Only The Lonely was kindly gifted to me by Tamara Von Werthern herself after she asked me via social media whether her book about an older man who accidentally spent some time being a detective (based on her real-life father) would be something I’d be interested in reading, I said yes and a few months later when my TBR cleared up a bit, I picked it up.
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Only The Lonely follows the short story of Detective Philipp who accidentally finds himself pulling out some detective skills to initially work out where his neighbour’s missing cat is which then spirals into a much bigger search effort. It’s a novella in length but felt much longer due to some clever writing.
Only The Lonely plot – 4/5
Only The Lonely feels very much like a Fredrik Backman sort of story. It’s about a person who doesn’t intend to really get involved in what they ends up getting involved in and, as a result, the reader ends up floating along rather enjoying the ride but never really feeling like anything is ever too serious or tense.
As I said above, Only The Lonely is a novella and so only around 100 pages long. It’s a short book that therefore is quick and doesn’t mess around when it comes to the actual action and plot points. This means there aren’t a lot of opportunities for von Werthern to add any additional backstory to the people and world but she still does a good job of adding depth to the Philipp himself.
The plot starts off fairly slow and feels like the beginning of a longer book at the start but then quickly ramps up the pace in the final third where I felt it finally found its footing and had more reading that final third all in one day.
Only The Lonely characters – 4/5
Only The Lonely’s one leading man is Detective Philipp – oh and his little canine friend Maschka! Philipp seems like an odd character at first – easily angered by things and someone who works himself up quite a bit with his own thoughts.
However, he’s a very kind soul and someone who does inevitably want to help all of those around him. Von Werthern based him off of her own dad and, realistically, you wouldn’t base novels on your own father if he wasn’t someone you admired and actually wanted to write a novel about so that explains a lot about why he’s so kind. It would be interesting to know if he’s read it or not!
The other characters in the book are few and far between – Philipp is our main protagonist and he meets a couple of other people along the way but you don’t really get enough interaction with them to gain any sort of interest in them. However, one is quite quirky which I always have a lot of time for.
Only The Lonely final rating – 4/5
Only The Lonely is a lovely little novella. It takes a little while to get going but once it does, it utilises a likeable protagonist on Detective Philipp to deliver a story that will satisfy the readers and have you wanting more Detective Philipp novels in the future. Even if it isn’t your cup of tea, Only The Lonely is a novella and so no one will feel like they’ve wasted their time reading this book. It’s a win/win.