Book review: The One You Love by Paul Pilkington

Lancashire author Paul Pilkington’s Emma Holden mystery trilogy was an ebook sensation, topping the Kindle charts on both sides of the Atlantic, and now a revised and expanded print version is set to hit the shelves.

Friday, 28th February 2014, 9:00 am
The One You Love by Paul Pilkington
The One You Love by Paul Pilkington

So if you like your thrillers action-packed, full of breathtaking twists and turns, nail-biting cliffhangers and with more surprises than a magician’s hat, then this could be just what you’re looking for.

Hot off the presses is The One You Love, the first novel in the trilogy which was downloaded over three million times and introduces us to actress Emma and her desperate race to track down husband-to-be Dan Carlton.

In just over a week, Emma is due to marry her live-in fiancé Dan and both of them are out on the town in London for their last separate nights of hard-partying singledom.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It should be a carefree night but when Emma’s brother Will phones her to say that Dan hasn’t turned up at his stag do, the alarm bells start to ring for her. She has been let down in love before and really thought that this relationship with Dan was the real deal.

Her life has been on the up recently, particularly with the tantalising prospect of a forthcoming audition for a dream film role in a new British rom-com after years of appearing on a daytime TV soap opera.

Along with a worried Will and best friend Lizzie, Emma beats it back to her flat in Marylebone to see if Dan has left any clues to his whereabouts.

What they find there is shocking… evidence of a vicious scuffle in the kitchen and Dan’s brother Richard beaten up and left for dead on the bathroom floor.

Dan has been acting ‘weird’ over the past few weeks but surely he wouldn’t do this to his own brother who has sunk into a coma and is fighting for his life in hospital.

Without any evidence, suspicion for the attempted murder inevitably falls on the absent Dan but Emma refuses to believe his guilt and when crime scene photos are splashed across the pages of London tabloids, she realises that someone is following her and watching her.

Soon a long-hidden family secret seems to unite Emma’s troubled past with her dangerous present and, as time runs out, her trust in her family, friends and Dan faces the ultimate test…

Pilkington propels readers through a maze of hidden secrets and dangerous obstacles at breakneck speed, scattering clues and puzzles along the way to bewitch, bemuse and bewilder.

What sets out as the story of a pretty ordinary bunch of people thrown inexplicably into mystery and mayhem evolves into a morass of lies, manipulation and betrayals from all quarters.

Guessing outcomes and predicting plotlines is virtually impossible as we are carried along on an emotional and exciting rollercoaster ride into unfathomable territory and perilous mysteries.

The One You Fear and The One You Trust, the second and third books in the trilogy, will be published by Coronet in May and August this year and if you want to learn more about Paul and his books, visit his website at

(Coronet, paperback, £6.99)