The House Guest, by Mark Edwards

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Mark Edwards, and Amazon Publishing UK for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

A long-time fan of Mark Edwards and his writing, I turned to this book to see if it would bring the same psychological thrill. Edwards succeeds in delivering and spins a story with layers that the reader will discover as the plot progresses. Adam and Ruth are housesitting for some friends when there’s a knock at the door one rainy evening. A woman stands on the stoop of this New York home, seeking the owners. After introducing herself, Eden explains that she has an open invitation to visit at any time, but can find someplace else to go. Ruth is happy to let her come in and Adam soon falls into line. A single night under the same roof soon stretches to a week and Eden becomes a third house sitter. While Ruth is out earning a living, Adam and Eden spend more time together. After a hard night of partying at the house one Friday, Adam wakes up to find the place empty. Ruth is not answering her phone and Eden’s presence is all but impossible to detect. When the proprietors return home, they deny knowing any Eden, which only worries Adam more, as Ruth still has not responded. Fighting against time and an NYPD that won’t help at all, Adam turns to an unlikely source. He soon learns of a secret group that may be the key to the entire ordeal, but they are also close to impossible to trace. In order to find Ruth, Adam will have to risk it all. Meanwhile, Ruth is on the other side of this group and the choice to abduct her becomes clear, but there’s a catch and a time limit. With a wonderful twist at the end, Edwards does well to sow some great drama and a few thrills in this piece. The reader with surely be left wanting more, with each page turn. Recommended to those who are fans of Edwards’ work, as well as the reader who knows the fun of unexpected company on the doorstep.

Mark Edwards writes in such a way that I am always looking for exciting twists, yet am usually still surprised by some of the directions in which the plot develops. He has a knack for taking a simple situation and turning it on its head with strong characters and the odd spine tingling. There are a host of characters that could serve as protagonist here, though the reader can enjoy anyone they see fit for the role. From Adam’s panic as he tries to piece things together, to Ruth’s being stuck in the middle of a scenario as a ‘chosen one’, and even the mysterious Eden who turns up on the doorstep one rainy evening. All three propel the story forward in their own way, keeping the reader guessing as the narrative finds itself twisting alongside the thickening plot. With a story that never stops, the reader is treated to another stellar Edwards novel, on par with many of his other pieces of fiction. Not to be missed, this is one novel that will keep the reader from answering the door on a rainy night, especially when not in their own abode.

Kudos, Mr. Edwards, for another winner. I hope many others discover the wonders of your writing and how the mind will race after completing one of your stories.

This book fulfils Topic #4: Building Blocks in the Equinox #10 reading challenge.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: