Book review: The One Who Got Away by Caroline Overington

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 Permalink

What I particularly love about Caroline Overington’s work is that she’s not afraid to tackle controversial issues – not to mention the fact that her books are contemporary and very timely.

In No Place Like Home Overington wrote about refugees and asylum seekers. And in 2014’s Can You Keep A Secret, she ventures into the virtual world and has readers pondering how much they should be sharing online and how much of what we read is true.

Her latest – The One Who Got Away – is a little different, but no less powerful.

Book review: The One Who Got Away by Caroline OveringtonThe One Who Got Away
by Caroline Overington
Published by HarperCollins - AU
on April 26th 2016
Source: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0732299748, 9780732299743
Pages: 336

Loren Wynne-Estes appears to have it all: she's the girl from the wrong side of the tracks who's landed a handsome husband, a stunning home, a fleet of shiny cars and two beautiful daughters ...

Then one day a fellow parent taps Loren on the shoulder outside the grand school gate, hands her a note ... and suddenly everything's at stake.

Loren's Facebook-perfect marriage is spectacularly exposed - revealing an underbelly of lies and betrayal. What is uncovered will scandalise a small town, destroy lives and leave a family divided.

But who is to be believed and who is to blame? Will the right person be brought to justice or is there one who got away?

I assumed from the backcover blurb that it was something in Loren’s younger years which comes back to haunt her. But it isn’t… the secret which is exposed is not even really her secret. But one which destroys her world.

I very much enjoyed this latest offering from Overington.

We’re in the heads of Loren, her step-sister Molly, a reporter / TV presenter, and a judge. It’s quite an eclectic bunch but ultimately makes sense. I – initially – wasn’t quite sure of Overington’s decision to make the judge a narrator as I assumed him to be a minor player, but it works.

There are a few twists and turns and information’s eked out via different sources, so it’s clever to share events from different points of view. The timing of the novel jumps about a little: some sections are written in the present; and others, some time after the events they’re relaying or recapping. And there’s a diary….

The inclusion of the different narrators and timeframes help maintain the novel’s pace and keep us guessing. It’s ultimately a psychological thriller so we’re left wondering who did what.

It’s actually difficult as I can’t touch on much of the plot without giving significant portions away, but – for a change – comparisons to Gone Girl are quite accurate.

The book’s well-written and the characters rounded, though I didn’t feel I knew them well. We’re only privy to some of them second hand however, and our narrators are *possibly* not completely reliable – which is… of course… part of the point.

I’ve only read two of Overington’s previous novels but know there are over half a dozen. I mentioned earlier that she’s not afraid to tackle the big issues and that her work is topical, but I also particularly love that her books are quite different. Her ability to come up with an intriguing plot and run with it is very impressive.

The One Who Got Away by Caroline Overington is published in Australia by Harper Collins on 26 April 2016.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes.

  • Tea Time with Marce
    May 3, 2016

    I was completely into this one then of course the Gone Girl comparison, sigh. I was not a fan so it just stalls my choices a little.

    • Debbish
      May 3, 2016

      I tend to ignore the comparisons but felt this was true plot-wise… we’re left with second-hand information, husband suspicious, family involved etc… And I was the same re Gone Girl. I think others have done domestic noir better.

      • Jay
        December 8, 2017

        Can you explain the ending?

        Its messed with my head majorly

        • Debbish
          December 9, 2017

          Jay I can’t actually remember the novel now I must admit! I’ll come back to you if I re-read it though!

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