Paperback, 380 pages
Published: September 1st 2019 by Thomas & Mercer
ISBN: 1542044901 (ISBN13: 9781542044905)
Edition Language: English
Buy a copy here
Well, now my breathing has steadied, the palpitations have subsided, and the hives have disappeared, I feel just about ready to share my thoughts on ‘Here To Stay’ by Mark Edwards…
What’s it about?
Gemma Robinson comes into Elliot’s life like a whirlwind, and they marry and settle into his home. When she asks him if her parents can come to stay for a couple of weeks, he is keen to oblige – he just doesn’t quite know what he’s signing up for.
The Robinsons arrive with Gemma’s sister, Chloe, a mysterious young woman who refuses to speak or leave her room. Elliot starts to suspect that the Robinsons are hiding a dark secret. And then there are the scars on his wife’s body that she won’t talk about . . .
As Elliot’s in-laws become more comfortable in his home, encroaching on all aspects of his life, it becomes clear that they have no intention of moving out. To protect Gemma, and their marriage, Elliot delves into the Robinsons’ past. But is he prepared for the truth?
This is the fourth Mark Edwards book I have read, and I approached ‘Here to Stay’ with complete confidence that I would enjoy it. It isn’t my copy actually; I borrowed it from my mother-in-law who, having read The Retreat while staying with us, ordered the author’s entire back catalogue! I’ve a few to go at yet…
After rather a disturbing opening sequence, the real story starts idyllically with the professional, successful and self-deprecating science educator Elliot having an open-garden event in order to support the efforts of the lovely corner of the suburb in which he lives. A lady called Gemma comes to look around and Elliot is instantly attracted to her. Fast forward a short time, and they are newlyweds after an intoxicating whirlwind romance.
A short time after their wedding, Gemma tells Elliot that she’s heard that her parents are returning from France, and it seems they have nowhere to stay. Elliot offers rooms in their large home to them, until they sort out their alternative accommodation.
There is accomplished plotting and pacing – anyone who has read The Magpies will know that the author is skilled at allowing small, irritating foibles almost imperceptibly become insidious and malevolent behaviours, resulting in a reign of terror which is utterly horrifying.
As readers, we already have a clue about the in-laws, but the manipulation of Elliot and his constant efforts to be accommodating in the first instance sets the teeth on edge. Will he break under the pressure? What can he do against a physically stronger foe? How can he get his house and wife back to how it was before? Is it even possible?
This is a completely absorbing story that I raced through in genuine horror of the situation, but desperate to know how it would resolve. It’s a clever and, I don’t quite know how, but a plausible ending! The stuff of nightmares, and an excellent book. Highly recommended if you can handle the tension! Probably a few lessons to be learned about getting to know your partner’s family before you get in too deep. I feel very lucky in that regard 😊
About the author:
Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people.
Mark has sold over 2 million books since his first solo novel, The Magpies, was published in 2013. Since then he has topped the bestseller lists several times. His other novels are Because She Loves Me, Follow You Home, What You Wish For, The Devil’s Work, The Lucky Ones, The Retreat and In Her Shadow. He has also published A Murder of Magpies (a short sequel to The Magpies) and six books co-authored with Louise Voss.
To connect with Mark: (He loves love hearing from readers and always responds.) Mark can be contacted in the following ways: