Five stars (of five)
Mark Edwards is back with a new thriller sure to keep reader up late into the night, especially if they travel by rail. While on a tour of Europe, Laura and Daniel are robbed in the rural townships of Romania, their passports and tickets lifted from their bags. Romanian border guards toss them from the train, along with a young woman, Alina, who sought to defend them. In the middle of nowhere, Alina trudges off and Laura and Daniel soon follow, trying to find her, but only discovering a discarded boot. When they come upon a dilapidated house in the forest, Laura and Daniel explore, which is where they plot thickens immensely. Edwards moves the story forward, back to London, where Laura and Daniel sit on a secret they discovered in Romania, one that has left them emotionally and somewhat physically scarred. Neither will talk about it, but they soon drift apart and find themselves on separate tracks as they try to deal with it. Anyone Daniel tells portions of the story to ends up dead, leaving him to wonder if he’s being hunted in order to keep quiet. Laura struggles as well, seeing ghosts surrounding her, which pushes her to the brink. Alina’s own story adds to the mystery and her appearance in London leaves Daniel to wonder the true and complete story of that house in Romania. Edwards adds layers of thrill and psychological chill in his latest novel, with a cliffhanger or two to blindside the reader as well.
Edwards has a knack of building up a happy facade on the periphery of his stories, with a deeper and darker truth to them, the further the book progresses. Once the reader is halfway into the novel, like a masterful web, they cannot escape and must read on to discover what lies behind the next corner. With an interesting background pulled from history, Edwards seeks to thrill the reader into submission. One of his best solo pieces to date, readers will flock to this and devour it more in fear than necessity.
Kudos, Mr. Edwards for your sick and twisted ways as you try to keep the reader guessing until the bitter end.