BOOK CLUB: The Ones You Trust

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Author: Caroline Overington
Publication Date:
20 August 2018
Harper Collins
Courtesy of the Publisher

Wow! What an intense introduction to Australian author Caroline Overington.

Emma Cardwell is a celebrity mum, one of the hosts of a top-rating morning show. She seems to have it all, and the whole world knows it. Her life has been in the spotlight for as long as she’s had a spot on the couch. Her schedule is hectic; contrary to popular belief her day isn’t over when the show finishes, after that she has meet and greets, advertiser functions, and pre-recorded story shoots. Often her work day starts before the sun comes up and runs right through until it’s down again.

Monday October 12 was one of those days. Out of the house at 3.45am and not back until 8pm, it is also the day of the week that Emma tries to pick her youngest up from day-care for some special mummy-daughter time. A string of things went terribly wrong on Monday October 12 and 17 month old Fox-Piper ended up missing from day-care.

It isn’t long before every aspect of Emma’s life is under scrutiny as the police try to discover what became of Fox-Piper. We are fast led to question what we know about all of the characters as we wonder just who can be trusted. Once the police are involved the media aren’t far behind and we watch from both sides as Emma’s own network cashes in on the drama and the heartbreak for her family as they fear for what might become of Fox-Piper.

Morning show Cuppa has had the top spot for many years but recently the new show Brew on a rival network is started to affect their ratings. They have a young and perky reality show contestant as the host and audiences are switching to Brew. The team at Cuppa are feeling the pressure and know that they need a ratings boost.

The boost is certainly delivered by the breaking news story that is the kidnapping/disappearance of Fox-Piper. We watch the media circus set up camp outside her house, at the same time as the publicity manager for the Stellar network (home of Cuppa) Maven is inside the house trying to make sure that Stellar gets the best of the coverage to deliver the boost they so desperately need.

Overington has expertly woven the suspense through this story to leave us no clear direction to theorise in. I had suspicions throughout and it turned out I was way off, and there was a big twist saved right for the very end that totally hit me from left field and I love that.

The Ones You Trust takes an intimate look inside the lives of the celebrities but also the way that the media machine can work, and it’s far from pretty. There is definitely a big difference between the public persona and who these people really are.

Overington has written a gripping fictional tale that rings true. It’s a disturbing reflection of the state of the world that this does ring so true. It is topical, contemporary life in a digital world and it really is sad to think that this could happen.

I am very conscious of spoilers because there are some delicious twists in this one so I need to be careful. The Ones You Trust leaves you questioning whether it’s wise to trust anyone, especially when it comes to the safety of your children. The police investigating the case are determined to leave no stone unturned; no-one is above suspicion and lead detective is suspicious that something isn’t adding up but he can’t put his finger on what it is either.

Well developed characterisation, unfortunately realistic scenarios and an insightful look at the media from the inside. I actually found it quite interesting to read the perspective of a paparazzi photographer and the massive changes to the industry now that we live in such a digital world with smartphones boasting high quality cameras.

I’m actually going to leave it at that, I recommend you get your hands on a copy for yourself if you love a gripping psychological thriller that will keep you guessing. I will be adding Caroline Overington to my list of authors to watch after this one.

The Ones You Trust is book #41 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2018.

Caroline Overington can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

Thanks to Harper Collins 15 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Ones You Trust and I look forward to hearing what they think. Please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

15 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Ones You Trust

  1. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for allowing me to review “The Ones you Trust” by Caroline Overington.

    Emma Cardwell, a well known morning show host of Cuppa who works for the Stellar Network, has a happy and luxurious life, married to Brandon and two boys, Hudson and Seal and a their dear little girl Fox-Piper.

    All is great in Emma’s life until the day she realises Fox has disappeared from her day care centre after Brandon forgot to collect her. She was signed out early in the day, but by who and where have they taken her. How did the day care staff not notice anything unusual about it.

    The main story line unfolds over 2 days/nights, where everyone is suspect and all are interviewed. It is throughout this that you get a sense of how each person knows Emma and the story behind them. A police investigation begins to try and locate Fox, a media frenzy sets up outside her home and an Amber Alert is made. Operation #FindFox begins.

    Maven, the Stellar Network PR /crisis management Guru gets involved and sometimes she gets in too deep. But it is Maven who gets the tipoff about Fox’s whereabouts and decides for media ratings for the show she will take matters into her own hands. It shows you an insight into how media works and what they really are hungry for, and that is ratings.

    It was well written and you don’t know anything about where Fox had been taken to until 3/4 way in, even then it still had you guessing for a while longer. The last 1/4 tells the story of the aftermath over a 3 month period. And OMG what a twist it was, I could never have expected that ending

    It really keeps you in suspense as to who has taken Fox and why. It makes you keep turning pages. Il be looking into reading more of Caroline Overington books for sure.

  2. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare – your child going missing…. That sinking feeling when you can’t see them for a minute in a shopping centre, let alone them disappearing for hours on end from day-care – the one place you think is safe! This is what Emma Cardwell (star of breakfast show Cuppa) and her husband Brandon face one evening when their 17-month-old daughter is nowhere to be found.

    This was a page turner from the outset for me – I needed to know what happened to that little girl. Everyone is under suspicion and the missing girl has captured the attention of the nation. As I got about ¾ of the way through I somewhat predicted what (no who) had happened and wasn’t surprised with the ending. Without giving anything away, I was a little disappointed that the ‘story’ (at the end) of one of the characters wasn’t developed further.

    As a journalist, Overington did a good job of setting the scene of media life and what it’s like to be in the spotlight (let alone the pressures of being a Mum) – making me feel empathetic towards the wealthy and popular Mum, Emma. It was my first time reading one of Caroline Overington’s novels and I am keen to read another.

    I was unsure as to whether I would want to read this book with a child in daycare myself, but once I got into the story I was ok with it. This book resonated with me as a busy parent and I shudder to think things like this happen – thank goodness it’s fiction!! While somewhat predictable at the end, I enjoyed this novel (finishing it in 4 days) and it was a simple easy read. I would like to thank Beauty and Lace as well as Harper Collins for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  3. The Ones You Trust by Caroline Overington

    Emma Cardwell is a busy working mum of three. She co-hosts a breakfast tv show called ‘Cuppa’ leaving hubby as the stay at home dad. There is a lot of juggling to keep the family unit together. It is no surprise that things could go horribly wrong.

    For most of the book we are aware that Emma’s daughter Fox Piper is missing from childcare, so we are left wondering who would take her? And why?

    Everyone is under suspicion, the police say the first 24hours are the most crucial in a case, but as the clock ticks we are left speculating how will this end. While some things didn’t add up I was rather surprised by the conclusion. Being an Educator running a childcare business and a mum of young children, these sorts of scenarios aren’t that far from the imagination, but it’s the motive that made this an entertaining read!

    Thank you, Beauty and Lace Book Club and Harper Collins Publishers, for this reading and reviewing opportunity. I am more than happy to recommend, and I will be keen to read more from this author.

  4. You always know when you pick up a book of Caroline Overington’s your in for a good ride. Usually a short one though as they are hard to put down and easy to read in a sitting! Opps!

    I always enjoy her books and The Ones You Trust was certainly no exception. The twists! They just keep coming and even at the very end when you think you have it all laid out, she throws something else in!

    She deals with a few contemporary issues in this one. A missing child, a mum trying to juggle work/family life and womens body issues and pressures in today’s society. It makes for a enjoyable story.

    I really can’t write highly enough of Caroline’s books and don’t want to give to much away. It’s a fast paced page turning winner for me!

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for another great read!

  5. This is a book that will resonate will all mothers.

    What would you do if your child is kidnapped from day care? How would you cope? What lengths would you go to , to get your child back?

    This happens to Emma Cardwell, a morning talk show host. Her daughter was signed out of daycare by someone unknown.

    Being in the spotlight makes it harder to survive the hours under such intense scrutiny. Who can she trust? Will she find her little girl?

    This is a gripping novel from start to finish. Just when I had worked out who was behind the kidnapping , things change again and again, with the greatest surprise in the last few pages.

    Really loved this book and highly recommend this book but be warned you won’t want to put it down.

    Thanks Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for a great read.

  6. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the offer to review The Ones You Trust by Caroline Overington.

    This book sent a chill up my spine, even though my children are older I could definitely feel what the main character Emma was going through.

    The main character Emma is the host of morning television show Cuppa. Emma is married to Brandon who is a stay at home dad. They have three children, two sons Hudson and Seal and a seventeen month old daughter Fox-Piper.

    Emma and Brandon go through a living nightmare that would shake any parent to the core. Fox goes missing from day care on the day Brandon forgets to pick her up. They see Fox has been signed out but not by Brandon.

    Police start an investigation to see who was responsible for taking Fox from day care. Police also put an amber alert out and it seems everyone is under suspicion. Police need as much information as possible to locate Fox.

    Caroline has written a great book which kept me turning page after page. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.

  7. Where do I begin this review, because I absolutely L O V E D this book!! It was amazing from the first page to the last. It had me on edge the entire time trying to workout what was happening.

    I would like to think that I am pretty smart and can decipher a book in the first couple chapters but this one had me going until the end!

    Emma is a celebrity mum with 3 kids, she goes about her normal routine heading to work at an ungodly hour of 3am to be TV breakfast host at Cuppa. It isn’t until she gets home from a long day of events at work that her life is turned upside down.

    Her baby girl has gone missing. Emma’s husband Brandon who is a stay at home dad after being made redundant at his job was supposed to pick her up from childcare but forgot.

    The couple are taken on a roller coaster of emotions that no parent should have to endure whilst looking for their baby girl Fox Piper.

  8. I really loved this novel. It’s a compelling thriller with realistic characters, and the end is satisfyingly twisty (but easy to follow as it unravels). It’s a great reading experience.

    Emma Cardwell is a successful host on morning TV, but her shiny life isn’t quite as easy as it looks from the outside. Her recently redundant husband is finding it difficult to be a house husband; her ever-changing schedule makes it hard to juggle three kids and work; and her kids… well, they’re little. On the whole, though, Emma thinks she’s holding it together.

    Until one day her husband forgets to collect their toddler from day care, and it’s found that someone else – a complete stranger – took her hours earlier. Who took her? Why? And mostly importantly – where is she now?

    I loved the way the novel slowly uncovered layers of Emma’s relationships with those around her – husband, co-host, publicist, bodyguard, mother, sister, niece… her life is full of people, but it becomes clear that she may not know most of them as well as she thought.

    There are plenty of twists in the novel, and they’re mostly pretty credible. Overington keeps the suspense up throughout, but doesn’t need to resort to false dramatics. I really have nothing bad to say about this novel, except perhaps that it will make you look at your child care centre’s procedures a little more closely.

    I recommend this to a pretty broad audience – the strong characters and surprisingly credible plot will engage most people, and it’s written in a fast moving, easy reading style. Unless you really really hate any and all thrillers, you’ll appreciate this.

  9. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for allowing me to review The Ones You Trust.
    Wow, this book was amazing. I honestly could not put it down.
    It tells the story of Emma Cardwell, a popular TV host and a mother’s worst nightmare, their child going missing.
    The book follows the search for little Fox and twists and turns keep coming.
    The last twist is so shocking and really makes you wonder who you trust and what really goes on behind the headlines in the media.
    Definitely a book I recommend.

  10. The Ones you Trust by Caroline Overnighting tells the story of Emma Cardwell a well known talk show host, married to Brandon who has become the house husband to care for their three children. Their young daughter disappears from her child care centre, Brandon forgot to collect her, but she was pictured on CCTV leaving with someone they did not know.

    The story follows the questioning of everyone involved, bringing to light the problems that can occur in busy families relying on lots of outside help to juggle their commitments.

    There were some interesting twists in the story, and as a reader I kept changing my opinions of the characters.

    It was an enjoyable and interesting read. Thank you for the opportunity.

  11. I must admit this wouldn’t usually be my first choice in a book but the blurb just pulled me in and I had to know what happened!

    Each twist that was thrown at you left you on the edge of your seat making you second guess your opinions on each of the characters! There were many times when I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen then bang another twist!

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to experience this story and for making me step out of my comfort zone in book choice!

  12. Sometimes we take it for granted that the people we see on TV have a perfect image and a perfect life. In actual fact it’s far from the truth!

    The Ones You Trust tells the story of Emma, a well known host on a Breakfast Show. On the surface she has everything but the reality is that she is a 40 something mum of 3 kids with a marriage that is far from perfect.

    On a normal busy work day, Emma’s husband forgets to pick up their youngest child Fox-Piper from day care. It’s not until 8pm when Emma gets home from work that they both realise that their daughter is missing!

    Soon everyone that Emma knows becomes a suspect. Do we really know the people around us? This is what Emma finds out.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was an easy read and such a page turner with a shocking twist at the end. I highly recommend it!

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for allowing me to read it.

  13. From start to finish this book had me hooked! Loved the fast pace, reminds me of Mathew Reilly books : )

    The worst nightmare a parent could imagine, their child goes missing and everything that follows keeps you in suspense until the last page.

    Emma, a hard working morning TV host expects her husband to collect her daughter from day care, but when she gets home she’s nowhere to be seen and her husband Brandon had no idea that he was supposed to collect her. Someone has taken her, but who? Suspicion lands on everyone, is the husband involved? The sister? The Nanny?

    The twists and turns will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat But can I say I was not expecting that ending! Masterfully written, I have nothing but praise for Caroline Overington.

    Loved it, a definite read : )

  14. Thank you for the opportunity to review The Ones You Trust, by Caroline Overington. This book was an absolute page turner and one I highly recommend.

    Emma Cardwell, the central character, is the host of a morning TV show and also the mother of three young children. Her life, from the outside, is a whirlwind of excitement, including celebrity events, charity functions, and life in a seemingly perfect family. Despite the frenetic pace of life, everything appears to be running smoothly, until the moment when Emma learns that her toddler daughter, Fox, has disappeared from daycare. CCTV footage from the shopping centre in which the daycare centre is located shows Fox with a mystery woman, and an unidentified woman collected Fox from daycare, but that is the extent of available information. Nobody knows where Fox was taken and why. What follows is a rollercoaster ride through the events of the following days, with one heart-stopping revelation after another, culminating in a conclusion that definitely was not predictable.

    This book is well paced, giving the reader the sense of being in the midst of the action. The characters are relatable, despite the “celebrity” aspect; I could relate to Emma as a fellow mum, trying to do the best by her family then facing a parent’s worst nightmare. The world of the media adds an element of intrigue to the storyline, highlighting the sense that all is not as it appears. I read this book in every available minute, as I needed to know how it ended, and I was not disappointed. The Ones You Trust is a five-star pleasure to read.

  15. I really loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It kept me on the edge of my seat trying to guess who had picked Fox up from day-care thinking it could be anyone. With lots of twists it definitely kept me guessing. Great read.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for allowing me to review “The Ones you Trust” by Caroline Overington.

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