Today I’m super thrilled to be a part of The One blog tour by John Marrs. I adored this book and cannot put into words how good it was, but will try along with a cheeky Q&A with the author. As always don’t forget to stop off at all the other stops on this blog tour – #MatchYourDNA
How far would you go to find THE ONE?
One simple mouth swab is all it takes. One tiny DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.
A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people take the test. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…
A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Oh My – This was such a superb read which had me on the edge of my seat most of the time with all it’s twists and surprises I just didn’t see coming. It is definitely a psychological thriller with a difference.
The One tells the story of five characters who have all taken the Match Your DNA test, but what turns out as a simple DNA swab which millions of other have done previously, quickly turns into something more sinister. Something more shocking than they could ever have imagined.
- Nick is content with his fiance Sally, or so he thinks, right up until the point she begs him to take the test. But what could possibly go wrong when he is matched with a straight man?
- Ellie is a successful businesswoman, closed off from the world but then she is matched. Can she open her heart? And what could go wrong when she does?
- Jade is matched with a man halfway across the world, but does she have the guts to leave everything behind to meet the love of her life?
- Mandy is ecstatic when she discovers she has been matched to the man of her dreams, after her past relationships but then she starts looking him up online…
- Christopher is a psychopath who is so wrapped up in his own project that when he meets his match he is unaware of the effect she will truly have on him.
I loved how the author superbly weaves each of the character’s story, giving equal weight to each one while ending each chapter with a smallish-cliffhanger, leaving me as the reader needing to read more. It was one of those books where because of the short chapters you could keep reading another and another, although because I did just that one morning it forced me to literally run to work.
It was a book which really built the tension up from the word go with the author trickling surprise after surprise until you thought you couldn’t take anymore, well until the author wacked me with yet another corker of a twist about halfway through – turning the story completely on it’s head.
I just loved every minute of this book which had me literally gasping out loud with the many surprises and twists I couldn’t keep up with! I’m still not sure whose story was the most disturbing which makes it all the better. This was a novel so full of high drama which made for a fantastic read! I would recommend for all lovers of psychological crime.
I wonder, would you take the test? I’m not quite sure if I would anymore…
So now onto the fab Q&A with John Marrs:
Welcome John to the CKT blog.
Thank you! I’m actually big fan of your reviews. In fact it was your review on The Kind Worth Killing last year that encouraged me to buy it and it’s become one of my firm favourites.
Aww thank you, to start off with, can you tell us a little bit about your novel The One?
Of course. It’s set in the present, but ten years after a gene has been discovered in all of us that links us to one other person in the world. And that person is the one who you are pre-programmed to fall in love with. However, you have no say over who it is. It could be someone in a different age bracket, religion, skin colour or of the same sex. To find the person, you just do a mouth swab, send it to an agency and when you get a Match, you’ll be informed. My story follows five people who have taken the test and we watch how their relationships proceed. And some take much darker twists and turns than others!
The One has such an interesting concept which I love – how did you come up with the idea of having a DNA test leading to something more sinister?
In December 2015, my partner and I were planning our wedding in New York. I was heading down the escalator on the London Underground thinking about how lucky I was to have found ‘the one’ and how different the world of dating might be if we knew there was someone out there who was made for us. Not just a soul mate, but someone who physically was made for you. Obviously if these people met and they were all ‘happy ever afters,’ it’d be a short book. So I picked five characters and started playing God with their lives.
The One is told from five different characters point of views, who is your favourite character from the novel and why?
I have two. One is Christopher who, without giving too much away, has psychopathic tendencies. So many books choose a psychopath as a central character and blame something awful in their childhood for how they turned out. I didn’t want to do that, I wanted him to be from a normal background but who’s brain was wired differently and got his kicks in a way you or I wouldn’t. My other favourite is Nick, a straight guy who’s about to marry his girlfriend until he discovers his Match is with another man, who is also straight. I liked writing his story a lot because of the awkwardness of what could happen when two men who aren’t gay fall in love with each other.
With five different story lines, how did you keep track of everything? Did you plot the story out first or dive right in and see where it takes you? Or a mixture of the two?
It depended on what mood I was in as to which characters I would work on thath day. I can’t work methodically so I’d do a bit here, a bit there and hope it all came together when I edited it to become draft one. Also some of the characters were easier to write than others. There was one character I wasn’t so keen on and I almost cut her out of the final version. But Emily, my editor at Del Rey, helped me to transform her into someone a lot more interesting and now she’s one of my favourites. I very loosely plotted out which direction each character’s story was going to take but more often than not, I’d get a lightbulb moment and have an idea that would turn the story on its head.
What books would you recommend for the devoted crime reader?
I am a terrible reader. Since I started writing books, I don’t have time to sit down and read any more. Trying to juggle a full time job as a journalist alongside writing books and spending time with my husband and our families means I don’t get the time to spend a few hours reading novels. I used to download a lot of podcasts, but my New Year’s resolution has been to download audio books as I keep missing out on great reads. However, I’ve just ordered Peter Swanson’s first and latest book in physical format, so I’m going to make some time for him.
Are you working on anything at the moment? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it without giving too much away?
I have just finished re-editing my first novel, The Wronged Sons, which will be released in late Spring on the Thomas & Mercer book label, although it’ll have a different title and cover. I’ve also just completed my first draft of book four, a psychological thriller under the working title of The Good Samaritan. It’s about a volunteer at a helpline who has her own agenda. That probably won’t be released until 2018 though.
And most importantly, would you take the test?
No, I’m afraid I wouldn’t. My other half, also called John just to confuse matters, is perfect for me. So I’m more than happy to say no to the test!
Thank you John for letting me grill you, it’s been a lot of fun!
It’s been a pleasure. And thanks for letting me stop off on my first ever Blog tour and visit your murderous corner of the Internet!
Thanks to Stephenie Naulls and Ebury Publishing for my ARC.
The One isn’t quite out yet, but with the ebook out on 26th January 2017 and the Paperback out 4th May 2017, you can preorder it here.
To find out more about John Marrs follow him on Twitter at @johnmarrs1.