Why we Love It: Caroline Overington’s latest novel, The One Who Got Away is a twisted yet funny psychological thriller that culminates in a gripping courtroom drama.
Loren Wynne-Estes has a seemingly perfect life – a beautiful home on the ‘high side’ of an affluent Los Angeles suburb, a drop-dead gorgeous husband, cute twin girls and all the help she could need. But underneath this charming veneer, husband David is a total creep and far from the great catch she’s convinced herself he is. She’d always been warned about him, even back when they started dating in New York, but did she listen?
No, of course she didn’t. Once married with young children, Loren and David’s sex life disappears without a trace (other than the twins). David’s other sex life is only just ramping up though and the things that David is getting up to behind her back would make a regular sleaze-bag look chaste. Inevitably, events catch up with David, and his financial and personal life seem about to implode. So when Loren goes missing on a Mexican cruise, suspicion falls on David. But will he manage to talk himself out of trouble this time?
We were utterly absorbed by the characters in The One Who Got Away; they are likeable and funny, except David who we love to hate, and the dialogue is sharp and convincing. With the story told from the perspective of different characters – the wronged wife Loren, her outraged stepsister Molly, cheating husband David, and even the trial judge, we’re never quite sure who to believe. Be warned, this is one of those books where you will neglect doing anything else until you’re finished – a real page-turner with lots of twists and turns, and we doubt you’ll see the final one coming.
Though set in New York and the suburbs of Los Angeles, it’s a depiction of a small-town suburb, with all its petty snobberies and suspicions. Overington’s observation of people’s behaviour in the digital age is well observed and often humorous, especially in the final courtroom scenes. Her skillful storytelling – the masterfully controlled plot and carefully teased-out action – creates the upmost tension and suspense. We’re literally on the edge of the seat throughout, with lots of guessing to do and, like Loren, wondering who to trust…
#79 Australia’s Top 100 2016
Watch our live interview with Caroline below: