Book Reviews

The One That Got Away by Nicky James

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Law Enforcement / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 12-May-2021

Book Blurb

Someone is following me. I’m not imagining it. I’m not crazy.

Charlie Falkingham is convinced someone is stalking him. There are signs. There are clues. But no one believes him. After living through a childhood horror, Charlie suffers from a severe paranoia disorder, among many things, and the Hamilton Police Department has labeled him the boy who cries wolf.

When the only person in the department who ever listened to Charlie’s concerns retires, who can Charlie reach out to for help?

Arrogant and young, Officer Takoda Dyani has a chip on his shoulder a mile wide. He’s rude and brash and doesn’t play well with others. He has more enemies than friends. When his senior officer assigns him to be Charlie’s consultant, Takoda knows it will end badly. He doesn’t have time to coddle a prissy rich boy.

However, if he can’t calm Charlie’s paranoid delusions and act civil for once, he’ll lose his job.

But are they delusions?

The longer he knows Charlie, the more Takoda realizes, something isn’t right.

Is someone really stalking Charlie, or is Takoda getting too wrapped up in Charlie’s world?

Triggers for severe anxiety and panic disorder, OCD, dissociative episodes, PTSD. The plot line includes a reference to a past child kidnapping and sex-trafficking incident. Details of sex-trafficking are NOT discussed in any part of the story.

Book Review

“The more I remember, the more inconsolable I will be... But now increasingly I… want to remember. I want to know. Perhaps I can better tolerate being inconsolable now...” ~ Sonali Deraniyagala, Wave


Officer Takoda Dyani, of ‘The One Who Got Away’ by Nicky James, is a good cop with a bad attitude. He has pushed the boundaries of his job almost to the point of being fired. His chief is willing to give him one more opportunity to redeem himself as well as an opportunity to learn much-needed life lessons in humility and compassion. As penance Takoda is assigned to taking care of a very special client named Charlie Falkingham. Everyone in the office knows Charlie’s reputation for imagining situations. When Takoda first meets Charlie, he is hostile and ungracious, but as he gets to know the damaged young man, he begins to recognize that, even with all of his issues, Charlie may just be the bravest person Takoda has ever known.


Before Takoda was assigned to Charlie, he had heard about the infamously botched child trafficking case of which Charlie was the only survivor, but had never read the files. Therefore, he had no point of reference, nothing to help him realize just how serious things were and still are for Charlie. Takoda doesn’t know how to work with the overwhelming issues Charlie has to deal with every day that makes his existence a living hell. Charlie isn’t impressed with the loud and obnoxious man who is replacing the officer who took care of him before, but Stanley is now retired and can no longer help him. The more he asks for Stanley, the more irritated Takoda becomes. Yet, Takoda knows if he doesn’t at least try to pacify Charlie he will lose his job.


As a last resort, he takes Charlie to see Stanley. He hopes he can gain some insight into how best to deal with Charlie. Takoda is appalled to learn that, in an effort to keep him placated, everyone has been lying to Charlie including his family who would rather keep him sedated rather than deal with his issues. Regardless of his issues, Takoda doesn’t agree with the others taking Charlie’s choices away. He makes a decision to tell Charlie the truth. Predictably, Charlie isn’t happy learning that everyone has been deceiving him but he gains a greater respect for Takoda, the one person who isn’t. As Takoda begins analyzing the clues that Charlie is observing – like the car that keeps showing up, the candy wrapper, and chalk in the mailbox – it slowly dawns on him that Charlie is not imagining danger but that the peril is real.


This an often dark, unconventional love story involving a young man, Charlie, who is struggling to overcome severe trauma, and Takoda, his unexpected knight in shining armor.  It is full of angst, suspense, mystery, as well as hope and redemption. It made me anxious to watch Charlie’s struggle, I was also in awe of his strength. Although I wasn’t fond of Takoda at first, once he began to understand Charlie and what he needed, he totally redeemed himself. Thanks, Nicky! This would make an awesome movie!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 337 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 22-March-2021
Price $4.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
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