Jenna – a forty-one year old married mother of two who works as an emergency room physician. Jenna feels she is failing completely as a mother due to the long hours of her work and her absolute devotion to her medical career. Her husband Stuart, is taking up the slack, doing most of the childcare, cooking and household chores and their marriage is under strain.
It is not surprising then, that Jenna is overcome with stress when a stalker makes himself known, leaving her threatening emails, nasty gifts, etc. Her worry about this stalker is affecting every aspect of her life, her children are afraid, she has insomnia, she is constantly exhausted, and her work is suffering. After almost a year of being plagued by her stalker, living in constant fear, the police are still no farther forward in apprehending him.
Then one day, she is working in the ER when her stalker, whom she recognizes, comes in with multiple traumas after being hit by a bus…
Sophie – is thirty years old and lives with her boyfriend Nick (who also happens to be her boss). She is a personal trainer. Her relationship with Nick is unhealthy. He is controlling and bullying.
Sophie has a adopted brother, Matthew, who has always been ‘different’. He came to their family at the age of five after a horrible early childhood.
Between her brother and her boyfriend, Sophie feels trapped in her life, and longs to escape their constant attentions.
Firstly, what a fantastic title! It fits the novel so well on two levels. Jenna’s stalker is always “One Step Behind” her, and also, Jenna is valiantly trying to maintain a work/life balance and she is always “One Step Behind“.
Jenna’s oath as a medical professional to ‘do no harm‘ is put to the ultimate test with a moral dilemma that rocks her world.
This is a domestic thriller, and one that I’ll remember for quite some time. The reason is the vivid imagery of the descriptions, and the plot twist that I really didn’t see coming. Yes, I had my suspicions about part of the twist, and I was correct… yet, the second part of the twist was a jaw-dropping moment.
The characters were vivid, realistic, and relatable. The story was compelling and caused me to almost feel Jenna’s fear, exhaustion, and insecurities.
I highly recommend this thriller to fans of the genre and am eager to read more of this author’s work.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Transworld Publishers/Random House UK via NetGalley.
ISBN: 9780552176095 – ASIN: B082H37DFW – 363 pages
Lauren North writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.
Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside.