The One You Love by Paul Pilkington

By Ekta R. Garg

April 10, 2013

Rated: Bookmark it!

A woman gets some harrowing news while at her bachelorette part: her fiancé has disappeared from their apartment.  No one has him, and when the bride runs home she finds the victim of a crime there.  Unfortunately her fiancé isn’t the victim.  What starts as a missing person case slowly turns spirals into a complicated web of details.  Paul Pilkington offers dozens of cliffhangers in the well-written mystery The One You Love.

The book opens in London at Emma Holden’s “hen” party.  Emma, an aspiring actress, follows her friends to a pub just weeks before her wedding and days before a crucial audition.  But just as the party starts to get underway, Emma’s brother, Will calls and asks where her fiancé, Dan has gone.  Will and Dan had plans with several other friends for a boys’ night out, but no one has seen Dan or heard from him.  Emma alerts her best friend and former roommate, Lizzy, to the situation, and Lizzy and Emma go back to Emma and Dan’s apartment building to try to figure out what happened.

The girls meet Will outside the building, and when the three friends make their way upstairs they make a grisly discovery: Dan’s brother, Richard, is lying in the bathroom, close to death, in a pool of his own blood.  Emma and Will contact the police about Richard and Dan.  Soon the police start focusing their search on Dan: as a suspect in Richard’s attempted murder.  Emma’s deep faith in Dan refuses to allow the possibility of his culpability, but as time goes on Dan doesn’t show up.  When Emma begins to get messages from Dan talking about breaking off their nuptials, Emma feels shocked—but something somehow doesn’t add up.  As she and Lizzy slowly work through the mystery, people and situations from Emma’s past begin making appearances and Emma starts to wonder if something from that time period has caused Dan’s mysterious circumstances.

Author Paul Pilkington has woven a tale full of suspense and a tight plot.  Almost every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, but Pilkington doesn’t waste time in answering the obvious questions in the subsequent chapter will building another layer on the mystery and then ending with another cliffhanger.  Many writers have tried and failed at this technique; Pilkington accomplishes it with panache and will keep readers guessing until the end about what has happened to Dan and whether he’s responsible for the attack on Richard.

In December 2012 Pilkington published a sequel to The One You Love called The One You Fear, which picks up four weeks after the end of the first book.  The One You Love offers readers a complete novel with a satisfying ending, however, and fans of the first book may not feel compelled to pick up the sequel, a novella.  For a good old-fashioned mystery I highly recommend The One You Love and look forward to new books by Pilkington in the future.


What the ratings mean:

Bookmark it!–Read this book and then buy it and add it to to your own collection.  It’s definitely worth it!

Borrow it–Check this one out from the library; it’s a worthy read, but think twice before spending your hard-earned money on it.

Bypass it–Free time is precious.  Don’t spend it on this book!

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