Title: The One That Got Away
Author: Simon Wood
Release Date: March 1, 2015
The One That Got Away is a gripping thriller that tells the story of Zoë Sutton, a young woman who is living with survivor’s guilt. Fifteen months ago, Zoë and her friend, Holli, were abducted by a man while on a girls’ trip to Las Vegas. Zoë escaped the man, Holli did not. Fast forward to present day and the former PhD student is working as a temperamental mall cop who tends to put herself in dangerous situations. During a night of bar hopping, Zoë notices a news report describing a murder that eerily resembles Holli’s. Zoë bombards the police investigation and attempts to help the police find the murderer, who the media refers to as the Tally Man. She soon finds herself in danger when the Tally Man discovers who she is and decides that he must finish his business with the one that got away.
The novel is predominantly told from the points of view of Zoë and the Tally Man, named Marshall Beck. Zoë is a very unhappy woman and it is obvious that she has suffered trauma. I think her actions are authentic to someone who has been traumatized, even if those actions aren’t always likeable. The point of view of Marshall Beck is creepy and the reader is allowed to see his everyday life as a financial worker at an animal shelter, and then witness him torture and murder his victims. Marshall continuously rationalizes his actions and believes that he is helping society. At times, his point of view is enough to make the reader’s skin crawl, but his thoughts and actions are never too disturbing. The interactions between Zoë and Marshall were really intriguing and there is always an air of suspense when the two share a scene.
I think the supporting characters in this story were likeable. Officer Greening is a police officer who takes particular interest in Zoë and in her case. He seems to act as a defender and is a pretty likeable character. Dr. Jarocki is Zoë’s therapist and I thought that Wood did a good job portraying him. Although he is the villain, I thought that Marshall Beck was the most interesting character and I’m glad that Wood took the time to reveal his background. I think this made his character more authentic and gave him a believable motive.
Overall, I really enjoyed The One That Got Away. I thought that it was very interesting that Wood decided to portray Marshall Beck as a human being who thought he was doing good in the world, instead of just portraying him as an evil villain. I think this made his character more dynamic and made for a more complex story. There are some scenes of violence and torture, but I didn’t think that the scenes were ever too grotesque. Although Zoë is never really happy, her actions didn’t ever seem annoying or irrational. She was simply a traumatized victim who wanted her abductor brought to justice. This novel was fast paced and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good thriller. It was a quick read and very hard to put down.
If you have read The One That Got Away, I would love to hear your thoughts as well. To view The One That Got Away on Amazon, please click here.
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