One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis
Published by William Morrow ISBN 978-0-06-234007-8
Hardcover, $25.99, 304 pages
Like The Girl On The Train, One Step Too Far is also set in London. As we meet Emily, she is on a train running away from her husband and young son, but we don't know why. We learn that she is a twin, and her sister Caroline has led a troubled life, in comparison to Emily, who was always the good girl.
Caroline always felt that her mother didn't love her as much as she loved Emily, a feeling that is based in fact. Their father Andrew is a womanizer, and had a distant relationship with his daughters.
When Emily met Ben, they fell in love and began a wonderful life together. Their wedding was beautiful, until a drunken Caroline ruined the day, and Andrew slept with Caroline's friend. But Ben and Emily did their best to not let family bring them down.
Something bad happens, we don't exactly what it is, but it causes Emily to run away to London, change her name to Cat and move into a disgusting flat with several other strangers. Angel, a flatmate, can see that Cat is fragile, and takes her under her wing.
Cat gets a job in marketing, and works her way up the ladder. She also drinks too much and uses drugs to mask her pain. What happened to Emily to drive her to abandon her old, happy life?
My initial thoughts had something to do with her twin sister, and I kept looking for clues along the way to confirm my suspicions. But Seskis does a marvelous job getting the reader turning the pages to find the answer, and the tag line on the book's cover- "No one has ever guessed Emily's secret. Will you?" is pure genius, keeping that uppermost in the reader's mind. Kudos to whomever came up with that one.
We are drawn into Cat's new world, feeling her pain as she tries to start over and forget whatever it is she is running from, while Ben searches frantically for her. Although we are constantly wondering what caused Emily to run, she is such an interesting character, and I found her journey, particularly her determination to decorate her new room, completely engrossing.
When we do find out what happened to Emily, I confess to being totally shocked and gasping audibly. I was reading on a beach, and I could see heads around me turning when I found out, wondering what I was reading.
One Step Too Far is a perfect beach or airplane book. It's a propulsive page-turner that is best read when you have uninterrupted time because you will become obsessed wondering what caused Emily to run. But it is not only the plot that will move you; Emily/Cat is an unforgettable character and you will pull for her to find peace.
rating 4 of 5