Thursday, 7 November 2013

Review: One Step Too Far, Tina Seskis

One Step Too Far

Tina Seskis

Kirk Parolles; Kindle edition, 2013

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 – changing her name, holing up in a grotty house in North London, taking a dead-end job where she won’t be found. Has she had a breakdown? Was it to escape her dysfunctional family, especially her malevolent twin Caroline who always seemed to hate her? And what is the anniversary that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past? No-one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?

The cover of One Step Too Far is a row of familiar orange-striped train tickets, and the opening chapter reveals why: Emily Coleman, on the surface a happy, successful, enviable woman, has left her old life behind in pursuit of self-inflicted disappearance in London. Why Emily has left is the central mystery of the book: all the reader knows is that something has happened that has caused Emily to turn her back on her marriage, her family, and her job, desperate to forget or erase the traumatic events that have led her here.

The book switches between Emily's current life as she attempts to reinvent herself in London, finding a home and a friend and a job, all under her new identity, and events from the past, that focus heavily on Emily's relationship with her troubled twin sister Caroline. If Emily had it all, then Caroline was always second fiddle, a source of tension, aggravation, and anger for her twin.

Seskis doesn't give much away, and that's the key hook of One Step Too Far - it promises a twist in the leagues of Gone Girl, and it delivers a decent blow when the twist finally comes. The writing was taut and fast-paced, and I spent a fair amount of time wondering how long Emily could possibly get away with her disappearance and dual life.

It is a strange, less than realistic event that finally provides the catalyst for the events of the novel to fall into place, but this fades into the background when the story begins to unfold and your attention shifts to how Seskis has pulled off the central piece of deceit. When the novel starts to piece together the truth, and the reader is on the other side of the twist, the novel seemed to lose pace a little bit - there were a couple of subsidiary 'twists' that just dragged the story on unnecessarily. Overall, however, One Step Too Far is a gripping novel, and worth the read.

Overall rating: 7.5/10

Book source: Bought from Amazon.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments and cookies always welcome!