Review: The One by John Marrs

Title: The One by John Marrs
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Sci Fi Elements
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


How far would you go to find The One?

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

A word-of-mouth hit in the United Kingdom, The One is a fascinating novel that shows how even the simplest discoveries can have complicated consequences.


The One by John Marrs is an absolutely brilliant novel that combines elements of mystery, science fiction and romance. The premise that people can find their soul mates through DNA is quite fascinating but will this prove to be truth for the five people featured in this adroit tale?

Thirty-seven year old Mandy Griffiths’s sisters convince her to submit her DNA to Match Your DNA to find her soulmate after her now ex-husband divorces her after taking the test. Although her match, Richard Taylor, is younger than she is and they do not have many interests in common, their match is supposed to be infallible. Despite being old-fashioned enough to want Richard to make the first move, Mandy’s curiosity about her handsome match leads her to a shocking discovery.

Thirty-three year old Christopher’s Match Your DNA test pairs him up with Amy Brookbanks. While Amy is pretty much an open book, Christopher is quite secretive. Surprisingly, dating Amy is life-altering for Christopher, but what will Amy do when she uncovers the secret he has been keeping?

Jade Sewell lives in Britain but her match Kevin lives in Australia. They have gotten to know each extremely well through texts and phone calls, but Jade yearns for more. When challenged by her workmates to take a chance on love, she decides it is time to meet Kevin face to face. It is not until Jade arrives in Australia that doubts set in but she overcomes her fears and unexpectedly shows up at Kevin’s family farm where many surprises await.

Nick Wallsworth and his fiancée Sally are months away from marrying when Sally convinces him they need to take the test.  He reluctantly agrees although he is certain that the results will not change their future together if they are not DNA matched. However, Nick’s match is an absolutely stunner which could lead to life-altering changes for him and Sally.

Ellie Stanford is a workaholic who makes no time for romance or family. So when she receives a DNA Match, she is leery about meeting her match, Tim Hunt. After thoroughly vetting him, she decides to give him a chance. Although there are not immediate sparks, Ellie and Tim have enough in common that they continue dating. Their relationship is running along a predictable course when Ellie is blindsided by shocking information about Tim.

The chapters alternate between the various characters but it is quite easy to keep track of who is currently narrating. There are plenty of surprises as each person makes their decision about what to do about their perfect match.  Some of the chapters end on cliffhangers that keep the pages turning at a blistering pace to find out what is going to happen next. A few of the characters are more likable than others but it is impossible not to become invested on how their situation and/or relationship is ultimately going to play out.

The One is a clever novel that is absolutely spellbinding and quite innovative. The characters are fairly well developed and their choices and relationships are certainly interesting. While the beginning of the story is mostly light and optimistic, things begin to take a bit of a dark turn as the months go by. With plenty of unexpected twists and breathtaking turns, John Marrs brings this gripping novel to an exciting and somewhat unexpected conclusion. I absolutely loved and highly recommend this outstanding thriller.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Hanover Square Press, John Marrs, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Sci Fi, The One

One Response to Review: The One by John Marrs

  1. Timitra

    Thanks for the review Kathy