“Emma Holden’s nightmare has just begun. Her fiancé vanishes, leaving the battered and bloodied body of his brother in their London apartment. Someone is stalking her, watching her every move. And her family are hiding a horrifying secret; a secret that threatens all those she loves. In a desperate race against time, Emma must uncover the truth if she ever wants to see her fiancé alive again…”
“In London, England, Emma Holden and her friends are trying to move on from the horrific events surrounding her fiancé Dan’s kidnap. But a shocking revelation drags them back into the nightmare and forces them to question everything they once believed to be true. More secrets will be revealed, more lies will be told, and more lives are under threat…”
“The One You Love”, which saw the light of day back in 2011, is the debut novel from North West author Paul Pilkington. It’s successor, “The One You Fear” (2013) is a novella set a month after the events of the first book. The third part of the Emma Holden trilogy is 2014 book “The One You Trust”.
In the first book we meet the central character of actress Emma Holden, as she embarks on her hen night the week before her wedding to Dan. Her brother Will calls her asking where the groom-to-be is as it’s also the stag night. Before long we discover that Dan’s brother is bloodied and battered in Emma and Dan’s bathroom and Dan himself has vanished. Is he responsible for his brother’s injuries?
Emma is worried that history is repeating itself – but we are quite some way into the novel before we begin to find out exactly what happened a few years previously. Far too many twists and turns take place for me to summarise effectively here, suffice to say that pretty much every character seems to have secrets, a hidden past, and more people than you would suspect seem to be capable of killing someone.
And I think that’s the problem here. There don’t seem to be any normal innocent characters at play. There are really too many who could be guilty, with the exception of Emma who seems to attract trouble and unwanted attention without trying.
Nonetheless, I persevered with book two and have to sadly admit that I almost wish I hadn’t bothered. Early on in “The One You Fear” there is a revelation of something that the person eventually unmasked at the end of “The One You Love” that, if true, would mean that their own actions in the first book would make no sense.
Somehow the author has manage to find yet more folk within Emma’s world who want to deceive and even kill – and again it’s all to get at her. Stretching credibility a bit thin is probably an understatement.
Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy reading both instalments to a degree, but found them too frustrating to really recommend them wholeheartedly and won’t be reading “The One You Trust”. That said, if you fancy a kidnap / murder mystery that’s not too taxing then this trilogy may do the job…