By Ekta R. Garg
April 9, 2014
Rated: Borrow it
A newlywed thinks the horrific events of her husband’s kidnapping have passed for good. When she and her friends begin receiving cryptic messages, however, she knows the nightmare isn’t quite over. Paul Pilkington rounds out his Emma Holden Mysteries with the satisfying conclusion to the series in The One You Trust.
Emma and Dan go to Mauritius to enjoy their honeymoon. After the harrowing experiences of Dan’s kidnapping and dealing with Emma’s stalker, husband and wife feel they fully deserve the holiday. Their friend, Lizzy, volunteers to look after their apartment in their absence, but when she receives an anonymous note addressed to her at their residence she knows that once Dan and Emma come back she will have to give them the bad news. The police may have reassured everyone that life had returned to normal, but, in point of fact, it hasn’t.
The messages continue to come, along with a photograph, and Lizzy hesitates when the blissful couple returns. She doesn’t hide the truth from them for long, however. They’ve already undergone several instances to test their trust in one another, and she doesn’t want to give Emma and Dan any reasons to doubt her loyalty.
Meanwhile, Emma’s brother, Will, wants to get back in touch with Sally, the woman who had planned to kill him but then backed out at the last minute—literally. Will contacts Sally and asks her whether they can begin a friendship. Sally agrees reluctantly, but then she second guesses that decision. When Lizzy, Dan, and Emma share the information with Will about the notes, they all begin to wonder whether Sally might have something to do the messages. She certainly had enough motive to hurt Will and Emma before, and they surmise that just because she made the right decision weeks ago to spare Will’s life doesn’t mean she’s let go of the notion of revenge.
In the midst of all this, the detective assigned to Emma’s case informs the friends that the person who kidnapped Dan has escaped from prison. While the detective cautions Emma, Dan, Lizzy, and Will to stay alert to their surroundings and report any unusual activity, he doesn’t think Peter Myers will harm Emma and Dan or even try to contact them in any way. The friends feel otherwise, but they don’t have any concrete evidence to support that idea. They know, though, that Peter Myers won’t let go of the fact that they sent him to prison.
Author Paul Pilkington creates an incredibly likeable cast of characters in Emma, Dan, Will, and Lizzy. While readers might wish he had given the detective slightly more dimension, the focus stays on Emma and her predicament and holds readers’ attention enough to excuse the stock supporting character.
Frequent reminders about what happened in the previous books might eventually start to come across as pedantic; Pilkington feels compelled to explain practically detail that connects this book to the previous two in the trilogy. Those who didn’t read the first two books, however, might appreciate receiving the information so that they don’t have to infer quite so much on their own.
Ultimately the book works on the good old-fashioned concept of mystery. Readers won’t want to stop reading until they reach the end and find out whether Emma and Co. will prevail, and in his signature style Pilkington doesn’t reveal any of his cards until almost the end. He teases readers with the questions he proposed, some of them related to the first book: Will Peter Myers come for Emma? Who sent the anonymous notes? Why won’t the stalkers leave them all alone? Pilkington accomplishes all of this on the strength of the story without resorting to cheap tricks or tawdry scenes. Readers will appreciate his adherence to his genre and enjoy the book all at once.
For those who read the first two books, definitely read The One You Trust. If you haven’t given Pilkington’s books a try, definitely start with the first book in the series and stay tuned all the way through this third one. The entire series is worth it.