“They stumble along the hotel corridor, the fourth floor, their arms around each other’s necks, their lips pressing hard together. They come to an alcove, an area where there’s an ice machine. They tumble against the machine, her hands pulling off his jacker, his fingers struggling to unbutton her blouse.”
Author: K.S. Hunter Published: 2017 Pages: 223
Just One Time was sent to me as a manuscript by the author as the paperback had not been printed at that point. The story is about a man, David, who cheated on his wife, Alison, two years ago and has still not been whole-heartedly forgiven by her. One night, he goes to the theatre and meets a woman called Nina. When Nina calls him later that night David must resist temptation and ignore her. But then he remembers he gave her a fake name, and yet somehow she knows his real one. Torn between his loyalty to his marriage and a suspicious curiosity for Nina, is he about to make the same mistake again?
This book was marketed as a ‘psychological thriller’ but despite this, it was mainly just filled with sordid descriptions of the protagonist’s adultery and dialogue filled with expletives. I personally think that when it comes to books, both sex and swearing should be used sparingly so that when they do crop up, as a reader, I am more affected by them which therefore gives them a purpose in the book’s plot. There was no need for the descriptions to be as graphic as they were and it certainly did not aid the plot in any way.
Moving on from that, the characters were all completely one dimensional; the men were pigs and the women were psychopaths. There was no character development and barely even any information on any of the characters except the protagonist, who frankly, I did not care about. As for a storyline, it was pretty much inexistent. I do not normally put spoilers in my reviews, and I won’t now, but to be honest, there’s not much to spoil. David is a serial adulterer and basically spends the whole book contemplating whether or not to cheat again. And that’s pretty much it. I think the main allure of a thriller is its ability to make you turn the page, an attribute which this book certainly did not possess.
When I read any book, my hope is that I can either take away something profound or use the book as an escapism from everyday life. This book was neither. It did not make me think anything other than I hope all men aren’t selfish troglodytes like the men in this book and it was certainly no escape. Frankly, I loathed every minute I spent in that fictional man’s mind.
Hunter clearly has an ability to write but it’s a shame he couldn’t form a more complex plot. I do not enjoy giving such a bad review but there was honestly not much about this book that kept me reading other than an obligation to the author. Hopefully he can write something more inspiring in the future.
Thank you to the author K.S. Hunter for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.