The One You Love by Paul Pilkington (Book Review)

The One You Love (Emma Holden Suspense Mystery, #1)The One You Love by Paul  Pilkington
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Did I get the same download everyone else did? I’m not seeing near the quality others seem to see. This is quite possibly the most poorly written book I’ve read in my life. I mean that. I have a rule about not finishing badly written books, because life is short and there’s just too much good stuff out there, but I wanted to see if this literally was the worst book I’d ever read. I’m pretty sure it was.


“I have to do this.” “If it helps me find out,  then it’s worth it.” “If I don’t go in there now,  I’ll regret it later.” “I can’t let things go without trying to find out for sure.” “I am scared but I still have to do this.” “I can’t take not knowing.” “I have to do something.” “It’s the chance I have to take.” “We’re here now,  let’s do it.” “There’s only one way to find out.” “I have to check it out.” “She would have to go down there in the dark, or give up.”

Over and over and over.

And then there was the interminable build-up to the deep dark terrible something that happened in the deep dark past. Dunh-dunh-DUUUUUNNNNHHH. The constant almost-tells weren’t suspenseful; they were just annoying. To be fair, I should concede their effectiveness, as they kept me reading to find out if the big bad secret was worth all the buildup. It wasn’t.

The characters’ lackwittedness was amazing. Emma in particular is a beanbrain. She accosts a photographer and forcibly takes the film from his camera, then turns the pics over to the police. Okay. But on the other hand, she doesn’t turn in her vanished fiance’s phone after it mysteriously turns up in her father’s mailbox, reasoning the police wouldn’t know what to do with it. Puh-leeze. Very little of what the characters do and say makes much sense. They are not developed at all, and seem to do things only as devices to push the story forward.

There is no sense of place. I know I was in London because I was specifically told that several times, but I did not feel London.

Another peeve: what is wrong with telling me that a character “said” something? In this book they noted, stated, admitted, conceded, countered, revealed, insisted, interrupted, suggested, lied, confirmed, announced, prompted, commented, reiterated, queried, lamented, comforted…ad nauseum.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I read this identical sentence: “I don’t know,” Emma admitted. I could take myself out for a nice meal.

Overall, it was like reading a soap opera script that was written by a teenager. I could easily see the dramatic downstage turns and the backlighting and the generically staged and propped sets. The book was mostly dialogue, and that dialogue was cheesy and unnatural and overdramatic.

I hate cliffhanger endings that don’t bring the story to a close. The only writer I’ve ever read who can get away with that is Tolkien. Don’t try to manipulate me into buying the next book. Make me want to buy the next one, by doing a good job with this one.


I appreciate a book that is not riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors, so thank you for that.

Nice short chapters and good stopping points. I like to pause reading at the ends of chapters and I dislike endlessly long chapters.

It was a page-turner, if only because I wanted to see if things could get any more ridiculous.

The storyline wasn’t bad; it was the execution that wasn’t good.

It was free. I have found some gems in the Amazon free list, but this time I got what I paid for. I will not be reading the rest of the trilogy.

View all my reviews


Author: Deborah Lee

I like trees, dreaming, magic, books, paper, floating, dreaming, rhinos, rocks, stargazing, wine, dragonflies, trains, and silence to hear the world breathe.

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