Review: The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards

The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards is a terrifying new thriller that follows a down-on-his-luck dad and his bullied son, an out-of-place detective, and a serial killer that connects them all.

Read Debbie Meldrum's review, and then make sure to sign in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of The Lucky Ones!

Ben Hofland’s life went sideways the day he walked in on his wife and his long-time friend together. He moved back to his old hometown in Shropshire with his eleven-year-old son, Ollie, to regroup. Even back home, things aren’t going well. Ben’s mother is terminally ill, he is out of a job, and their next-door neighbors have loud fights at all hours of the night. 

Ollie is also not adjusting to the upheaval in his young life the way Ben had hoped. He takes his son out for a day of exploring. They end up in a place called The Museum of Lost Things. Ollie becomes interested in a pile of old comics, so Ben continues by himself.

I climbed to the dusty top floor and found myself in a room filled with objects of a more sentimental nature. A locket containing a photograph of a little girl. A cheap-looking engagement ring. A packet of photographs depicting a family seaside holiday. A baby’s rattle. An urn that supposedly contained someone’s ashes. As I contemplated the urn, a man entered the room. He was tall and slim, with sandy hair. His head was down so I didn’t see his face, but from his clothes I guessed him to be in his late twenties. Oddly, he turned and left immediately after he saw me, acting like he’d intruded on something.

Meanwhile, DI Imogen Evans is also trying to adjust to her own move to the country. Many of her coworkers resent her. Being the lead on “The Viper” murders has not helped matters. A year in, they are no closer to catching the killer. Her superior may be regretting his decision to make her lead on the case. Plus, a hotshot reporter from London is calling her out at every turn.

Imogen figured the best way to deal with Karen, who had less charm than some of the murderers Imogen had put away, was to be assertive. Don’t back down because, if you did, the pathologist would push you to the ground and walk all over you.

Soon after they’d met, Imogen had persuaded Karen to go out for a drink. Watching the other woman sip at a small glass of wine, pulling a face like it was pure lemon juice, Imogen had asked Karen why she’d chosen to be a pathologist.

“I don’t get on very well with people,” she’d replied. “Not ones who are still breathing, anyway.” Another wincing sip of wine. “And the dead rarely disappoint me.”

She had to be taking the piss, surely?

Small towns. They always seem so peaceful and friendly. Everyone knows everyone else. That is the best thing about small towns—but it’s also the worst. It makes it difficult to keep secrets, even relatively innocent ones. 

The characters who inhabit this small town are familiar, but each one has their own twist to keep them from being clichés. Surfaces can be deceiving. The author gives the reader plenty of viable suspects and potential victims. A few could qualify as either. I found myself rooting for some to make it through and—I’m a little ashamed to admit—for one or two to fall prey to The Viper.

While I’m confessing, I have to admit that I’m a sucker for a story with multiple points of view, especially when the shifts are done well—and The Lucky Ones does them extremely well. One point of view we get is that of the murderer, which is a nice device to give the reader a hint at motive without a lot of exposition by either a long Bond-style monologue from the bad guy at the end or by a forensic specialist profiling from two fingernail clippings and a rare moth.

Most people think of a “summer read” as a light, fluffy story—something read in an afternoon at the beach or while sipping iced tea on the veranda. But if you’re looking for something more substantial that will still keep you turning the pages to find out what is going to happen next, this just could be the one for you.

Comment below for a chance to win a copy of The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards!

To enter, make sure you're a registered member of the site and simply leave a comment below.

TIP: Since only comments from registered users will be tabulated, if your user name appears in red above your comment—STOP—go log in, then try commenting again. If your user name appears in black above your comment, You’re In!

The Lucky Ones Comment Sweepstakes: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  A purchase does not improve your chances of winning.  Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry.  To enter, complete the “Post a Comment” entry at beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) June 16, 2017. Sweepstakes ends 2:59 p.m. ET June 27, 2017. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.


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Debbie Meldrum reads just about everything she can get her hands on. She was the short fiction editor for Apollo's Lyre and the Editor in Chief of the Pikes Peak Writers NewsMag. She's currently putting the finishing touches on her first novel.

Read all of Debbie Meldrum's posts for Criminal Element!


  1. Michael Carter

    This looks great.
    Yes, please enter me in this sweepstakes.

  2. T

    I’d love to read this book – it has so many interesting elements – my kind of book.

  3. Sharon Haas

    Sounds really good! I like ‘small towns are creepy’ stories. Thank you!

  4. Burma

    This book sounds so good, I would love to win a copy. This is my favorite kind of book! 🙂

  5. L

    Wow. Sounds very interesting. I’m already worried about the little boy and the strange man in the museum. What is going to happen next?

  6. Karen Mikusak

    Would love to win!

  7. pearl berger

    Ths novel sounds intriguing. Thanks.

  8. Esther Whatley

    I haven’t read this author and would love to win this. Sounds like a great read.

  9. Pearl Berger

    Captivating novel which I would enjoy.

  10. ellie lewis

    Fascinating storyline. Many thanks.

  11. Karen Terry

    It sounds like a good read.

  12. Patrice Gottfried

    A great giveaway!

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  14. Carolyn

    Sounds like an excellent summer read!

  15. Janice Milliken

    Can’t wait to find out who are “The Lucky Ones”.

  16. Janice Milliken

    Can’t wait to find out who are “The Lucky Ones”.

  17. Terrie

    Sounds like a great read!

  18. Daniel Morrell

    looks like a fun one

  19. Peter W. Horton Jr.

    A serial killer story! Yes!

  20. Polly Barlow

    There certainly sounds like a lot going on in this serious summer read.

  21. vickie dailey

    i like when a story takes place in a small town – a place where you think you know everyone – but you never really do

  22. Dan Carr

    Make me the Lucky One!

  23. Terry Pearson

    Count me in! I love thrillers / crime / suspence / mystery, my favorite genre.

  24. susan beamon

    I need this book in my library.

  25. Laurent Latulippe

    This sounds like a fun read.

  26. Lori P

    Didn’t take long to draw me in with this review. The Lucky Ones indeed sounds like a very good choice for a Summer read!

  27. Mary Ann Woods

    Sounds like a book that’s hard to put down but easy to read. Just my favorite kind of novel.

  28. Wanda Johnson

    Sounds like my kind of book. I’m worried about his son while he’s in room checking out the old artifacts. Would love to win this book.

  29. Susanne Troop

    Sounds great!

  30. Susanne Troop

    Sounds great!

  31. Vernon Luckert

    Looks like a good thriller.

  32. Melissa Keith

    I love the sssssmell of thrillerssss in the morning. Thissss book appealssss to me greatly. I want to meet ‘The Viper’.

    I alsssso LOVE Britisssh authorssss and bookssss ssset in England. Pleasssse ssssend! 🙂

  33. Eileen Sharp

    Looks great! count me in!

  34. Eileen Sharp

    Looks Great ! count me in!

  35. Eileen Sharp

    Looks Great ! count me in!

  36. Kyle Johnicker

    Sounds interesting!

  37. Shaunterria Owens

    I’d like to read this one, fingers crossed!

  38. Saundra K. Warren

    Awesome! Sounds good!!

  39. johnna smith

    sounds very intriguing. I would like to try this author! Thank you for the chance

  40. pat murphy

    Love to read it .

  41. Anastasia

    I’m intrigued! 🙂

  42. Rena

    This looks good. Would love to win it!

  43. vicki wurgler

    this book sounds so good thanks

  44. Muscoe22

    This thriller sounds like my kind of book – hope to win!!!

  45. bill norris

    would love to read this

  46. Wanda Johnson

    I hope I win, it sounds like a good book!

  47. Marisa Young

    Would like to read this book.

  48. April

    This book has so many elements that I can relate to in my life right now – down on luck, bullied kids, just not the serial killer lurking part. At least I hope!

  49. April

    This book has so many elements that I can relate to in my life right now – down on luck, bullied kids, just not the serial killer lurking part. At least I hope!

  50. Sally Schmidt

    A different kind of summer read, sounds marvelous. On my TBR list now. Thanks for the giveaway.

  51. Liz Lenz

    Can’t wait to read

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Comments are closed.