Book Number: N/A
Read this book for: serial killer, unique MO, rural English mystery, suspense thriller, psychological mystery
Quick Review: A serial killer thriller made more interesting with a different way of killing the victims and good use of idyllic rural England to heighten suspense.
When a woman’s body is found in the grounds of a ruined priory, Detective Imogen Evans realises she is dealing with a serial killer—a killer whose victims appear to die in a state of bliss, eyes open, smiles forever frozen on their faces. A few miles away, single dad Ben Hofland believes his fortunes are changing at last. Forced to move back to the sleepy village where he grew up following the breakdown of his marriage, Ben finally finds work. What’s more, the bullies who have been terrorising his son, Ollie, disappear. For the first time in months, Ben feels lucky. But he is unaware that someone is watching him and Ollie. Someone who wants nothing but happiness for Ben. Happiness…and death.
THE LUCKY ONES is a story told on two fronts: the hunt for a serial killer that leaves his victims looking like they died at the happiest moment of their lives (with a few chapters from the killer’s point of view), and Ben’s attempts to rebuild his life and relationship with his son Ollie during a messy divorce.
It’s Ben’s story that really carries the full weight of the suspense in this novel. He’s doing his best to try to build a quiet life for himself and his son, and you spend the whole novel absolutely on edge, wondering when the danger that you can see circling his family will manifest, and how. It’s a great and interesting way to add tension to the serial killer hunt plot.
The serial killer hunt plot is something you would recognize from TV shows like Criminal Minds, or most crime series when they write the inevitable serial killer novel. However, I did appreciate the unique, if somewhat convoluted touch, of a serial killer who was going to a lot of trouble to make his victims die happy. It was nice to see a different touch.
The other different touch to this novel was something I really appreciated – the use of the idyllic rural English setting of quiet villages and peaceful country lanes to create a stark contrast between the peaceful surroundings and this terrifying serial killer that seemed to strike at random.
THE LUCKY ONES is a good choice for anyone looking for a solidly plotted and satisfyingly twisting serial killer story!