By Mark Edwards
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 6/30/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Mark Edwards, one of my “go-to” authors for some of the most intense and engaging psychological thrillers; however, with FOLLOW YOU HOME, he turns up the complexity and intensity ten-fold, (like, on steroids) with a Stephen King-like,brilliantly plotted, spine-tingling, and haunting atmosphere of evil, lies, and horror.
An innocent European backpack adventure, a night train ride, mysterious strangers, a haunting forest, and a strange house; meets evil, greed, violence, corruption, and revenge. Readers will not be able to put this one down—I read in one sitting! Note to self . . . Never sleep on a train. Never enter a mysterious house in the forest. Check backpack often.
Daniel and Laura, a successful couple in their early thirties, introduced by mutual friend, Jake a musician—with a bright future. Daniel a tech developer of a new app for Skittle and Laura works in marketing for a non-profit. Her biological clock is ticking, with plans to marry and start a family soon. Laura’s best friend Erin is pregnant, so she has baby on the brain for the near future. She has not had an easy childhood; however, hopes she will be a better parent.
However, before they dive into their adult responsibilities, as many of us have done---Take the time while young to travel, see the world, and backpack around Europe. Enjoying their grand tour to Brussels, France, Spain, Ibiza, Italy (Rome and the Amalfi coast), Greece, and Croatia and Hungary for two glorious months of leisurely fun and sun. After Romania, they planned to head north again to Russia, Germany, and then Scandinavia and to end up on Daniel’s thirty-fifth birthday in Stockholm, and then they would fly home back to London, to get married and start their family.
The overnight train to Sighisoara due to leave Budapest at eleven was running late, and they were tired and exhausted from their travels. Instead of the cozy, private sleeper compartment accommodation, Daniel was trying to save money, staying on a budget; by purchasing seats in the standard accommodation section (half the price).
Soon thereafter, their happy, and enjoyable trip turns into a nightmare. (“nightmare” is actually too lame a word to use to describe this bloody detour trip to hell and back). Straight away, they meet another Eastern European couple on the train from Romania (Ion and Alina). Laura is tired, so she is urged to take a quick nap and they will keep a look out to let them know before the guard come aboard to check tickets and passports. they both fall asleep.
When they are awakened from a deep sleep by the guards, they discover their passports, tickets, and money have been stolen. When Alina tries to translate, on their behalf, the three of them are thrown off the train in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. When Alina steps into the forest to use the restroom in private, and does not return, the couple desperately seek to find her, so they can get to the next town by daybreak. While in search for her, they stumble upon a haunted house in the middle of the forest, with a baby crying. They enter. It is so shocking, they do not want to speak about it ever again. Evil follows them home and everywhere they turn.
When they barely escape, it forever changes the course of their lives. Their nightmare has just begun and keeps on ticking for an adrenaline hide continuous ride. (Gives new meaning to "being in the wrong place at the wrong time").
Their life begins to crumble piece by piece with mind boggling events, as Daniel fights to uncover the truth. However, there is more than one plot playing out here, much larger than you can imagine. They never knew what they stepped into which has the power to destroy their lives and endanger everyone around them.
From past Hungary-Romania 2013, to present London, 2014 and flashes back and forth to the time surrounding the journey in the forest, you definitely will not fall asleep reading this one. One obstacle after another with many schemes playing out at the same time. There is no way to adequately describe the innovation, creativity, and complexity of FOLLOW YOU HOME with layer upon layer of twists and turns and surprises lurking around every corner, even to the end.
Edwards keeps readers guessing as to what went down in this house. He brilliantly has crafted a suspense thriller which continues to build throughout, and never slows down for a breath. You cannot stop reading, as he holds your attention from the time they exit the train to the end, in this fast-paced riveting dark psychological suspense. Would make a great film, crossing many genres from contemporary horror, supernatural, drama, ghosts, crime, mystery, suspense, psychological and thriller.
FOLLOW YOU HOME has been added to my Top 30 Booklist for 2015! Edwards is at the “top of his game” – Brilliantly written and wow, what character development (expect more than one villain here). If you enjoy scary things that go bump in the night…. This one is for you. My heart is still pounding. Have also pre-ordered the audio, as enjoy listening after reading, to get the full experience!
Notes: Loved Edward the PI, my hero and look forward to reading the short story featuring private detective Edward Rooney from Follow You Home. I also enjoyed the inspiration behind the book. Mark, thanks for sharing as throughout the entire book, I was dying to tweet you to inquire. What a journey!
If you have not read Mark Edwards, previously, highly recommend all his back list for a ride of your life. He has a talent for getting into the minds of his characters.