Follow You Home by Mark Edwards

A review of the psychological thriller novel Follow You Home by Mark Edwards.

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Follow you home is a psychological thriller/chiller set in England. The story centres on a young British couple, and begins during a backpacking holiday around Europe; something they plan to carry out before getting married and settling down to have children.

The opening, before the story proper begins, is itself fairly complex. While travelling on a train through Romania – and after meeting another duo – Daniel and Laura (the young couple) settle down in an unoccupied sleeping compartment. Woken by the train guards, the pair realise they have had their passports, tickets and money stolen. In an attempt to help, the girl they met earlier, Alina, explains to the guards what has happened. Unfortunately, the situation quickly resorts to a shouting fiasco, resulting in the three of them being removed from the train – in the middle of nowhere in the bleak countryside of Romania. Alina disappears as they try to walk to the nearest town, but as Daniel and Laura search for her they come across an old house, illuminated by candlelight. What they see in the house has them running scared. The story then continues in England.

Despite the complicated setup, Mark Edwards has managed to write a book that is not easy to put down. Written (for the most part) from the viewpoint of Daniel, the story moves at a really good pace. The characters of Daniel and Laura are believable, and – dare I say – likeable. The other characters throughout the story are also written with depth and understanding. In fact, Edwards has managed to instil a degree of menace into at least two of the personalities, something that takes skill. You don’t feel sorry for the main couple; you end up asking, “What would I have done if faced with the same issue?” I think most people would answer, “I don’t know.”

The story unfolds in small parts. Although this can be quite frustrating, Edwards manages to give just enough story so the reader is not bored, but not too much that you’re left wondering what the other 200 pages can be about. This is why, at times, Edwards tells the story from a different viewpoint; a very tricky thing to get right especially when telling the same story.

The subject matter is not for the faint-hearted, though as I’m sure some readers will find it difficult to read about. However, Edwards does not go into gratuitous detail and there is very little overt violence.

It is unusual to find a book which claims to keep you guessing to the last few pages and manages to do just that. There are times when you think you’ve worked out the plot, but then there is another twist which is totally unforeseen. The twists are all believable and in keeping with the story as well.

Mark Edwards writes descriptively, but without having to use colours in every sentence or two or three adjectives to describe every noun. He assumes the reader knows what a train is so doesn’t describe it in detail. There’s very little unnecessary fluff.

I would highly recommend reading Follow You Home. It is well-written, easy to read and keeps you guessing to the very last page. Well done, Mr Edwards.

Cassidy grew up in Thanet and lives here with her family.

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