“It was the happiest day of her life. Little did she know it was also the last.
When a woman’s body is found in the grounds of a ruined priory, Detective Imogen Evans realises she is dealing with a serial killer—a killer whose victims appear to die in a state of bliss, eyes open, smiles forever frozen on their faces.
A few miles away, single dad Ben Hofland believes his fortunes are changing at last. Forced to move back to the sleepy village where he grew up following the breakdown of his marriage, Ben finally finds work. What’s more, the bullies who have been terrorising his son, Ollie, disappear. For the first time in months, Ben feels lucky.
But he is unaware that someone is watching him and Ollie. Someone who wants nothing but happiness for Ben.
I am delighted to be able to share with you today my review of The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards. Those who regularly follow the blog may be feeling an odd sense of deja vu about now and that’s because yes, I have featured this review on damppebbles before! But I have the most excellent of reasons for posting it again. Mark Edwards, one of my very favourite authors, will be appearing at First Monday Crime on 2nd October alongside three other superb writers (four if you count moderator, Rod Reynolds!). For your chance to see Mark Edwards, Caz Frear, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Ann Cleeves in the flesh (and, of course, the lovely Rod Reynolds!) all you need to do is click THIS LINK and book your FREE place.
I was a part of the blog tour for The Devil’s Work last year (another of Edwards’s books) and I think it’s fair to say I LOVED it. I also reviewed Follow You Home in the very early days of damppebbles, as well reading The Magpies before blogging was a ‘thing’ in my life.
With that in mind, The Lucky Ones had a lot to live up to. My expectations were high and I’m thrilled to confirm it did a stellar job. Another absolutely cracking thriller from the dark and dastardly mind of Mr Edwards (no offence intended, of course!). Previous books have placed the main focus on everyday, normal characters and the terrible things which happen to them (which The Lucky Ones also does very well). What came as a very pleasant surprise, as a die-hard crime fiction fan, was to discover an investigative duo in the form of DI Imogen Evans and DS Emma Stockwell playing a key role in the plot. And what a team! I absolutely loved these two and would heartily encourage Mark Edwards to consider a spin-off series featuring this dynamic duo! I’d read it, lol.
One of the things I admire about Mark Edwards’s writing is that he knows how to create a character. If you’re a regular follower of the blog then you’ll know, for me, it’s all about the character (and the plot, and the setting….). I’m not ashamed to say that I fell head over heels for newly single dad, Ben. I felt a real warmth for struggling Ben as he tried to settle back into country life after living with his cheating wife in London for so long. And their poor son, Ollie having to adjust to life away from his mum and friends. The characters were very real and I invested completely in them all.
The Lucky Ones reminded me of books with a similar premise where the killer is intent on making their victims happy before they die. However, that’s where the comparisons end as the killer in The Lucky Ones knows what they are doing is wrong. There is no warmth there and this is not a mission of mercy, this is a completely deluded psychopath. In my usual amateur detective way I was trying to work out who the killer was but I failed this time around and I’m glad I did as it gave me that, ‘oh wow’ moment which I love.
Would I recommend this book? Most definitely. I would recommend all of Mark Edwards’s work, even those I haven’t read as they will all be great reads. Yup, I’m that confident. If you’re a fan of the psychological thriller and you haven’t read a book by Mark Edwards then you are truly missing out. A superb talent and one of my very favourite authors.
Five out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an ARC of The Lucky Ones. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards was published in the UK by Thomas & Mercer on 15th June 2017 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
Don’t forget to book your FREE ticket to October’s First Monday Crime which takes place on Monday 2nd October 2017 at Room AG21, College Building, London EC1V 4BP. Click HERE to book your ticket. Only one week to go….
Make sure you pop back to damppebbles on Thursday when I will feature my review of Caz Frear’s Sweet Little Lies in celebration of October’s First Monday Crime event.
Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people and is inspired by writers such as Stephen King, Ira Levin, Ruth Rendell and Linwood Barclay.
His first solo novel, The Magpies (2013), reached the No.1 spot on Amazon UK and has sold 300,000 copies to date. This was followed by What You Wish For (2014), Because She Loves Me (2014; also a No.1 bestseller in the UK) and Follow You Home(2015).
He also co-writes with Louise Voss. Their novels are: Killing Cupid (2011); Catch Your Death (2011); All Fall Down (2012); Forward Slash and a series featuring Detective Inspector Patrick Lennon, starting with From the Cradle (2014) and The Blissfully Dead (2015). Read more about Voss & Edwards.
Mark grew up on the south coast of England and starting writing in his twenties while working in a number of dead-end jobs. He lived in Tokyo for a year before returning to the UK and starting a career in marketing. He now writes full-time and lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their three children and a ginger cat, Billie, who was named after an actress from Doctor Who.
When he’s not writing or looking after children, Mark reads a lot, devours TV box sets and spends far too much time on Twitter and Facebook, where he loves chatting with readers. He also wishes he had more time to do the activity he loves most: karaoke.