Here To Stay by Mark Edwards
Genres: Suspense, Thriller
Published: 1st September, 2019
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?
Before I even say anything about this book, let it be known that Mark Edwards is one of my favourite authors, my go-to suspense guy, and I get excited every time he puts out a new book. His new one is coming out mid next year, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
That said, I must also confess I was quite disappointed with Here To Stay. You see, what I love about his stories is how he takes seemingly mundane things to such extreme that they become threatening and ominous. But always for a good reason. His characters go through some emotionally and mentally tiring things and it’s easy to see how they are pushed over the edge.
The story of Elliot, a single dude with an inclination to science living in a beautiful Victorian house, started out in the traditional Mark Edwards fashion. Elliot was just a normal dude, doing normal things, until he met Gemma. A few months later they were married. The fact that he knew basically nothing about his new bride did not seem to bother him, and he quashed down all reason his friend Amina presented to him.
Then the in-laws arrive and everything goes downhill pretty quickly. They are not only rude and obnoxious, but sort of creepy as well. What’s with the sister lurking in the room the whole time? Even though Gemma seems sort of oppressed by them, in the beginning Elliot is the one who is trying to find excuses for their behaviour. Dude, your wife is clearly in distress and you are taking their side? Way to go, mate. Yes, I got agitated. But I loved that. I mean, I’m supposed to get agitated, no?
Anyway, it didn’t take long before shit started hitting the fan, and soon things got a bit out of hand. At one point I thought it was hilarious, until I reminded myself that we are dealing with some serious stuff here. But I just couldn’t get rid of this feeling of glee, and how this whole thing reminded me of that Monty Python sketch about the picnic in the park where a dude gets impaled by a piano that cuts off a woman’s head. Yeah, I know, I find the weirdest shit funny.
Since Mark Edwards is one of my lovely faves, this slight mishap is not going to deter me from reading his new stuff, but if you haven’t read anything by him, I don’t think this is a good option to start with. Maybe try the Magpies for domestic suspense, or The Retreat for a creepy forest based mystery, perhaps go for In Her Shadow for a good story with family secrets.