Review | The Lucky One by Caroline Overington

 The Lucky One

by Caroline Overington 
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia 
Release Date: April 24th, 2017

I was immediately sold at the mention of a “castle”. My friends all know that I have this weird obsession with castles and mansions – perhaps it’s from watching too many Disney princess movies when I was younger, but I think the haunting aesthetics and historical value have something to do with it too. So a book about a family living on a 150 year old castle? 

Now that’s a book I cannot miss.

The Lucky One was certainly a satisfying read. Divided into 4 parts, my feelings jumped from intrigue, to understanding, to skepticism and then finally, jaw-dropping surprise. The ending was unsettling – but the best kind of unsettling.

Part 1 set the scene. Two corpses had been dug up on the land that was formerly owned by the Alden-Stowes. One was of a burnt old man (Owen) and the other of a child from 6 years ago. While the two corpses seemed unrelated, the police are not ruling out a potential serial killer. We hear bits and pieces of this Alden-Stowe family, and the drama, and complicated family dynamics really piqued my interest. I wanted to know who these people were, why they hated each other, and did someone from this family kill the 2 people that were found? There was the perfect amount of mystery, suspense and anticipation on my part to read on and find out exactly what happened.

Part 2 is where I got my answers. Told from the perspective of Eden, whose mother was married to Owen’s son before he passed away several years ago, we learned the story about what happened in the weeks leading up to Owen’s death and why he was buried unceremoniously in the cemetery on the estate.

To be completely honest, a good chunk of Part 2 felt unnecessary – there was too much dialogue and I would skim whole pages without missing anything important. The bickering between Jesalyn (Eden’s mother) and practically every other Alden-Stowe was occasionally dry and other times too dramatic. But perhaps that’s actually what happens within certain families? The story was very straight-forward: you have a bunch of money-hungry people who are buried under mountains of debt,  whose eyes shine brighter than the stars at night when faced with the possibility of walking away with almost a million dollars. If murder was what caused Owen’s death, then you certainly have a motive here.

Despite everyone’s greediness, however, it was apparent that no one within the family was a murderer. They were selfish, disrespectful, condescending assholes, but they weren’t evil. That was my impression of them anyway.

But the question remained: could they have been desperate and money-hungry enough to kill an old man with dementia in order to secure the money?

Part 3 wrapped up the mystery. Back in the present, the police are gathering evidence and deciding whether they have enough to arrest and prosecute the “conspirators”. There’s a trial, witnesses, everything seemed to add up but the case is still circumstantial.  Throughout the whole trial, I thought “this can’t be right. I don’t believe this is true.”

Then Part 4 caught me off guard. I was simultaneously dumbfounded and awestruck because everything made sense. Part 4 was so eerie, I got goosebumps just reading it. Especially the last paragraph – that’s going to stay with me for a while.

Overall, i was immensely impressed with The Lucky One. It’s a psychological thriller that is on par with some of my favourites – The Girl on the Train and Dark Places. Corrington will now officially be on my list of authors to look out for in the coming years.