For One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

“A gripping thriller that will delight fans of the unexpected twist ending.” Grazia

“On occasion, haven’t we all wanted to ditch our responsibilities, change our name and run off into a new life? Emily (or is it Catherine?) takes the plunge in this smartly written thriller.” Time Out

“Taut, compelling… a storming read.”  The Bookseller Books of the Year 2013

“A haunting psychological thriller…believeable yet shocking with a great twist, this is well worth a read.” The Sun

“A genius tale with a twist.”  Stylist magazine

“A whip-smart thriller that keeps you guessing right up until the final shocking twist.” Mirror

“Intriguing… dreamily tense… a really absorbing read” USA Today

“Seskis expertly depicts the new life of a runaway wife, Emily Coleman, in her exciting if not groundbreaking first novel… a diverting read.” Publishers Weekly

“Debut novelist Seskis displays a keen sense of pacing … and her backstories on Emily’s family are vivid yet done with great economy. …Seskis hooks readers from the outset while also spelling out the high emotional costs of abandoning loved ones. A skillfully done novel by a writer to watch.” Booklist

“Add this [book] to the growing Gone Girl subgenre, designed for readers who appreciate the journey and are willing to invest the time to reflect on its significance once the destination is reached.” Library Journal

“I couldn’t put it down!  An intricate, well-plotted story, engagingly told.”  Helen Castor, author of She-Wolves (which was picked for Sunday Times Books of the Year 2010)

“A compelling roller-coaster of a story with a shocking twist that we can practically guarantee you won’t get.”  Lovereading.co.uk

“A well written, intriguing, cleverly structured and compelling read.  The twist was excellent and I didn’t see it coming.”  The Literary Consultancy

“The author reveals Emily’s motivations for leaving her family with great patience and narrative skill… (there is) excellent dramatic pacing, dialogue and prose, culminating in poignant concluding chapters which examine Emily’s decisions without sentimentality. An evocative, skillful novel about the price of escape. Recommended.” Kirkus Reviews

“It’s British, but modern-day London British, not Downton Abbey British. It’s compelling, gripping, frightening, embarrassing, deeply sad and lovely all at once. A truly gripping human story. Compelling characters. It’s not released until mid-April, but don’t forget it. Order it for your indie bookstore customers. Preorder it for yourself. Put a note on your calendar. Just read it. You won’t be sorry. I loved this book.” myzennana.com

“WOW! This one is a winner! While the plot might seem like a “movie-of-the-week”, the gorgeous writing elevates it to fine contemporary literature. By the end, I was truly aching for Emily/Cat, desperate to know her secret. And when it was finally revealed I gasped out loud! This is an excellent example of how a book can play our emotions like an instrument… I am praying that someone options this for the big screen. Kate Winslett please!” Suzanne Rogers, South Carolina, US

“Tina Seskis’ tale of a woman gone missing, gone wrong and gone—yes, too far—hooks you from the get go. Seskis wastes no time jumping in, putting the protagonist, Emily Coleman, on a train out of town on Page One. It’s up to the reader to zip through the pages to find out why. Campy, gossipy and with an unexpected twist or two at the end, “One Step Too Far” really is perfect for the beach, the pool or the airport. Seskis takes Cat on a dangerous, wild adventure, with lives laid to waste along the way—it’s up to you to decide which step is the one too far.” chicagonow.com

“As the closing of the book’s blurb asks, I issue readers the same challenge: can you guess Emily’s secret? The twist in this emotional read is jaw-dropping and a full on slap-in-the-face surprise, all thanks to Seskis’s apparent talent for keeping a reader totally clueless and penning a darn good story. The book overflows with sadness, Emily’s pain drips off the pages like tears and, no matter whether you agree with her leaving or not, you’ll find yourself beginning to cheer on the small progress she makes. The characters are likeable, with some strange but charming bonds being formed: Angel, Ben and Emily in particular pop off the page. The story is engaging enough for you to become fully immersed in the book, but really it’s just an enjoyable journey leading to one of the best climaxes I’ve ever read. Brace yourself people, this one’s a must read.” bestchicklit.com

“Does anyone else get that tingly feeling when they are just a few chapters into a book and they just know that they are in for an amazing read? One Step Too Far is one of those. Tina Seskis is an extremely clever author, she has produced a story that is so intricate and tightly plotted that the reader really has no choice to keep reading ….. just another chapter, and another, and another. The clever structure of the novel allows us to learn a little bit more, piece by piece as the author begins to introduce the other characters and their own version of events. Not once did I guess how this excellent story would turn out, there were times when I thought that I’d got it all sussed, but Tina Seskis throws another spanner in the works many times, causing the story to take twists that I could never have imagined. One Step Too Far is intriguing and compelling, it is paced well and will most certainly stay in my head for some time.” randomthingsthroughmyletterbox.blogspot.co.uk

“This is such a cleverly constructed story that it’s quite impossible to put down. Very slowly, the reader finds out the reasons why Emily made the decision to disappear – the book loops backwards and forwards in time, introducing characters and their versions of events. When the climax comes, it really is truly shocking – and surprise twist continues to be piled on unexpected turn. The book is perfectly paced – I read it in one mesmerised sitting – and the writing is of the highest standard. This is a book that needs to be experienced – if people aren’t talking about it, they really should be.” beingannereading.blogspot.co.uk

“…here is Ms Seskis with her vivid and imaginative writing – sucking me in, making me think I was clever and then realising that I’m not half as clever as I think I am. This is an extremely well written novel, not just because of the twist… the STORY is terrific even if it didn’t ultimately have that head in hands moment. The characters practically leap off the page – not only Emily but pretty much all of them.” Lizlovesbooks.com

“A remarkably good thriller… a perfect beach read or if you don’t like flying, pop into the hand luggage and as soon as the seat belt announcement is made, put the earplugs in, open at page one and you will be in the safe hands of a brilliant new girl on the block.” Hive.co.uk

“One Step Too Far is a brilliantly crafted book. I never guess Emily’s secret. It’s rare that a book catches me off guard, but this one did it! I had to reread the ending twice just to make sure I read it right, then I went back through the story looking for the clues I missed. The book is so well-paced, you will keep turning the pages to see where Emily will take you next.” Fictionfinders.com

“The well-written opening scene of this novel provokes curiosity and will keep you reading to find out what has driven the main character, Emily Coleman, to run away from home. Characterisation and plot are both strong… Emily is a complex character — sometimes likeable, sometimes hateful, often capable but also foolish…. an entertaining and enjoyable read.” Izzyreads.com

“Intricately plotted, the book moves along at a cracking pace… sometimes I felt like I wanted to skip back a few pages to clarify something important I may have missed. However, the twists in the plot when they come, really take you by surprise and I must say I never saw them coming. Well worth picking up.” Jaffareadstoo.blogspot.co.uk

“It’s a well written, well structured, captivating read. Though flashbacks and multiple point of view perspectives, we get interesting and realistic character development. I totally believed in what was happening especially as some dirtier, grittier aspects of life are thrown it but not for cheap shocks just as a natural development of this story. One Step Too Far is a book, I speed read as I had to know all the what’s and why’s and I had to know them asap! I had a few theories about what was happening but none of them were right The author played me like I was the joker in deck of cards.” betweenmylines.com

“This book got me hooked from Page 1. Tina Seskis has a way of keeping her readers engaged in the story though it often go back and forth between the past and the present.” thebookishreviews.com

“Tina Seskis has written a carefully linked story of contrasts and generations, of insanity and family, and one woman’s struggle to save her own identity. This is not the London of the postcards, the royal weddings, this is grimy, sweaty and crowded, a merging of people and unhappiness and city sprawl. ONE STEP TOO FAR will reward the more thoughtful reader who wants to get inside the skin of the characters, smell the vodka, feel the pain, shake to the music.” freshfiction.com

“It’s romantic fiction with lots of twists and turns, not quite a psychological chiller but enough twists and whys and what’s and who’s to keep you guessing and second guessing all the way through. We are taunted with glimpses of both girls’ pasts, but never quite enough to work out why Cat would walk out on a much adored husband and a son she obviously still loves deeply. A fabulous debut novel… women’s fiction at its very best, human interest drama, well written, teasing and puzzling with exceptional characters you’ll feel as though you really know. HIGHLY recommended!” beadyjansbooks.blogspot.co.uk

“I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was going to be your average chick-lit type “girl starts over, and look at the fun she has along the way before she realises that what she had was better” kind of book, but it was a lot deeper than that. It deals with a far darker side of life really – and even when Emily seems to be on an upward spiral, she is spiralling downward at the same time. I was gripped from the beginning, wanting to know what had happened, how any mother could leave their small child in that way, what Caroline could possibly have done and whether Emily would ever let her family know that she was OK in London. Cleverly written, with unexpected twists and turns that keep you turning the pages.” Normalinlondon.wordpress.com

“A novel with so many twists and turns that readers will not possibly be able to predict the outcome. Highly recommended.” cayocosta72.wordpress.com

“In telling Emily’s story, author Tina Seskis reveals all but the most important details to give the novel an irresistible air of mystery. if you’re searching for a brief literary escape from your own life, this suspenseful novel is worth exploring.” nightsandweekends.com

“In this well written, clever debut novel, Seskis does an excellent job of building suspense and keeping us interested in Emily and her family (and their back stories) right up to the end. Her timing on the disclosure was superb. While interested and engaged in the novel all along, there was a point when I was slapped in the face with information and raced to the end of One Step Too Far to get the answers I so desperately needed. I suspected some things, but Seskis still managed to surprise me. Very Highly recommended.” shetreadssoftly.blogspot.co.uk

“A really fabulous read filled with twists and turns and one I couldn’t put down. I found myself reading it until the wee small hours.. The story is told by Cat, by Ben her husband and by Caroline her twin – jumping between the past and present. The reader is kept guessing throughout. Simply loved it. Highly recommend.” bbalm.blogspot.co.uk

“This book has everything: twists and turns, twins – good and evil, jealousy, pregnancies, adultery. And above all, a delicious mystery goes throughout, we keep asking why? Why? Yes, we do find out why; I was surprised but I won’t tell you here. While reading the book, I had a hard time remembering the title One Step Too Far. When I finished, I had an a-ha moment, and the title makes perfect sense.” reflectionswithcoffee.com 

“Emily’s secret keeps the pages turning, compulsively and obsessively, to the very end. The revelation doesn’t make the book, however, the story and the characters do. Snippets of the past from the point of view of Caroline, Ben, Frances, Andrew and Angel are not only engaging, but central to the plot. It is the convergence of these stories (in part) that set the scene for Emily’s apparent breakdown and flight. Her quest to start afresh is both extraordinary and heartbreaking, particularly as I am a mother. I could not imagine leaving my child behind, ever… a strong debut novel.” sisimka.wordpress.com

“A delicious twist at the end that I didn’t really see coming! It was quite entertaining and a very quick, enjoyable read. Will be recommending!” thebooknurse.blogspot.co.uk

“I thought the story was interesting. You don’t find out why Emily ran away until the end so that keeps you reading because you want to know! Why she left was an interesting twist. I kind of went “huh?” and had to go back and reread some stuff to see how the author sneaked the twist by me. I liked Cat/Emily … it was obvious that she was hurting and doing the best she could to move on. I was satisfied with the ending … there were no loose ends. I would recommend this book.” teenaintoronto.com

“Tina Seskis is the new master of suspense fun-lit… it is usually pretty easy to put the pieces together and figure out the ending from the limited number of characters. Not so in a Tina Seskis novel. The flashbacks in One Step Too Far go right back to her childhood up to the incident which ruined her marriage and this reveal is what makes this novel so amazing. I had an idea of what had happened but there are about 3 huge twists in the final 50 pages which show the intricacy of the world created. These very late reveals and twists will seriously shock and continue until the final of 4 short epilogues. I love books that show us a glimpse of the future and this one definitely ties up a lot of threads. The book (is) so entertaining and will really grip you throughout, making you love and hate most of the characters.” theopenreader.net

“Be prepared – when the twist is revealed, it really does come out of nowhere, misdirecting you right up until the last moment, and then leaving you a broken, emotional mess. I shouldn’t have finished this off on the bus, as I really did have to try hard to keep myself together. One Step Too Far is a fantastic mystery, keeping you hooked throughout and desperate to learn what happened in the past, but also wanting to stick with the main character and see where her life heads. Go into it knowing as little as possible – it’s well worth it.” bertass-reviews-anything.blogspot.co.uk

“Don’t know if everyone is going to be talking about it but I will be recommending it to everyone. Great work for a debut novel.” bestamazonebooks.wordpress.com

“There were definitely clues, and definitely times when I thought I had figured out what exactly the catalyst was, but when the actual event was revealed, I was stunned. After first being confused and taking a moment to think about what I was reading, I began wondering what I had missed. After a short time, though, I found myself saying, “Well done, Ms. Seskis, well done.” …I found myself looking forward to reading it and being a bit upset if something interrupted me and I had to put it down. It both made me think about the characters, and feel for them.” abookaddictsmusings.blogspot.co.uk

“The themes in this book are strong, touching on sibling relationships, guilt, and jealousy along with drug abuse with more than a touch of madness thrown in. The characterisation of the main and also the minor characters in this drama was well executed. It was good to read a book where all judgements about characters are left to the reader by the downplaying of others’ actions by the narrators, particularly Emily. All in all a story with an original feel… the twist in the tale is one of the best I’ve read, I literally gasped as I didn’t see it coming at all. A brilliant debut.” cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com

“A remarkably good thriller… a perfect beach read or if you don’t like flying, pop into the hand luggage and as soon as the seat belt announcement is made, put the earplugs in, open at page one and you will be in the safe hands of a brilliant new girl on the block.” Hive.co.uk

“Amazing… the twist is unexpected, and I actually had to read over the same paragraph several times as I thought my eyes were deceiving me (honestly). If you usually read showbiz, celebrity ‘girlie’ novels, this is the perfect crossover into thriller territory.” scarlettlondon.com

“This book will likely be the talk of summer beach read circles (although its writing surpasses what we typically expect from that genre) as it has all of the right ingredients that appeal to its target audience: suspense, drama, and plot twists extraordinaire.” booksandgamesandmoreohmy.blogspot.co.uk

“It is a cleverly written story, one that keeps you guessing the outcome right to the very end… it made an ideal holiday read as once I started reading I didn’t want to put it down.” fordsthoughts.co

“I didn’t guess the twist… I simply had no idea whatsoever and when it was laid down in front of me I felt as though I’d been punched. The book’s a keeper too. Next time round you’ll know how it all works out but there’s a great deal of pleasure to be had in re-reading…. it’s a long time since I’ve been so convincingly hoodwinked and enjoyed it, to boot!” thebookbag.co.uk

“As Emily starts her new life in London I never stopped rooting for her… What also really stood out was how real it all felt. Locations are described vividly and you can almost smell Emily’s first London lodgings. It’s a real page-turner – a must for fans of Jodi Picoult and David Nicholls’s One Day.” Sandie Kirk, Surrey

“Tina Seskis slams us straight in to the heart of her debut novel – no warm-up, no fictional foreplay… A neat, intertwining story of interesting characters, told mainly through flashback episodes – some dark, but enough which are funny, entertaining, warm and human to make this a rewarding journey.” Christian, globaljunkie.net

“Beautifully written and well-paced, it has an endearing, fascinating and realistic set of characters, many of whom we might recognize from our own lives, with a sense of mystery, sadness, joy and anticipation. The story is powerfully told, descriptive and vivid, with twists and turns which kept me reading, intrigued, until the early hours… A must-read and destined for great success. Highly recommended, 5 stars at least!” Christine Miller, author, poet, editor, christinemiller.co

“It was so compelling, so engrossing, so thought-provoking… I found all the players totally engaging and found myself caring very deeply about Emily’s fate. I loved the realist touches about life in London through the eyes of someone completely new to it (especially the lightning shopping trip around Ikea!)… I loved also the various twists and turns towards the end, it kept me guessing all the way. Just when I think I’ve worked it out bam! another twist and I need to reset my compass. The pace was just right (with) episodes of Mansfield-like stream-of-consciousness that reflected Emily’s state of mind at the time and made me feel her panic, rage, fear, whatever… Well done!” Helen Say, Herts, UK

“I would have to compare this favorably with Gone Girl. The pacing and suspense are great, and I definitely was hooked early. I liked it, and will recommend it to many, including book groups.” Avid, goodreads.com

“I couldn’t put it down!! Absolutely loved it, totally gripping, devastating and a real page turner. Made me want to go back and re-read bits. It’s a great piece of entertaining reading. Would certainly recommend.”  Tracy Morrell, London

“The author does a wonderful job of keeping the reader guessing and clueless until she’s ready to let you in on the secret. And when she finally does, the reader should be prepared for a jaw-dropper. Seskis’s book was a wonderful read that I fully expect to quickly rise on the list of bestsellers.” Catherine Armstrong, Rochester Public Library, US

“A highly enjoyable and compelling read with all the right elements of a page-turner – just the right amount of information dripped in to keep the reader interested.”  Penny Faith, author, London

“Superb story.  The author uses some excellent metaphors that literally make you say, ‘Wow, what a great turn of phrase.’  Budding authors should read this novel to see how a good book can be written.  I give this 6 stars out of 5 and can’t wait to read more from this very talented authoress.  It would make a great movie!” Christopher French, Tauranga, New Zealand

“A compelling and intense novel. There was not one point in this brilliantly written story that I could clearly know what would happen to Cat. The world building put me right there, watching over Cat’s shoulder, living her story along with her.” Dii, Tome Tender

“I would compare it to the movie The Sixth Sense – there is a major twist ending that hits you right in the gut, and if you go back and read it again, the clues are all there, you just didn’t put them together properly. The book is incredibly entertaining, and well-paced to keep you hanging on and wanting more… a great read.” allisonwrites.com

“It certainly stands up to the old journalistic premise of grabbing your readers right from the beginning and the overall concept is very interesting and original. It was an undeniably good read and the writing and descriptiveness was great.” Dave Sheehan, London

“WOW is all I can say!! I read all kinds of books but that was really well written. It touches on so many themes and the ending is just awesome. Totally didn’t see that happening. And now I’m going to have to read it all over again.” Chrissy Paech, Melbourne

“Loved this book, am in awe! Cried three times and not in the obvious places. I thought it was brilliant. I couldn’t stop reading it. Loved the characters and the twist at the end.  Not a great ad for Finsbury Park though!” Donna Malone, London

“I absolutely loved it, took me longer to start it than I thought just cos I was busy rushing around but once I started it, I inhaled it.” Bex Davies, London

“This book is fantastic. I could not put it down and found the story kept me utterly hooked. I really liked the main character and her flat mate Angel. The ending was great and a total surprise.  I am really impressed and would definitely look for other titles that the author had written!” Alice Baldock, Herts

“I was hooked after the first few chapters!  I was not expecting the twist in it, but it was very clever – I just wonder where the author gets her inspiration from!” Nicola Young, Surrey

“I think this is a story from which the reader may take away several different ideas… I found myself thinking how the best things, the moments we truly cherish and remember come when we choose to place another’s needs/wants above our own. 5 stars.” Teresa Turner, goodreads.com


For A Serpentine Affair/ When We Were Friends by Tina Seskis

“Clever, intriguing, chilling – and utterly impossible to put down. Tina Seskis is proving herself to be master of the twist” Grazia

“There’s a poignant air of nostalgia about the sections set in the women’s younger day, and you’ll warm to the sharply-drawn characters. Astute and witty.” Sunday Mirror

“Six friends, one reunion, one gigantic mess. One of the best books to read this April.” Red Online

“One of the world’s leading experts at pulling the wool over readers’ eyes until the very end.” Sophie Hannah

“A chilling tale of university friends 25 years later . . . the tragic fallout of a summer reunion will make you wish you could read that bit faster.” Stylist

“This dark whodunit explores just how complex friendships can be.” Woman Magazine

“This is a well-written, confident novel. Tina Seskis has managed to weave together both a strong story and a web of characters, intricately related to each other, with convincing histories. The structure is ambitious, but she pulls it off – she builds up our expectation and some suspense, but we don’t feel let down by the resolution.  Excellent.” The Literary Consultancy 

“A Serpentine Affair: 25 years of friendship, several jealous clashes, doubt, mistrust, anguish. All wrapped up in the pages of this ‘must read,’ ‘impossible to put down’ work of creative genius.”  Maurice Coldicott, Northamptonshire

“I just could not put it down! I really liked the slow build as I got to know each woman. And those men!! The delicious shivers of finding out the details about each one’s past and also their perspectives on situations and each other!!! Another fun and twisted novel with interesting characters… old friends indeed!” Denise Crawford, Missouri, US

Seskis weaves together the stories of these seven women skillfully.  She brings her characters alive and excels at giving them deep-seated flaws and vulnerabilities. I also loved the way she touched on a number of social issues without bogging down the narrative or coming across as preachy or judgmental.  Seskis proves that she is an author to look out for.” Shinjini Mehrotra, New Delhi, India

“Clever clever lady! Again, despite the fact that Seskis switches time, place, person, she still manages to hold it all together and keep me intent on finishing. It was a credible story with interesting storylines which was twisty, convoluted and intense…  It actually does take a lot to surprise me – so well done!” musingmaddie.com

It was fabulous, I enjoyed it just as much as One Step Too Far and finished it as quickly. The author has a real knack of creating suspense, she seems to know just the right time to leave a scenario so the reader is frustrated… but in a really good way. That’s the ‘unputdownable’ factor. It was superb.”  Maxine Leech, Hertfordshire

I felt great empathy with the central character and really felt I ‘got’ her. What I loved most of all was that although the characters could have fallen into caricature none of them did. Each had their own idiosyncrasies and unique story.  A fantastic and intelligent read.” Jennifer Johnson, Teddington

“Tina Seskis’ books are so easy to get into and I read the whole thing in a day.  The author did a great job of knitting all of the strands together and keeping them intertwined and believable.  There are parts of this book which are very dark and I genuinely felt for the characters affected. An enthralling read.”  Natalie Minto, Leeds

It has a lot of characters and the plot jumps from one time frame to the next. Sound confusing? It’s not. Tina does a marvellous job of keeping you in the moment and making the plot easy to follow and understand. The descriptions of the area are so beautifully written that you will feel like you’re right there, living with the characters. This is a must-read and a book you’re not likely to forget.” Dawn Cummings, Texas, US

“Once this story gets going, MY does it get going. The second of her books that I’ve read and finished in one day. The author leaves little hints at mysteries and lies with the truths coming out later in the story. It has an intriguing effect which only makes you want to read more. Very well written and will definitely be on my list of best books of 2013!” Debbie Krenzer, Texas, US

Tina Seskis has a gift for creating a world full of sights, sounds and emotions with her vivid descriptions and attention to detail. She brings her characters to life, gives them deep-seated flaws, but remembers to give them their ‘public persona’ to hide behind. Her character dialogue is often brutally frank with dark undertones that match the turmoil each woman feels. And her ability to ‘bring the ending home’ with a flourish? Genius!” Dii at Tome Tender

“A Serpentine Affair is amazingly brilliant. Tina Seskis writes with an extraordinary flair. Her descriptions are vivid and make the pages come to life. Seven people meet for their annual picnic and six leave. Aren’t you wondering what happened now? Put this on your reading list…” Mattie Piela, Massachussets, US

“I really liked the way the various layers of the story untangled over the second half of the novel and how they developed in part and from different perspectives weaving across time and in various threads, it really kept me engaged in the story… the locations and cultural references provided some great counterpoints to the story. An amazing book.” John Belchamber, Cambridge

These revelations are the sucker-punch that I remember Seskis landing on me with One Step Too Far and I couldn’t help but think ‘Damn! Tina’s got me again.’  Overall, I loved A Serpentine Affair. It’s about friendships, relationships, guilt, forgiveness, and redemption. What I’ve learned is to get what needs to be said out of the way in order to move on. There’s not always that chance to make it right in the future.” Patrice Hoffman, Illinois, US

“It’s the follow-up to the hit One Step Too Far, and Seskis again weaves a tale of suspense and mystery… there are many hidden dramas that happened over the years, driving invisible wedges between the characters.  Intriguing.” allisonwrites.com

You need to keep your wits about you when reading this book… it is the way the author has put the plot together and revealed it a little at a time that makes for a story that you HAVE to get to the end of to see how it all pans out.  As always this author’s excellent use of the English language clearly paints each scene.” Christopher French, Tauranga, New Zealand

The author effortlessly weaves together seven separate lives, creating a powerful web of deceits, lies, and misdeeds. The descriptive writing was incredible – done in vivid detail – and the last chapter (which I loved) leaves you with a crescendo of suspense.” Wanda Beaver, Philadelphia, US


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