Today we are really pleased to welcome bestselling author, Lauren North
One Step Behind by Lauren North shows why she is an up and coming psychological thriller author. Many of the characters are unlikeable, except for the victim, who readers will constantly root for. The story has betrayal, secrets, and surprises.
Dr. Jenna Lawson is an emergency room doctor. Trying to combine being a working mom, a wife, and there for her family she feels she is being pulled in many directions. But now she must also deal with a stalker. Frightening “gifts” are left on her doorstep, threatening emails are sent, her home is broken into, and when she leaves her house to take her children to school, he’s waiting. Jenna sees the stalker lurking behind trees and buildings, feeling that he is everywhere. She feels powerless, and the police are unable to help.
While Jenna is at work, her stalker ends up being rushed into the emergency room and she is tasked with saving his life. Knowing that he has not only created terror for her, but also for her husband and children she wonders for a split second if she should let him die. Yet, her morals overtake her, and she saves his life, although he is now in a medically induced coma.
Coming to visit the stalker is his sister Sophie who thanks Jenna for saving her brother’s life. Readers learn of his background through Sophie who becomes a second narrator. They both had a terrible childhood, but she only hears her mother’s words that she is a big sister and has to take care of Matthew. Sophie tells in general terms about a tragedy the family had to endure twelve years ago that causes even more guilt for Sophie. The tension increases as the reader wonders if Jenna will ever have peace of mind again
Readers who enjoy a book that keeps then guessing and on alert will enjoy this one. As the suspense increases people will not want to put the book down.
Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the story?
Lauren North: In my first book the main character was a depressed widow. In this book, I wanted the direct opposite, a headstrong character that would push the story forward.
EC: How would you describe the protagonist, Jenna?
LN: Headstrong, anxious, career focused in the beginning of the story, and driven. As the book progresses, she realizes that being a mother is very important. She was the breadwinner and felt pressure to be everything to everyone.
EC: Why make Jenna an emergency room doctor?
LN: I wanted to be a doctor once. I needed something that would throw her directly together with her stalker. I loved the fact that emergency room doctors have such a fast pace without room to breathe. It made the perfect setting. She has been so trained to save lives instinct kicked in. It was like her switching off her mind in that high-pressured environment.
EC: What did the role of motherhood play?
LN: On the surface the main theme is the relationship between the stalker and the victim. But there was also the theme of being a mother and the pressure of being a working mom. Jenna represents the mother’s point of view while Sophie gives the child’s point of view. In both cases, the mothers had to balance being there for support and help versus being the provider.
EC: How would you describe Sophie?
LN: Very mixed up, weak, allows herself to be intimidated. She is also obsessive and confused.
EC: What about the stalker?
LN: They create a fear factor of not knowing what will happen next. Their threats seem to increase and escalate. The victim feels they are never safe, which can make someone paranoid, and always seeing shadows. They feel the stalker is always there even when they are not. Jenna does not want to be a victim but wants to regain control and power over her own life.
EC: What about your next book?
LN: It is titled Safe At Home. The story has a mother leaving a child at home for what she thought would be twenty minutes. But it becomes five hours after a humongous traffic jam. The next day the mother realizes something happened during her absence.
‘A gripping psychological thriller that pulls the reader through the story at a terrific pace, not giving them a moment to draw breath’ Nikki Smith, author of All in Her Head
Jenna is a wife, a mother, a doctor. She’s also the victim of a stalker.
Every time she leaves her house, she sees him. Disturbing gifts are left at her door. Cruel emails are sent to her colleagues. She has no idea who this man is but she feels powerless against him.
Until the day he is brought into her hospital after a serious accident, and Jenna is given the chance to find out once and for all why this man is tormenting her. Now, the power is all hers.
But how many lines is she willing to cross to take back control of her life?
‘A really gripping rollercoaster of a read – I absolutely loved it, and read it in one sitting’ Lisa Hall, author of Between You and Me
‘I absolutely adored this disturbingly twisty tale of stalking, obsession and control’ Emma Curtis, author of The Night You Left
‘Lauren North really knows how to reel you in. Absolutely brilliant’ Lesley Kara, author of The Rumour
READERS CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF ONE STEP BEHIND:
‘Wow oh wow! There is nothing negative I can say about this book’
‘Twisty and compelling . . . One Step Behind is actually one step forward in psychological thrillers’
‘So many twists and turns and OMG moments!’
‘A thrilling read that will leave you breathless’
‘Lauren North is really developing into a must-read author for me’
‘This book is deserving of more than five stars’