A punchy opening with plenty of twists and turns

‘The One You Love’ – Paul Pilkington


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The One You Love – Paul Pilkington

Emma Holden’s nightmare has just begun. Her fiancé vanishes, leaving the battered and bloodied body of his brother in their London apartment. Someone is stalking her, watching her every move. And her family are hiding a horrifying secret; a secret that threatens all those she loves. In a desperate race against time, Emma must uncover the truth if she ever wants to see her fiancé alive again. 

There’s lots of twists and turns in this novel and although I tend not to read crime/thriller books, I quite enjoyed this one. There were moments when I felt like screaming at the main character, such as when she happily gets into the van of a stranger, but I guess that comes with books of this genre. As the first book I have read by Pilkington, I was pleasantly surprised and would not be put off reading others by him, but with the ending being so open-ended, I feel that it would have worked better if this was a one-off book. (This is part of a trilogy, so I will keep my eye out for the next part of the series.)

The novel starts quite punchy, with a murder and a missing fiancé, two weeks before the wedding is due to take place. The mystery deepens when we learn about Emma (the main character) and her stalker, Stephen Myers; and the secrets her brother, Will, has been hiding. The different strands to the plot meant that I was always guessing “who dunnit?” and this certainly maintained my interest in the story. I kept coming back to this book (it is one of the few books I have ever read in my lifetime as an e-book: I don’t tend to enjoy reading an electronic book, but don’t get me started on that debate) and although I did dip in and out of the story, I quite easily picked it up from where I left off.

True, some parts of the novel are a little predictable, so I guess you do have to just let yourself go and enjoy what Pilkington has to offer. The secrets that Will is hiding from his sister are not truly revealed until you are a good way through the novel and this naturally led me to distrust how he supports his sister, Emma. Although it was sometimes a bit of an anti-climax, I felt that there was more to Will’s character than suggested, and I was not wrong in my judgement.

Towards the end I felt that the plot did just “carry on” a little bit and was looking forward to finding out the answers to the crime. I felt sorry for Emma as those she felt she could trust had proved they were hiding something from her and the end just confirmed this to me. It was disappointing that it ended so openly as I felt the author could have done more to close the plot off. Also, by the time I was reaching the climax of the novel, I had already guessed what had happened, so the suspense was certainly not there any more.

This is not a bad book to dip in and out of. This may be why I found it tedious in places and a little predictable, but as far as crime/thriller/suspense novels go, it’s not a bad read on the whole.