Thursday, June 12, 2014

ONE OF US (2014)

One of UsOne of Us by Tawni O'Dell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who the heck is Tawni O'Dell and why haven't I heard of her before? Maybe I should pay more attention to Oprah? Apparently a couple of years back one of her selections was the author's Back Roads.

I've read a couple of other Oprah choices and enjoyed them, so I looked a little more closely when I was offered the chance to read One of Us, which won't be available until late this summer.

What initially attracted me to One of Us was that it was a thriller with settings in Pennsylvania, places where I lived or visited growing up. I probably saw the allusions to a similarity with Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl too.

Sheridan Doyle, Danny to his friends, has overcome a difficult childhood and reinvented himself as a highly successful and recognizeable forensic psychologist in Philadelphia; but the minute he returns to his small Pennsylvania coal town to see after his aging grandfather, the past and his insecurities come rushing back.

Although set in the present, it is the connections, lies, and secrets from the past that intrude and drive the story. Lost Creek was the site of the hanging of a group of rebellious miners a century earlier. When a body is found on that site, things become complicated.

Told by two different narrators, we're well into Danny's account when Scarlet's version begins. Their connections run deep into the past. Danny's background is blue-collar while Scarlet's wealthy family has owned the mine for generations. The reader can't help but enjoy the descriptions of the things that these two share in common. Are they really that different?
With a dark, Gothic feel, this psychological thriller is an entertaining page-turner.

Bottom Line: Highly recommended for thriller readers. Crisp writing and some real surprises are served up.

Title: One of Us
Author: Tawni O'Dell
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Gallery Books
ISBN: 1476755876
No. of Pages: 304 pages
Copyright: August 19, 2014
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: NetGalley

DISCLOSURE: Invited by NetGalley to request and receive this title for an honest review.

Tawni O'Dell is a bestselling author of four novels including Back Roads, which was an Oprah’s Book Club pick and a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection. Back Roads is currently in development to be made into a film. Her works have been published in over 40 countries.
Tawni was born and raised in the coal-mining region of western Pennsylvania, the territory she writes about with such striking authenticity. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and spent many years living in the Chicago area before moving back to Pennsylvania with her two children.
(Source: Official website)

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