Mark Edwards is back with another of his spine-tingling thrillers that keeps the reader wondering throughout. Elliot Foster enjoys a quiet life, teaching under-privileged children the joys of science. When he crosses paths with Gemma Robinson one day, it is both fate and love at first sight. Their whirlwind romance soon sees them married and enjoying a lovely life together. However, Gemma’s appearance is soon followed by the return of her family from France, including two parents and a young adult sister, all of whom remain very tight-lipped about what has been going on. What begins as a helpful gesture to aid the in-laws soon goes sour, as Elliot learns that there is no plan to leave his home. Even more troubling is that Gemma appears to have some skeletons in her closet that Elliot is only now becoming aware. When odd things begin to occur around the house, Elliot can only wonder if his three houseguests might have some role in it all. More worrisome is that they seem to have taken up permanent residence and are dodging any hopes of leaving the home. Elliot will have to pull some strings to get the assistance he needs, while also trying to determine if this chance encounter with Gemma was just that, or part of a larger plan to con him. Edwards paints quite the picture in this thrilling piece that reads quickly and is full of twists. Recommended to those who enjoy the writing of Mark Edwards, as well as the reader who finds pleasure in something with a slight psychological nature to it.
There is something about Mark Edwards and his writing that I find intriguing, no matter the topic. He is able to push a story along with a slight psychological twist and keep the reader wondering through until the very end. In this piece, it is Elliot Foster who plays the central role, though he is by no means the one generating much of the drama. Elliot has come to accept that life will be quiet for him, living along and with only his small group of friends. However, when Gemma arrives, it is as though a switch is turned on inside of him and he feels like a new man. This newness is tested throughout the novel with challenges that he could not have thought would ever be a part of his life. He struggles to come to terms with it all, but soon discovers that he must fight for all he holds dear, or face sure ruin of both his own life and that of his new wife. Other characters play interesting roles in the larger story, including a trio of in-laws who seem as conniving as they are secretive. The standoff has begun and only one side can emerge victorious, as Elliot tries to wrestle control of his life back from these people whose backstory is anything but clear. The story worked well and while it was not one of Edwards’ better psychological thrillers, it certainly kept my attention. With twists and some great reveals throughout, I could not help but find myself interested to see how things would progress. A mix of shorter and more detailed chapters kept the story flowing and allowed the reader to wonder what awaited them. Strong characters and some interesting banter left me wondering if Edwards has some stories of his own about unwanted visitors. The horror of ‘in-law overload’ is real for anyone who has encountered less than amicable family by marriage before, but Edwards adds something to the experience to make it a little more intense.
Kudos, Mr. Edwards, for another wonderful novel. While not as chilling as some of your work, I enjoyed it for its quick delivery. I cannot wait to see what else you have in store for your fans.
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons