Review: One Step Behind by Lauren North

I read Lauren North’s debut novel, The Perfect Son, when it came out and I absolutely loved it. I thought she was an exciting author with so much promise and I have been looking forward to this book for quite some time.

Plus it features a stalker and nothing raises the hair on the back of my neck quite like a stalker story. I immediately fast tracked this book as a perfect introduction to my creepier fall reading.

I had such high hopes for this one. The author, the story and don’t even get me started on that gorgeous cover! But I have to admit, I don’t know that I loved it in the way that I was hoping for.


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? (summary from Goodreads


I think what bothered me most about this book was that I just didn’t like Jenna. I didn’t connect with her and I just found her to be generally unlikable. There were things about her that I should have identified with, for example she’s a mom and so am I so right away I should have felt some connection to her but I just didn’t. I didn’t care for her and at times I found her decisions a little far fetched. But I was willing to give this book a little grace because I loved The Perfect Son so much. I kept hoping that I would like Jenna more as the book went one but it never happened.

The other issue that I struggled with was this one didn’t have very many twists or shockers. In fact a large chunk of the book there wasn’t really anything happening and I began to lose interest. The book started off strong with a lot of promise but as things went on, it just seemed to lose steam for some reason. I kept waiting for more to happen and then it didn’t—all of a sudden the ending was upon me and it felt thrown together and I finished the book unsure of what to feel.

I felt committed to reading the entire book though, mostly because I was waiting for the ‘twist’ or the ‘action’ to come but it just never did in the way that I was hoping. I did enjoy North’s prose though and I found that to be just about the only saving grace, that and the beginning. While I might not have loved this one in the way that I was hoping, I know that a lot of other readers found it excellent, in my opinion, if you are wanting to try out Lauren North’s books, I would say go with The Good Son instead.

So the big question, would I read more of North’s books? Absolutely! She showed so much promise with her debut novel and in my opinion it would be tough to follow that book with something better. Plus some times authors just miss the mark, or sometimes the book isn’t suited to the reader’s mood or taste. That’s the beauty of reading.

At the end of the day I went with 2 stars. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t finish it. In fact there were good things about this book, but I just felt a little let down considering I was looking forward to it for so long.

Book Info and Rating

Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 1st 2020 by Berkley
ISBN 1984803867 (ISBN13: 9781984803863)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 2 stars
Genre: thriller, domestic suspense, suspense, mystery


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