One Bad Thing – M.K. Hill | Book Review | #OneBadThing

A twisty and chilling thriller about a woman who did one bad thing when she was young… and must now suffer the consequences.

She thought she’d got away with it. She was wrong.

Hannah Godley is an agony aunt on a London radio show Queen of Hearts. She’s warm and empathetic; a good listener. Her catchphrase is: Be kind, always. But when a stranger phones in to tell a tragic story about her brother who killed himself after he was the victim of a terrible prank by two people, Hannah goes cold. Because she remembers Diane’s brother well. In fact, all these years later, he still haunts her dreams. All because of that one bad thing she did when she was young…

Is Diane just a sad, lonely woman looking for a friend, or does she know what Hannah did, and is looking for revenge? Because as Diane insinuates herself into her life and family, Hannah is going to discover that you can never truly escape that One Bad Thing you did – sooner or later, you’re going to have to pay the price…

Publisher: Head of Zeus / Aries Fiction
Format: Ebook, Audio, Hardback (3 February 2022) | Paperback (1 September 2022)
Pages: 400
Source: Copy for review via Netgalley


Hannah Godley is a respected psychologist and Agony Aunt on a radio show. On the last programme before she leaves to join a daytime TV show, a career move that will massively increase her public profile, she takes a call from a listener, Diana, who talks about her dead brother Martin. Diana doesn’t say much but her few words chill Hannah to the bone “I’m going to make the people responsible for Martin’s death suffer…”. Hannah doesn’t know Diana, but she knew a Martin many years before when she and a friend did something that she is now deeply ashamed of. Afraid of what Diana knows, what she could do and how it could impact her career, Hannah decides to take control and the whole twisted story begins.

Hannah has a really complex background which has shaped her entire life. My feelings towards her were mixed and veered between feeling very unsympathetic as despite her motto, ‘Be kind, always’ she wasn’t always so and frequently seemed to make one bad decision after another. At other times I felt sorry for her especially when it seemed that she was being stalked and when the story concerned her young daughter Amber – in fact none of the main characters came across to me as being particularly likeable but they were certainly interesting and I was so keen to see to what level they would go. I’ve either read too many thrillers or I have a very suspicious mind because every adult came under suspicion almost from the off, admittedly sometimes for the wrong reason and I constantly saw what I thought were red flags.

Twisted, intriguing, suspenseful. One Bad Thing is all of those. The reader will need to fight their way through the twists and turns and the misdirection to find a dark and addictive story of complex relationships, twisted obsession and more. The story was well paced with the reader being kept in suspense – I was desperate to know what the awful thing was that Hannah had done and which resulted in her turning her life around, particularly after all the references to it.

This is the first book I’ve read by M K Hill but it certainly won’t be my last – great writing, characters that you constantly doubt and a hugely enjoyable suspenseful plot. My thanks to Sophie Ransom for the tour invite and to the publisher for the Netgalley copy.


Mark Hill was a journalist and an award-winning music radio producer before becoming a full-time writer. The first novel in the Sasha Dawson series, The Bad Place, was described as ‘everything a police procedural should be’ by The Times, who also named it as their crime book of the month. He lives in London.

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