Lucy Clarke’s gripping and slow burning thriller is the most effective page turner of a read that editor Emma Clarendon has read this year.
It takes an author of prestigious talent to be able to blend a thriller, travel, friendship and secrets so effectively into one book – and Lucy Clarke has done that with great style in One of the Girls, which is a simply unputdownable read that thrilled and intrigued me from start to finish.
Lexi and her friends are on their way to a Greek island for Lexi’s hen do – a few days of sunshine and laughter are set to be in store – but also it is a trip filled with secrets as hidden histories emerge. There’s Lexi’s best friend Bella – a confident and upfront person who distrusts Lexi’s partner Ed, Eleanor Lexi’s future sister-in-law who is still grieving for the loss of her partner Sam, Fen who is Bella’s girlfriend, childhood friend Robyn and Lexi’s new friend Ana. Together, it seems as though none of them have that much in common but as the story begins to unravel the way their lives are interlinked becomes increasingly clear.
What immediately grabbed my attention from the first page is the way in which the structure of the book has been cleverly constructed from the present to the foreshadowing of what would happen that keeps the reader guessing as to which direction the story was going to take next. Meanwhile the characters had enough contrast between them to enhance that feeling of not knowing who you can really trust out of them all.
This is a read that has plenty to be uncovered, whilst highlighting the beauty of the surroundings in which they are supposed to be enjoying, making quite striking contrasts throughout. Having just come back from Greece myself – I imagined myself being there with them. But equally, there is a sense of intimacy about the book with the chapters being divided between each character to offer a detailed and insightful look at things from each of their perspectives.
It is an increasingly intense read, enhancing that feeling of not wanting to put the book down at any point (quite a few late nights sitting up reading this let me tell you) or rather surprisingly not wanting to let any of the characters go – given they were so vividly written.
It is a stylish and vivid read with plenty to grab the attention and genuinely keeps you guessing right to the very end. A impressive read indeed.
By Emma Clarendon
One of the Girls is available to buy now.