One in Three by Tess Stimson #BookReview #BlogTour

Both of them loved him. One of them killed him . . .

Louise has had to watch her husband, Andrew, start a new family in the four years since he left her. The ‘other woman’ is now his wife – but Louise isn’t ready to let Caz enjoy the life that was once hers, or to let go of the man she still loves.

As Louise starts to dig into Caz’s past, the two women’s pretence of civility starts to slip. But in trying to undermine each other, they discover more about the man they both married.

And when Andrew is murdered at a family party, both women are found standing over the body.

It’s always the wife. But which one?

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for One in Three today. Many thanks to Tess Stimson and Sanjana Cunniah from Avon Books for inviting me and for my advance copy of the novel, received through Netgalley.

One in Three opens with a body; Andrew Page has been murdered and two women are present, both of whom are covered in his blood. Immediately after this scene comes the first transcript of one of the interviews conducted by police investigating his death, and his former mother-in-law, Celia asserts it was his current wife, Caz who killed him. It's not quite as straightforward as this, however, as the evidence could also point to his former wife - Celia's daughter, Louise.
The novel then goes back through the seven weeks preceding the family party where Andrew was murdered. Alternately narrated by Louise and Caz, with the occasional chapter told from Louise's sister-in-law, Min's perspective and with more police transcripts interspersed throughout, a troubled picture gradually emerges of a family not blended together but caught up in a toxic relationship in which it seems some terrible breaking-point is almost inevitable.
One in Three is a deliciously addictive read because both women are unreliable narrators, ensuring my sympathies and suspicions constantly shifted as their different accounts of the same events cast doubt on everything that occurs. Min's chapters are more reasoned but her loyalty towards Louise, even when she is deeply concerned about her behaviour, means that even her impressions are potentially biased to a degree. Both women have their secrets and are difficult to like at times but have their more redemptive moments too, and I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Caz and her stepdaughter, Bella. 
There are times when it seems as if an epiphany may occur as one or the other realises just how unhealthy the situation has become but fortunately for the reader, the feverish atmosphere between them is never allowed to drop below a simmer before something happens to push it back towards boiling point. Interestingly, it was actually the victim, Andrew who became the only figure I actually loathed and while that doesn't mean I think he deserved to die, it's hard not to find him ultimately culpable for much of what happens. To the public who know him as a news anchor, he is charming and charismatic but in truth he is narcissistic and manipulative and in the increasingly acrimonious weeks leading up to the fateful party, I felt the women in his life deserved so much more. 
As more secrets are revealed, One in Three takes a darker turn and though Andrew's outcome is predetermined, the truth as to what really happened is impossible to predict. One twist leads to another in this complex, tense psychological thriller and though love triangles often result in unhappy endings, One in Three will undoubtedly leave its readers more than satisfied; I very much enjoyed it.

One in Three is published by Avon Books, purchasing links can be found here but please consider buying from an independent bookstore if possible. 

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Tess Stimson has published eleven novels, including top-ten bestseller The Adultery Club, and two non-fiction books, which between them have been translated into dozens of languages.

Her first "proper" job after graduating from St Hilda's College, Oxford (where she read English) was as a news trainee with ITN (Independent Television News).

She reported and produced regional and world stories, travelling to hotspots and war-zones all over the globe.

In 2002, she was appointed Professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Florida and moved to the US. She now teaches Screenwriting and Journalism in Vermont, and lives with her husband, Erik, their three children, and (at the last count) two cats, three fish, one gerbil and a large number of bats in the attic.