Author: Caroline Overington
Publication Date: 20 August 2018
Publisher: Harper Collins
Copy: 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.
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.