The secrets women carry and the lengths they will go to in order to preserve those secrets are hot in genre fiction right now. Done well, these novels can be utterly compelling and difficult to put down as our inner voyeur rushes to discover the big reveal and pass judgement on the protagonist. Done poorly and the novel is an exercise in frustration and one giant eye-roll.
After reading an unfortunate spate of less than stellar novels in this genre lately, I found Seskis’ effort a refreshing change: One Step Too Far was well plotted, the scenario plausible, and the characters quite empathetic all around. This is how a well-done book in the genre *should* read.
Seskis’ story caught my attention from the first chapter with her introduction of a wife and mother running away from her family. We don’t know why she is running, but I was immediately interested. The story shifts with each chapter. One chapter might fall back to her childhood, revealing something relevant. The next chapter might bounce back to present day as she creates her new identity. The next shifts back to her wedding day. And so on. Something is revealed each time, but not enough to figure out the big picture. The tension just increases until everything explodes and, of course, we finally find out why she ran away. And the fall-out in everyone’s lives that comes after.
The entire novel had a tightly-plotted feel to it and I couldn’t find any loose ends lying about, something I’ve developed an appreciation for. This is an author to watch. She originally published this novel and another herself before Harper saw the sales potential and grabbed them. I expect to see more from her and suspect as her style matures, the novels will get even better. Recommended.