What Never Happened by Rachel Howzell Hall

“Colette Sienna Weber of Los Angeles, California, is no more. She left this world on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

The woman didn’t heed any of our previous warnings. That is why Colette was taken to the highest point on Santa Catalina and shot in her fingers, toes, and then knees, living agonizingly long enough to suffer until one final bullet between the eyes ended her for good.

We warned you, Colette. You fucked around- and you found out.”

That, Sistah Girls is the eerie, but captivating start to acclaimed thriller author Rachel Howzell Hall’s new novel What Never Happened.

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NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer Publishers were gracious enough to provide me with an advanced reader’s copy and I’m here to spill all the tea!

The novel follows obituary writer Colette Weber, who returns to the picturesque Santa Catalina Island after the tragic, unsolved murder of her family almost twenty years ago.

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Tensions are high for Colette–her toxic husband Micah is divorcing her, there are whisperings of a global pandemic, and she is returning to the island where her family was brutally murdered.

However, things only worsen as she learns an unusual amount of elderly folks are turning up dead.

When Colette receives her own obituary in the mail, she realizes that these are not just coincidences–instead something deeply sinister is going on in paradise, and it is up to her to uncover the truth.


Overall, I enjoyed the book!

It was so unlike any thriller I have read in the past and I believe that’s due to the unique plot and characters that Howzell Hall has crafted.

How many novels have you read that involve a grief-ridden obituary writer, trapped on an island, during the chaos that was March 2020? Exactly!

Usually, I’m weary at the mention of anything having to do with the pandemic in novels or on the screen (I need escapism), however, the pandemic was a great vehicle for suspense throughout the book.

I could feel Colette’s claustrophobia and fear of being trapped on a sinister island because of lockdowns.

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Another aspect of the novel that really worked for me was the big reveal/plot twist at the end.

Any great thriller has readers on the edge of their seats, eager for the mystery to be solved—and Sistah Girls this novel was no exception.

Because this is a #spoilerfreereview I won’t get into it, but I will say that the ending was wild and answers all your burning questions!

One thing that I will caution readers about, is the number of events and quirky characters to keep track of throughout the novel. It became somewhat confusing, however because of the unique and ambitious nature of the story Hall is telling, I believe it is worth navigating through it.

The end does a nice job of wrapping everything up nicely with no loose ends.

Final Thoughts

Overall Sistah Girls, What Never Happened is a thriller worth checking out! Full of family drama, murder, and even some romance, it has a little something for everybody.

Be sure to grab a copy when it hits shelves on August 1st!



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