of them are stood up. What they don’t know is that they’ve all been stood up by the same man. They each forgive Joseph Carter and resume their relationship with him, but as the months pass, they’ll have to unravel what Joseph is up to with them.

At first glance, it may seem that Joseph Carter is a womanizer, a cheater, a man who strings along women only to break their hearts. But even when I began The No-Show, I couldn’t see him in such a negative light. He’s such a kind, understanding, sweet person, albeit a bit scatterbrained and perpetually late. How did the man these three woman saw so much good in align with the unfaithful picture that was being painted of him?

Each of the women he’s seeing is quite different, though all come with their own troubles. They each battle insecurities, some due to a traumatic past, others due to how people in their lives see them. Just as there is some mystery surrounding Joseph, the pasts these women are running from also remain murky for some time.

One of my favorite things about The No-Show is how it tackles issues of mental health, forms of harassment, and grief. Each of these characters copes differently, and some need to work through a lot before they reach a positive path forward. It can make for an emotional read, but it is something I greatly appreciated.

Admittedly, it did take me some time to really connect with the characters. Each chapter follows one of the three women, including their own personal arcs as well as their evolving relationships with Joseph. As sometimes happens with multiple POV characters, I found myself enjoying some chapters more than others. Through it all, Joseph was the one I found the most intriguing and – perhaps surprisingly – endearing.

It wasn’t until about halfway through that The No-Show really connected for me. Not coincidentally, this is around the time when I finally worked out what the twist was. I knew going in that there was some kind of a twist, and from the start of the book, I had puzzled through several theories. But once I figured it out – and then when my suspicions were confirmed a few chapters later – everything fell into place and mattered so much more.

Of course, I won’t tell you anything more about that! You’ll have to read it and find out, but the twist really does elevate and add to the story. There were other events later on (which I also successfully predicted) that brought tears and satisfaction in equal measure. In the end, it was an emotional, heartfelt read.

Final Thoughts

The No-Show surprised me, even though I knew I was in for some kind of shock. While it took me some time to become fully invested in it, once it all clicked, it grew into a tender and impactful story. This is a book that I will think about for a very long time.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Get the Book

You can buy The No-Show here – it’s available as a paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

Please note that the above link is an Amazon affiliate link and I may earn a commission on any purchases you make.

The No-Show by Beth O’Leary
GenreRomance; Mystery; Women’s Fiction
SettingEngland; Ireland
Number of Pages352
Format I ReadeBook (NetGalley)
Original Publication DateApril 12, 2022

Official Summary

Three women who seemingly have nothing in common find that they’re involved with the same man in this smart new rom-com by Beth O’Leary, bestselling author of The Flatshare.

Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth.
These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: they’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up—Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.
Once they’ve each forgiven him for standing them up, they are all in serious danger of falling in love with a man who may have not just one or two but three women on the go….
Is there more to him than meets the eye? Where was he on Valentine’s Day? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken?

About the Author

Beth O'Leary - Credit Tom Medwell

Credit: Tom Medwell

Beth O’Leary is a Sunday Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than 30 languages.

She wrote her debut novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from her job at a children’s publisher.

She now lives in the Hampshire countryside and writes full time.

More Books by Beth O’Leary

Beth O'Leary - The Road Trip
Beth O'Leary - The Switch
Beth O'Leary - The Flatshare

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