The Lucky Ones

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jun 2017

Member Reviews

Quite brilliant.  Mark Edwards you did it again...
Ben is now a single father, after his marriage to Susan broke down he and his son Ollie moved to beautiful Shropshire,  away from the noise of London, Ben thought this would be the best for them both,  a new start...
A sadistic killer is watching,  he's no rampaging crazy, he has patience and bides his time. Everything must be perfect, and the key to his killings is happiness....
Dark and twisted this book kept me guessing and from chapter to chapter I changed my mind on who the killer was....outstanding
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This is an edge of your seat book that you won't be able to put down. Another Mark Edwards triumph. Highly recommended.
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First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Mark Edwards, and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Yet another powerful thriller from the mind of Mark Edwards, pulling the reader into the middle of a serial killer's rampage, fuelled by an interesting justification. DI Imogen Evans is on the hunt for the Shropshire Viper, someone who has been injecting victims with morphine. While the investigation intensifies, Evans learns of an odd connection between the three victims; something that could blow the case wide open. Is there a degree of 'luck' or 'happiness' tied to these killings, for both the killer and the victim? In a parallel narrative, Ben Holland has been struggling as a single father, back in the village of his youth. Raising his son, Ollie, and trying to begin divorce proceedings, Ben has been unable to find his niche as he struggled to redefine himself. With the Viper in the area, Ben is forced to confront his estranged wife, Megan, and her new beau, a glitzy television presenter. How will it all play out and does someone have a little 'luck' that they might be able to pass along to Ben, under the right circumstances? In this crime thriller that pulls the readers in many directions, Edwards shows how he has earned the reputation of being a fabulous writer. Perfect for those who want to up their heart rate and ponder where the killer might be lying in wait.

I have always found Mark Edwards to be at the top of his game and this novel only further exemplifies that. Working with this one-off novel, the key is to create characters who are both easy to explore and fast to present their backstories. Pair that with the ever-evolving storyline of a murder investigation and the reader is required to juggle a great deal and keep names straight in short order. Edwards writes in such a way that this is no impediment to the larger narrative and the reader is hooked by everything that is going on. Through the interesting technique of random chapters told through the eyes of the killer, the reader is able to discern a few key elements of the crime and crawl inside to better understand the 'lucky' mindset that might be feeling these murders. With a wonderful mix of short and longer chapters, the reader hangs on every word and utilises the cliffhanger moments to propel themselves towards the end, unsure how they were able to finish so quickly. Once Edwards has the reader in his grasp, there is no letting go, until the final sentence. Even then, there is an eerie quality of 'what if' that keeps the reader pondering. Stellar work by one who has earned the right to call himself great!

Kudos, Mr. Edwards for another wonderful thriller. How you come up with so many wonderful ideas leaves me baffled, but please do not stop. I can see scores of new fans flocking to you once they get their hands on this piece.
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This story is centred on a serial killer. This is a serial killer with a difference. This serial killer wants his victims to die happy. In the same village as the serial killings is Ben who has recently split up from his wife is trying to start again in the village he grew up in along with his 11 year old son Ollie. Things aren't going well for Ben, his son is putting on weight and becoming more and more unhappy. He is struggling to find work and is still missing his wife. Things are about to get a lot worse for Ben. 

I have read most of Mark Edwards books. There are only two of his books that I haven't read due to the subject matter. The serial killer aspect is something a little different and at the start of this book I thought that this is going to be more of a crime novel but I was mistaken. This is definitely a psychological thriller. I really enjoyed this story and thought it was a little bit different to Mark's other books. The story kept me interested and at no point did I feel bored. I could not read the last quarter of this book quickly enough. Although I didn't guess who the killer was I did guess the twist. My only negative about this book is that I got a bit confused as to the relationship between some of the characters.
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I have long been a fan of Mark Edwards work, having first read his books written with Louise Voss, I was keen to see if he could maintain the high standard I had come to expect from his books. I had no worries there, obviously!!

The Lucky Ones continues this high standard in this latest thriller. It's a tricky one to write a review on without giving spoilers so I'm going to keep this short and sweet.

If you have any sense, get comfy, wait for peace and quiet, then prepare to be sat on the edge of your seat while you try and work out the many twists and turns in the frightening thriller.

A definite best seller which will see you literally shouting at some pages (he's behind you!!)
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The Lucky Ones is a gripping psychological thriller.  The plot has many twists and turns and kept me on the edge of my seat.  Reading this book was like being on a roller coaster.
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Another cracker! Just love Mark Edwards! Really enjoyed this book even though it was 'creepy!' - in a good way!!
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Now this is a book which combines two very intriguing things for me. Firstly you have the writing of Mark Edwards who certainly thrilled with his last book, The Devil's Work, and secondly, intriguing for me at least, is that fact that this book is set in my home county of Shropshire. There is nothing I like more than being able to identify with places that books are set and Mr Edwards certainly paints the normally quiet county a very different colour with his new thriller, The Lucky Ones.

When Ben Hofland moves back to Telford from London following the breakup of his marriage, little can he know how much this is going to impact his life. Beyond the obvious challenges it brings to him and his son, Ollie, it also puts him in the sights of someone who wants only happiness for the people around them. Eternal happiness. And Detective Imogen Evans thought she had moved away from the rat race and the high profile murders when she moved to the sleepy county of Shropshire. Nothing could have prepared her for what she and her team were about to discover - a serial killer who will stop at nothing to complete their vision including targeting Imogen herself.

Now. Don't get me wrong. I love my home county. It is beautiful, peaceful, idyllic even. So when I read that Mark Edwards was about to terrorise the county and bring death and destruction upon us, I was well up for reading it. What could he possibly write that would make sense in a county where the majority of the area is rural. Anything too violent would seem out of place - perhaps jarringly so - an potentially push the reader away. Thankfully he has been much more subtle than that, creating a tense and yet understated story which is totally in keeping with it's setting. 

When I say understated, do not for one moment think that this book doesn't still deliver on thrills and tension because it absolutely does. But this is a cold and calculated killer who has been planning their kills for some time and while the act of murder in itself is brutal and unforgivable, in the murderers eyes there is a kind of twisted logic to what they are doing. And it does make a kind of sense after a fashion, the killer trying to provide an almost humane death to their victims. It does cause confusion for the police and getting to the truth will not be easy.

In terms of characters, outside of the passages when we are treated to the perspective of the killer, a person who has very deep rooted issued which become clearer as the book goes on, the story mainly follows Ben as he navigates his new life back in Telford and Imogen as she investigates the murders. Both are very empathetic characters and I grew to like them a lot. There were times when I wanted to slap Ben out of his funk, still grieving as he was over the end of this marriage, but ultimately he was a good guy trying to make the best of a very tough situation. And Imogen was a strong and intelligent woman, someone who deserved a little bit of happiness.

As I said before, this is not your fast action thrill ride. Heck, if you tried that out here you'd soon find yourself stuck behind a tractor! But it still has a core of menace, those chilling moments when you can feel the noose tightening around Ben and Ollie; when you know that the events that occur are moving ever closer to Ben coming face to face with the killer. And in the meantime - well why not just sit back and enjoy the scenery. The author has done a stunning job of capturing the essence of the county in his writing. Perhaps being the scene of a body dump doesn't place Wenlock Priory in the kindest light, but if you aren't at least partly intrigued about coming to visit our wonderful county after this then you really don't know what you are missing. I for one was inspired to get back out there and visit some places I haven't been since my childhood, even some places I've never seen myself before. Brilliant writing.

A chilling and thrilling 5 stars from me.
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I want to thank Netgalley, the publisher and author for an advance copy of this book for an honest review.

This is the first book by Mark Edwards that I have read. I am definitely hooked. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

When I started this book I was intrigued. I made it about half way through and didn't want to put it down. The tension from the half way point was so intense I thought my heart would explode it was beating so fast. 

I was guessing until the end. I was surprised by the big reveal. This was a definite nail biting thriller. 

I will be recommending this book to everyone who loves a good thriller.
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What a great read. Fast paced, exhilarating and well written. I found myself trying to find clues in everything I was reading. Highly recommended
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I have been on a thriller kick lately! So this next one was creepy. It's basically revolving around a serial killer in this small village and he's killing off people (while leaving a smile on their face!). The story takes the perspective of a few different characters. You have Ben, father to Ollie, and who somehow finds himself in the heart of this thriller. He's dealing with finalizing his divorce, getting back into good graces with his son who now lives with him, dealing with unruly neighbors, and also trying to make himself a successful freelance writer. It's a lot to handle! Yet oddly, things start to turn around for him.

Then you have Detective Imogen Evans who has moved to this small town from London and it's her first serial killer case. It's tough because she's trying to manage her team, prove herself worthy of this position she's in, and trying to figure out exactly how these people are connected who have been killed.

Oddly the book only deals with mostly two different perspectives - Imogen and Ben. You also occasionally have the perspective of Ben's wife's lover Michael (very convoluted, I know) who works as a reporter and he's trying to get the big scoop on Imogen (but oddly finds himself roped into this serial killer story). Oh and you also occasionally get the perspective from the killer himself.

I was a bit thrown off by the varying perspectives. That's always a bit confusing to me at times and this took me a bit to get into. I was captivated in the book when Ollie got involved in the middle of the serial killer case. That peaked my interest and I couldn't wait for the father to question what was going on with his son.

It's not quite the "edge of your seat" thriller as some books, even as it nears towards the end. But it's that feeling of HAVING to know what's going on that kept me going back and reading the book. And there's also an unexpected twist at the end that made this book pretty exciting.

Unlike a lot of thrillers that I've read, the romance is very light in this book. The focus mostly is on the relationship between Ben and the people around him, including his ex-wife, Ollie, and the people involved in the case. Ben is a sympathetic character, but I didn't quite root for him enough in the story, though. I really liked Imogen's character. I really connected with her and her passion for finding the killer and doing the right thing by her team and by the case made her very likeable.

I'd give this three and a half stars. It's worth reading, although a bit of a rocky start for me.
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Detective Imogen Evans has moved to Shropshire from London and is investigating two murders when a third body is found.  All three have been injected with morphine but there does not seem to be a connection between them.  Ben and his son Ollie have moved to Ironbridge, Ben's homewtown, after the breakdown of Ben and Megan's marriage.  His mother has terminal cancer and Ollie seems to be struggling to settle down in his new home and the fact Ben can't find a job doesn't help matters either.  Then things seem to get better - he gets some freelance work and Ollie seems to be happier at school but what Ben doesn't know is that someone is orchestrating all these things - the same person that orchestrated things for his first three victims - the person the press are calling "The Viper".  Ben and Imogen are brought together through different aspects of this a case.  A great read from start to finish - thoroughly enjoyed it - didn't work out who the culprit was at all.  Imogen Evans is a very strong character and I look forward to reading more about her. 

Thanks to Netgalley, Thomas and Mercer and Mark Edwards for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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As a huge Mark Edwards fan, I was delighted to receive an arc of this book from Netgalley, thank you to them and to the publishers.
Mark Edwards is a fantastic author, he hasn't written a bad book yet and believe me I have read them all! This one is more of a police procedural than his past ones which were more psychological thrillers, but I will forgive him that as Detective Imogen Evans is a brilliant character! A serial killer is stalking the rural setting of Ironbridge, the lucky ones are those that die with a smile on their faces, he/she has given them a 'good death'!! Pretty gory in parts, well there is a serial killer involved! I loved the character of Ben, who has moved to Ironbridge with his son Ollie who is being bullied at school. The way Ben thought he was being so vigilant with Ollie's use of social media, not realising he didn't actually have a clue what he was up to, was very realistic! 
Brilliant book, I absolutely loved it. My favourite of his has to be his debut Magpies, please give it a read if you haven't already.
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Wow! The author will have you thinking just maybe it's this and it's no where near what you thought. In my opinion, that alone makes this a great book! Suspense, a little romance and a lot of action!
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I found this book a bit slow and don't particularly enjoy books where the killer is already known.
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Captivated from the start. A very clever novel full of tension and deception.
Well written with great characters and setting.
I have read Marks previous books and he really does up his  game every time.
One i will be highly recommending.
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This is a very well written psychological thriller with a creepy killer that leaves smiles on his victims faces. Knowing the area where it is based I could picture some of the events happening. It held my attention from the start to the finish, it is fast paced and had me guessing to the end.
Highly recommend it
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Fantastic book but that is to be expected from Mark Edwards. Harder to get into than his past novels but fantastic payoff as always.
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Excellent book.  Great main characters and plot.  I would recommend this book.
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What a totally amazing and riveting story . Loved Imogen and the other characters . With an ending that leaves you almost begging for more
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