My oh my, what a book this was! I even forfeited a sunny Sunday to plough through this one.
One Step Behind by Lauren North
Jenna is a wife, a mother, a doctor. She’s also the victim of a stalker.
Every time she leaves her house, she sees him. Disturbing gifts are left at her door. Cruel emails are sent to her colleagues. She has no idea who this man is but she feels powerless against him.
Until the day he is brought into her hospital after a serious accident, and Jenna is given the chance to find out once and for all why this man is tormenting her. Now, the power is all hers.
But how many lines is she willing to cross to take back control of her life?
The darker a book is the better it is for me, which is why I found One Step Behind an outstanding read. I could really feel how on edge Jenna was. Every shadow, every noise had her jumping out of her skin. It was natural to feel sorry for Jenna and everything she was going through but the fact that she was a flawed character stopped her from becoming one-dimensional. As the stress from her stalker hits peak, she makes some questionable moves. Some I understood but it was hard to 100% feel for her when she wasn’t being the greatest mother to her two young kids.
Although the story is mostly told from Jenna’s perspective, the author did a great job of making the reader feel the impact the stalker was having on her family. Daughter Beth rathers the company of other mothers than her own, son Archie has bedwetting problems, and although her husband Stuart comes across as strong and supportive, it’s clear he has some niggling worries of his own.
When a book is based around the stalker, you know that plenty of twists and turns are on the horizon. I wasn’t disappointed by any of them, but I did feel that the final reveal was a bit too late. I would have liked it a chapter or two earlier and then have more time spend on the aftermath. Still, it wasn’t a big deal. It couldn’t have been if I read One Step Behind in less than 24 hours!
One Step Behind is released on 3/9/2020.