The No-Show is the latest work by Sunday Times bestselling contemporary romance author Beth O’Leary. In an interview with inews.co.uk, the popular Flatshare author describes her down-to-earth novel as “a romantic comedy with a side of mystery”.
The genius of The No-Show lies in the plot’s careful manipulation of the reader’s preconceived ideas. It can come as something of a shock when this is revealed, an emotion that no doubt compounds the spectacular finale.
‘The No-Show’: Synopsis
Three women are stood up by the same man on Valentine’s Day. The first, Siobhan, is a high-flying influencer-cum-life coach, who’s traumatised from a miscarriage.
The second is Miranda, a professional tree surgeon, who longs for a steady relationship with a trustworthy man. And then there’s Jane, a charity shop volunteer trying to keep a low profile, who needs a date to keep her colleagues quiet.
And the no-show in question?
That would be Joseph Carter, an IT specialist who doesn’t quite meet the criteria of a player.
So why did he stand three women up? It’s all to be revealed as Siobhan, Miranda and Jane recount their relationships with Joseph at turning points in their lives. In many ways, The No-Show is Joseph’s story, told by three of the women in his life.
Watch: Beth O’Leary on ‘The No-Show’
Is ‘The No-Show’ for you?
By genre, The No-Show is a romance novel. However, the subject matter reaches further than love and relationships, exploring themes of grief, harassment and self-worth. There are trigger warnings for the loss of a loved one, self-harm, sexual harassment and alcoholism.
In many ways, the novel can address these themes because it is a romance which provides a containing, safe space for readers. Strong friendships also anchor the main characters — and the reader — through these difficulties.
As for the romance itself, it’s anchored in the day-to-day, with characters who live in different cities. They’re finding their way at the beginnings of relationships while juggling work, family and friendship.
So, if you like contemporary romance with a take on mental health, The No-Show is a no-brainer. It’s also a good choice if you like mystery novels — your head will likely be spinning as you try to figure out why Joseph stood the women up!
Beth O’Leary: More about the author
In addition to The No-Show, Beth O’Leary is the author of three bestselling novels: The Flatshare, The Switch and The Road Trip. She studied English at university before going on to work in children’s publishing.
O’Leary wrote her debut book, The Flatshare, while travelling between work and home. She now writes full-time and lives in the English countryside.
Beth O’Leary’s The No-Show is published by Quercus Publishing and is available at Exclusive Books at R363.