The Lucky Ones

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jun 2017

Member Reviews

This was just an okay read, nothing special. There was enough action to keep it from being boring. It just didn't grab my attention.
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Another great read by Mark Edwards, though not as compelling a story as The Magpies.
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I did enjoy this book and will recommend. I'd read the author again.
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Bestselling author, Mark Edwards returns following (2016) The Devil’s Work with his latest THE LUCKY ONES a twisty psycho-thriller featuring a serial killer who wants his victims to die happy. 

Perfectly happy and ready to die. A killer who tries to make his victims’ lives perfect before he kills them. 

Set in Shropshire, we meet a detective, an average man who desires a better life, and a killer. Told from different POV with two parts. 

Who will be “The Lucky Ones?” Does he "make" them happy? How does the murderer know what needs fixing in their lives? 

Detective Imogen Evans knew bodies were not discovered in picturesque places like this. Her first serial killer, the man the tabloids called the Shropshire Viper had struck –a snake, fangs glistening with venom for the third time.

A killer who likes a little cocktail of morphine to keep his victims smiling.

Ben Holland is newly separated (cheating wife), raising an eleven-year-old son, Ollie on his own. Things are not going well and his finances are strained. His mom has terminal cancer. He is down on his luck. However, soon his luck may change. 

The killer is one evil guy (of course Edwards is no stranger to unique twists). The Viper wants his victims to die in bliss. He wants them to die happy. He manipulates their lives and circumstances and turns their life around, to end their life on a good note. 

There does not seem to be a link between the victims and DI Inspector Imogen Evans is driven to solve this crime before he strikes next. The Secret of Happy Place. Why does their body turn up in their “happy place?”

Intense! If you are a fan of talented "thriller King", Mark Edwards— you have come to expect gripping, entertaining and a well-crafted twisty plot with characters who come alive on the page. 

From suspenseful plotting and solid character development, this complex fast-paced page-turner will keep fans reading into the wee hours of the morning— nothing predictable here! 

Top-of-the-line thriller writing with remarkable skill. For fans of Stephen King, Linwood Barclay, Paul Cleave, and Jennifer Hillier. For new readers who enjoy a mix of crime, humor, and psychological— suspense, mystery, horror, and thriller.

If you have not read Follow You Home (2015), highly recommend —one of my favorites! Top Books of 2015. 

A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer for an early reading copy. 

Also purchased the audiobook narrated by Simon Mattacks for an edge-of-your-seat chilling performance.

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This is definitely a page turner!  There are enough twists and turns to keep you engaged and guessing, which isn't always the case with this sort of novel, and the characters are really interesting.  I loved Imogen!  I'd like to see more from her.  Ben and Ollie are quite a pair- their interaction is wonderful. I was surprised at how things worked out.  This could have easily gone down the gruesome lane but it doesn't.  Edwards has a clear sense of when to stop and when to pull threads.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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The Lucky Ones

I've read a few of Mark Edwards' books and one things for certain, you're always guaranteed an entertaining read!

A serial killer who considers their victims 'The Lucky Ones', they all appear to die in a state of bliss and he's providing happiness to them in their deaths. 

This is an edge of your seat, breath holding thriller that has some great twists, as well as being slightly 'twisted'! 4* from me!
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As I’ve said before, when I see that Mark Edwards has a new book out, I know to clear my schedule for the next few days. No ones better at crafting a chilling, eerie thriller that will stay with you for weeks afterward.

“The Lucky Ones” is no different.

It’s Edwards’ take on a police procedural, and it is a great twisty ride that you won’t be able to put down until the last page – which is a good thing because it doesn’t all finish up until then.

The book follows two people: Detective Imogen Evans who is chasing a serial killer who just claimed his third victim, and Ben, a single dad who is struggling in the wake of his separation from his wife. The two will cross paths as they both realize they are in the crosshairs of the most dangerous criminal to shake up their sleepy English town.

I don’t want to give away too many plot details because it’s fun to see everything unfold. Edwards has a talent for creating unique stories that will both fascinate and scare you. And this guy – “The Viper” as he’s known in the book – is very creepy indeed. There’s a feeling of something being “off” throughout the entire novel, casting a dark, suspenseful shadow over the book, which is delicious as it grows and grows.

At certain points, I thought I knew where things were headed, but the ending proved me wrong. It’s really all in the details here, and putting them together is how you can figure out this puzzle.

I still think my favorite Edwards novel is “Follow You Home,” but “The Lucky Ones” is certainly a great addition to anyone’s library.

Highly recommended.
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Another amazing read from the ever so talented Mr Edwards ! I have enjoyed all his books and this one was no exception. Great characters, great plot , great writing ! Looking forward to his next one . My thanks to netgalley and the publisher for my opportunity to read 4.5 stars
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This was definitely a page-turner! I stayed up late last night reading most of this thriller and I have to say, I would have finished it if my eyes had cooperated. You'll read this through three pov's: the "victim", the detective, and the killer. I thought this was a great way to get in the minds of all involved. Instead of "just" seeing where/how the detective was getting along, or "just" what the killer was thinking, or how the victim was were able to see & understand more from them all. So that was one aspect of this thriller that I very much appreciated. The pacing was good also. I was never bored or wanting the novel to move along faster. I really liked the characters also. Mainly the detective, Imogen Evans, and Ben. I hope to see more of them in the future. The ending was also amazing! I can't say much without spoilers but I found it to be very satisfying. 

If your looking for a great thriller to keep you up at night, then look no further than The Lucky Ones! I know I'll be checking out more books by Mark Edwards.

**Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Another corker from Mark Edwards, who hasn't produced a dull novel yet.  When people are being murdered with smiles on their faces, the fear is that a serial killer is in operation.  DI Imo Evans starts to uncover the evidence and may have identified the next target - but can she keep him safe?  4 stars
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Well well well. Should I be surprised that this author Mark Edwards has left me gasping for breath at the end of this read? Definitely not! Compared to other books written by Mark Edwards I should have known that I'd be left with the thought "What a fabulous enjoyable read that was!"

Do not read the Letter from Author at the back of the book until you've read the full story. It might give away details that may spoil your enjoyment.

I personally look forward to reading The letter at the back from Mark as he intrigues me on how he comes up with his subject matter.
This sounded like a challenge to him at times working on themes and intricately adding data and making it as factual (even though it's fiction) as possible.

The plot is water tight. 
The book is long with short snappy chapters that lead us awe inspiringly into another.

It's told in two parts. It's been very cleverly knitted together where the seams are invisible.

I was glued to this book. And I love how some authors make areas of known parts that are real come to life.
This author does that.

He clearly makes each person in his story become reality to us readers, breathing life bit by bit. I imagine them as empty shells and as we read air gets pumped into them bit by bit as we learn and understand the characters he's created.

A couple of reviewers who have knowledge of certain factual within this book have pointed out some "mistakes" for the majority of us who just enjoy a good plot, excitement and ignore some mistakes will find this an acceptable in the degree of the brilliance of this authors work.

The DI female is a formidable woman. 
She's come from a big town to a small village/town that has never seen the likes of what has been happening here, and maybe, will never see again....
But who knows.

We are thrown off the scent a few times and I have to humbly admit to being fooled, I was held out on the climax big time with this one for sure.

The attention to detail was a delight to read and some amusing sentences believe it or not.

Ben was such a lovely person trying to raise Ollie his son the best way he could since his marriage split up.
Not always did it go to plan.

There were several characters in their happy places within this thrilling thriller that gripped me by the throat as much as the Villian gripped Ben by the balls.

An absolutely superb read.

Thank you to Thomas & Mercer, Mark Edwards and the Publicist for my copy.
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Seriously creepy and creative. This is a book that's hard to put down. Mark Edwards has said this was made to be a standalone, but I'd be very interested in a continuation of this story! The characters were intensely likeable and multi-faceted, and I want more! My rating is a 4.5. 

Happiness... it means something different to all of us, but all of us crave it. I can't imagine most murder victims die happy... but there's a serial killer at large, and his victims are left with smiles on their cold faces. Detective Imogen Evans, new to the area, is tasked with finding the murderer. They're struggling to figure out why and how he picks his victims... and it's clearly something he plans ahead. The citizens of the small village are terrified to have their very own serial killer among them... used to thinking of their home as safer than big cities. Now the Shropshire Viper is all they can talk about... and their little town is suddenly in the papers. 

Ben is a father of an eleven year old boy and has recently separated from his wife over her infidelity. He's come back to his hometown with Ollie, his child. Luckily, he arrived after the murders began, or the townsfolk might be looking at him as a suspect. He's clearly been having a rough time lately. Divorce is looming on the horizon, his neighbors are jerks, he's having money troubles because he can't find work, Ollie is being mouthy and difficult, and his ailing mother may not have much longer to live. He's stressed out beyond belief... but then things start to look up. Guess he's just had a stroke of luck... right? 

You won't have to wait long until these two stories intersect. What you will have to wait for is the truth... there's enough red herrings in this book to make your head spin. Another winner from Mark Edwards. 

I received an ARC of this novel from Net Galley and Thomas & Mercer, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
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The Lucky Ones is a clever psychological thriller about a serial killer targeting those who are at their “happiest.”

After his wife leaves him for another man, Ben and his 11 year old son, Ollie, move from London to Shropshire to make a fresh start. With his personal life in shambles, Ben wonders if he made the right decision to move. Very slowly, Ben’s luck changes and good things start happening for him and Ollie. However, what Ben doesn’t realize is that the good luck he has been experiencing is not what it seems. 

At the same time, a serial killer known as “The Viper” is creating a state of terror. After killing his victims, he manipulates their bodies in such a way that it seems like they died in a state of “bliss.” The killer believes that dying happy makes one “lucky." This deranged individual targets his victims, makes their dreams come true, and then kills them. Without an obvious link between the victims, the police have little to go on to find the killer. Detective Inspector Imogen Evans is desperate to find The Viper before he strikes again.

POV’s alternate between Ben, Imogen, and the killer.

What makes The Lucky Ones stand out is Mark Edwards’ strong writing--he knows how to draw the reader in with sharp sentences and developed characters. I especially loved the chapters told from the killer’s warped mindset. This is a fast-paced, action packed, entertaining read with a surprising twist. 

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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I seem to have read little apart from crime thrillers recently, and was beginning to feel a little jaded. The original premise of this book, however, made it a stand-out.  The Lucky Ones is a thoroughly good read about a twisted ‘guardian angel’ who leaves his dead victims with smiles on their faces. I enjoyed strong, assertive, gutsy DI Imogen Evans who has washed up in Shropshire and misses the excitement and diversity of London. The story dips into a number of different themes, including the relationship between mother and son, bullying and the dangers of the Internet. Despite covering so much, and all the twists and turns, Mark Edwards keeps the story tight and engrossing. He introduces a string of great characters – both good and bad. Even those with cameo appearances are memorable. Karen Lamb, the pathologist, for example, is a gem. Described as having less charm than some of the murderers Imogen had put away, she doesn’t get on very well with people – not ones who are still breathing, anyway.
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How have I not read any books by this author before ? Where has he been, or where have I been? So this was twisty complex and scary as hell,and dark.I think I've just about covered it with that description,oh and people die with a smile on their faces what the hell is that about....I really can't say much more because I don't want to spoil it for other readers .I really enjoyed this and definitely want to read more by this guy now.Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an ARC in return for an honest review.
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Wow! A read to keep you between the pages and then throw you all over the place! Ben has separated from his wife and has taken his son Ollie to live where he grew up in Shropshire away from the hustle and bustle of their previous life in London. DI Imogen Evans has been put in charge of  a murder case that is not proving to be as straight forward as first thought when they gave it to her. Other murders start happening and she soon realises that there is a serial killer on the loose - one whose MO is far from the norm. This is a cleverly written book. Written in the first person for some of the chapters (Ben and the perpetrator) which gives it a more personal feel so that you warm to Ben whilst having that eerie feel about the killer. Life has thrown several curve balls to Ben- his marriage is history, his son is having issues and his mother is dying. I’m not giving anything away but the poor guy doesn’t really know which way is up especially as he has only just found a job and a precarious one at that. There is a thread of clues along the way like a trail left in the woods for you to follow, and the chapters reel you in to want, no need , to find out more. A stunning read. Be Happy!
I voluntarily chose to read this ARC and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
(all links posted today 15/6/17)
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This book was excellent from start and finish . Mark does something about them that make it happens .
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The lucky ones by Mark Edwards.
It was the happiest day of her life. Little did she know it was also the last.
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.
Fantastic read with brilliant characters.  Couldn't put it down. A shocker of a read. 5*.  Netgalley and Thomas and mercer.
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I love a good serial killer novel... I especially love one that puts a new twist on it and in The Lucky Ones that's exactly what Mark Edwards has done.

Imogen Evans realises she's dealing with a serial killer when a body is found in  the grounds of a ruined priory in Shropshire... the difference is this body looks like it died in a state of absolute bliss... troublesome for the detective to say the least.  
Alongside that we have Ben Holland who is carving a new life for himself and his son, Ollie.  Just when things seem to be going right for them for once things take a sinister turn as someone is watching them.

Mark Edwards is a skilled psychological thriller writer and in The Lucky Ones his experience and creativity show.   This is a stunning novel which amid the warped mind of the killer and the pulsating menace, succeeds in evoking a strong sense of place.  The beauty of the 'Shropshire idyll' is starkly juxtaposed with the dark menace of a killer with a strange agenda.  By contrasting murder most foul in lovely innocent seeming locations Mark ratchets up the tension creating a suspenseful, edge of the seat read.
You smashed it, Mark!
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It’s the highlight of my year when a new Mark Edwards book is published! His books have just been getting better and better so I’m always dying to see where his warped imagination is set to take me next. He is one of the few authors I can trust to shock the hell out of me and I am consistently scared witless by the little nods to the horror genre that he slips into his plots with ease. Saying that, this is probably not one of his most visually scary storylines for me as it veered more towards crime thriller/police procedural than usual but that didn’t stop my enjoyment of it one little bit!

What sucked me in most this time were the wonderfully observed characterisations. I just loved the awkward but loving relationship between Ben and his son Ollie. Ben was struggling with becoming a single parent after the breakdown of his marriage to Megan and a new start had to involve a move back to his childhood home of Shropshire to be close to his dying mother. After the first grimly described murder, it becomes obvious from the killers POV that Ben and Ollie are going to be on this serial killers hitlist. How many times have you thought “If that happened to me at least I’d die happy”? Well, that is literally what this murderer wants to do for you!!! On his trail is the gorgeous but self contained Imogen. Can she figure out who he is before it’s too late for Ben and Ollie?

It always fascinates me how Mark takes little vignettes from real life and weaves a whole fictional story around that chance meeting or overheard conversation. His mind really does work in a mysterious way! Once my head is stuck in a Mark Edwards book, it isn’t coming out until I’ve sucked it dry. There were the usual twists and turns here, some expected others coming as quite a shock, and a whole cast of suspects who gathered together in quite the shoal of red herrings! I really enjoyed it from start to (very creepy) finish and I still shudder even now when I think about those murder victims laid out for discovery with those smiles on their faces.

Mark Edwards does exactly what he sets out to do with his books. He entices, he shocks and he entertains. Whilst this book hasn’t overtaken The Magpies for me it is still an engrossing and chilling crime thriller with characters that I would love to meet again (well, most of them anyway and not in real life….or the dark!!!)
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