Friday, January 29, 2016

Book Review: One Step Too Far

By Becky Gulc

‘An apparently happy marriage. A beautiful son. A lovely home.

So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life? How will she survive? And what is the date that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past?
No-one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?’ (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK.)

I thought When We Were Friends was a superb book by Tina Seskis, and when I stumbled across her debut novel, One Step Too Far, sitting a bit dusty on my bookshelf I was quick to take it down, dust it off, and take it on my holidays.

My interest in Tina’s debut was piqued through the numerous amazing quotes at the beginning of When We Were Friends from readers about how they’d found her first novel utterly suspenseful and that the ending would knock you sideways. Well I don’t read many books where the endings have this effect on me so I really couldn’t wait to see if I would guess the ending, to be honest. I think the synopsis is also quite smart; short, succinct and intriguing.

To say this book will take you on a roller coaster ride is an understatement. I was well and truly gripped wanting to find out what makes Emily leave her family, it was a real page turner. The book was cleverly written as to not give too much away, I never did actually guess how it would end, so there was a huge build up to me to reaching the end of the novel.

Emily does very much go on a journey in this novel. The new life she begins is completely different to her former life, a family woman who is suddenly house-sharing in London with nothing to her name. Every scene was so vivid in my mind and the range of characters she meets are simply fantastic and far-ranging. It is quite dark and sad in places but not in an off-putting way. You get the sense this is a temporary state for Emily, you just become so enthralled in her world and wondering how things are going to turn out for her.

This book literally builds and builds, and even after the ‘reveal’ there are literally so many twists and turns that it was just gripping. In terms of the ‘reveal’ itself, well I’m obviously not going to spoil it for anyone. It didn’t disappoint in terms of shock factor. My own afterthoughts were whether if I read the book back whether every detail would have fitted with this reveal, but I’m not going to go back and analyse it! This is a fantastic, gripping read. If you enjoy a psychological thriller every now and then, this book this may well be one for you.

Thanks to Penguin UK (Michael Joseph) for the book in exchange for an honest review.