Book Review: The Lucky One by Caroline Overington

Title: The Lucky One

Author:  Caroline Overignton

Published: May 1st 2017

Publisher: Harper Collins Books Australia

Pages: 336

Genres:  Fiction, Contemporary, Crime, Mystery, Thriller

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 3 stars

Keep your secrets. Tell your lies. The gripping new psychological thriller from the author of the bestselling The One Who Got Away.

An old castle …

For more than 150 years, a grand house known as Alden Castle has stood proudly in the hills above the historic town of Paso Robles, home to a family weighed down by secrets and debt.

A fresh body …

When, after much rancour, the castle is sold, billionaire developers move in, only to discover one skeleton after another, including a fresh corpse, rotting in the old family cemetery.

An unsolved mystery …

As three generations of the well-respected Alden-Stowe family come in for scrutiny, detectives will discover a twisted web of rivalries, alliances, deceit, and treachery. Set amidst the rolling hills of the California wine district, and featuring gold-digger wives, a frustrated housekeeper, a demented patriarch and forbidden love, police must decide: who has died? Who has survived? And who, amidst all this horror and betrayal, is the lucky one? 

My review:

Australian Book Industry Awards for 2017 nominee Caroline Overington brings a whole different style of novel to her audience with her latest release, The Lucky One. Still a psychological thriller of which Overington is best known for, The Lucky One is a clever whodunit novel, which delivers a shocking late twist. It is a novel that will definitely leave you scratching your head in pure disbelief.

Alden Castle situated in the wine dominated country location of Paso, California, is at the centre of this psychological mystery novel. The Alden-Stowe’s have owned this expansive property for over 150 years. However, the costs associated with keeping this grand estate running to capacity can no longer be sustained by the Alden-Stowe’s and the property falls into the hands of developers. When the developers start to move in on the property, they make a grim discovery, a fresh corpse in an old family graveyard. As questions begin to mount up over the identity of the dead body, as well as the possible murder suspect, the police place the whole Alden-Stowe clan under suspicion. The Lucky One is a twisted tale of lies, deceit, greed and self-preservation.

Caroline Overington is a favourite author of mine, I have read all her fiction releases to date. Her books are also an immediate auto buy for me as soon as they are released. I love her focus on the psychological. Overington’s novels seem to have the ability to make me turn the pages as quickly as I can possibly go and I frequently have difficulty physically tearing myself away from her novels. So, I went into this book with the high expectations of loving The Lucky One. My expectations were not quite met with this novel, it certainly had the potential to be a very good whodunit novel, but I think I had issues with a couple of areas, which I will go into within this review.

The Lucky One is an ambitious novel character wise. The character count is high in this novel and I have to confess I had trouble keeping track, as well as connecting to another of them. Eden is one of the main characters in the novel and part of the Alden-Stowe family, she showed glimmers of likeability. Her family members are all pretty unlikeable and perform some fairly despicable acts through the novel. There is a shroud of mistrust that follows this family for the majority of the novel.

The Lucky One has a cracker of an opening, which immediately drew me in to the story. The middle of the novel on the other hand tended to drag and my interest seemed to wane. However, the pacing picked up in the final quarter or so of the novel, drawing a shocking final conclusion that floored me. The ending, especially the final sentence, left me reeling.

A favourable part of this novel was the setting. I thought Overington really excelled in this part of the book. Alden Castle is portrayed well on the page by Overington’s setting descriptions. It is the ideal setting for a classic whodunit to play out. With an array of suspects and motives aplenty, Overington keeps the reader on their toes on this side of the novel.

The Lucky One is definitely an entertaining novel but it left me pining for Overington’s earlier works, mainly the topical social issue based psychological thrillers. I would recommend Caroline Overington’s 11th novel to readers of crime fiction and the classic whodunit mystery.

The Lucky One by Caroline Overington was published in May 2017 by Harper Collins Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Lucky One, Caroline Overington, visit here.




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