I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.False Step by Victoria Helen Stone
Published by Lake Union Publishing on July 1, 2019
Genres: Adult, Adultery, Kidnapping, Mystery, Psychological Suspense, Suspense
Source: TLC Book Tours
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Stay calm, keep smiling, and watch your step. In this marriage of secrets and lies, nothing is what it seems.
For days, all of Denver, Colorado, has worried over the fate of a missing child, little Tanner Holcomb. Then, a miracle: handsome, athletic Johnny Bradley finds him, frightened but unharmed, on a hiking trail miles from his wealthy family’s mountain home.
In a heartbeat, his rescuer goes from financially strapped fitness trainer to celebrated hero. The heat of the spotlight may prove too much for Johnny’s picture-perfect family, however. His wife, Veronica, despises the pressure of the sudden fame, afraid that secrets and bitter resentments of her marriage may come to light. And she’s willing to do anything to keep them hidden.
But when a shocking revelation exposes an even darker side to Tanner’s disappearance, Veronica realizes that nothing in her life can be trusted. And everything should be feared.
Psychological thrillers–ones whose tensions skyrocket the longer you make your way toward the end, and the characters growing more desperate for answers and scared for their lives and their situation. Those are my favorite suspense filled novels, and Victoria Helen Stone’s novel False Step is a perfect example of this type of book. I’ve been reading a lot of new-to-me authors this year, and I haven’t encountered an author that I haven’t really enjoyed their writing yet. I’m glad that Stone’s novel has continued this streak.
Physical therapist Veronica seems to have her life together, with a successful career where she can make a difference in people’s lives, a handsome personal trainer husband, and a cute daughter. But appearances can be deceiving and their marriage is far from perfect, with strains from financial problems due to Johnny’s bringing in an inconsistent income and an affair that he had a few years before. While she loves their daughter, she isn’t thrilled with how Sydney idolizes Johnny and has grown much closer to him than Veronica.
When Johnny goes for a hike in the mountains and finds a missing boy, he becomes an overnight hero. Johnny eats up the attention and turns into an uptick in his personal training business. But Veronica is uncomfortable with the scrutiny from the public–on her, on her marriage, that their child receives in school. Veronica is especially concerned when the police start to question her about Johnny’s whereabouts both on the day when he found the missing boy, as well as the day the boy disappeared. Will they uncover the secrets she is hiding, and worse yet, will she find that her husband has even worse secrets that he’s been hiding from her?
As a main character, Veronica was likable but flawed. As you got to know her better, there was more to like and dislike, and she was much more complex and fleshed out. Her situation was tough to be in, and she definitely made some tough decisions and very stupid mistakes. The secondary characters were fleshed out a bit, but I would have liked to see a bit more from Veronica’s mother and father. There was enough of them sprinkled in to get a good idea of why Veronica was the way she was, but I would have liked to see more from them.
I give False Step a four out of five. While the book started a bit slow for me, it soon picked up pace and settled in for a nice ride told from Veronica’s narrow point of view. Everything was told from Veronica’s mind and eyes, which made the story that much easier to be invested in her as a character. The writing flowed well and was descriptive enough for me to picture the settings. The explosive ending was a little predictable, but I still thoroughly enjoyed seeing how everything would wrap up. All in all, False Step definitely shows how secrets don’t stay secret forever, especially if more than one person who knows the secret is still alive.
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About Victoria Helen Stone
Victoria Helen Stone, formerly writing as USA Today bestselling novelist Victoria Dahl, was born and raised in the flattest parts of the Midwest. Now that she’s escaped the plains of her youth, she writes dark suspense from an upstairs office high in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. She enjoys summer trail hikes with her family almost as much as she enjoys staying inside during the winter. Since leaving the lighter side of fiction, she has written the critically acclaimed, bestselling novels Evelyn, After; Half Past; and Jane Doe. For more on the author and her work, visit www.VictoriaHelenStone.com and www.VictoriaDahl.com.
Connect with Victoria Helen Stone
Victoria Helen Stone’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for FALSE STEP:
Saturday, June 1st: @thriftybibliophile
Saturday, June 1st: @readingbetweenthe_wines
Monday, June 3rd: @sweethoneyandbrei
Tuesday, June 4th: @shereadswithcats
Wednesday, June 5th: @bookstackedblonde
Thursday, June 6th: @ohthebooksshewillread
Saturday, June 8th: @bookishconnoisseur
TBD: Friday, June 7th: @bookishwinterwitch
Tuesday, June 4th: She Reads With Cats
Wednesday, June 5th: @cassies_books_reviews
Thursday, June 6th: @angelareadsbooks
Monday, June 10th: Bewitched Bookworms
Monday, June 10th: @downtogetthefictionon
Wednesday, June 12th: Thoughts from a Highly Caffeinated Mind
Thursday, June 13th: @cassidys.bookshelf
Tuesday, June 18th: What is That Book About – spotlight or guest post
Wednesday, June 19th: @libraryinprogress
Friday, June 21st: @readwithjamie
Tuesday, June 25th: Lori’s Reading Corner – spotlight or guest post
Wednesday, June 26th: @beauty_andthebook
Thursday, June 27th: @love_my_dane_dolly
TBD: Monday, June 3rd: Books and Bindings