Title: The House Guest
Author: Mark Edwards
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Publication date: June 3rd, 2020
A perfect summer. A perfect stranger. A perfect nightmare.
When British twenty-somethings Ruth and Adam are offered the chance to spend the summer housesitting in New York, they can’t say no. Young, in love and on the cusp of professional success, they feel as if luck is finally on their side.
So the moment that Eden turns up on the doorstep, drenched from a summer storm, it seems only right to share a bit of that good fortune. Beautiful and charismatic, Eden claims to be a friend of the homeowners, who told her she could stay whenever she was in New York.
They know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers—let alone invite them into your home—but after all, Eden’s only a stranger until they get to know her.
As suspicions creep in that Eden may not be who she claims to be, they begin to wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake…
**Thank you to Thomas and Mercer, Netgalley, and Mark Edwards for an early copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**
The House Guest is a thrilling tale of being swept up in a world you never knew existed, and certainly didn’t bargain for. When Eden shows up on Ruth and Adam’s doorstep saying she knows the owners of the house they are watching, why would they turn her away? Eden knew details of Jack and Mona’s life, so she must know who they are – and they are set to get back from their vacation in a few days. But when Adam wakes up one morning with a head full of regrets and a hangover he’ll never forget, he finds that Ruth and Eden are missing – and all evidence of Eden’s existence is gone. Adam must work hard to find out where Ruth is, before it’s too late.
Holy wow this book didn’t turn out the way I expected it to. Every time I wrote off the story line assuming I “knew” the ending and “whodunnit”, I was wrong. Or at least, not completely right. Edwards has a way of making important information seem innocuous, at least until the very end when you realize it isn’t. His writing really kept the plot line moving forward, and captured the feelings of Adam and Ruth while they go through this journey.
None of the characters are completely “likable”. Ruth and Adam aren’t bad people, but they each have their own insecurities and doubts that make them human, but certainly not super likable. Adam turns on the hero persona to find Ruth, but he let her down in ways he couldn’t even imagine. Ruth seems like a normal woman, an actress about to get her big break. But inside, she has abandonment issues and has been searching for a group to belong to. It’s the perfect storm for what happens.
HOWEVER. That ending though! I honestly can’t get over it. I can’t really say more than that, without it being spoiler-y. But the ending is not at all what you would expect, and I believe I will be thinking about it for a long time trying to puzzle it out.
Happy reading, folks!