What’s that old saying about visitors being like fish? After three days they start to smell? Elliot and Gemma are still newlyweds when he agrees that her parents and sister can come for a visit. Elliot has lovingly restored his old Victorian home in an upscale London neighborhood and is rightly proud of the results. Mind you he’s a bit of a fussbudget about keeping his spaces neat and tidy and assumes his houseguests will do likewise. That is his second big mistake. The first one is having invited his in-laws in the first place. He realizes he shoulda’ listened to his spidey sense when it was going off like a fire alarm.
In no time at all, the Robinsons are making life miserable for Elliot. And Gemma is oddly submissive in their presence, despite her obvious regret for telling them it was okay for them to visit. Gemma’s sister Chloe is nearly ghost-like, staying closed up in her bedroom, not coming out or talking to anyone, supposedly stricken with some vague malady. The in-laws have no apparent income, no jobs and no interest in looking for work. No need to. They’ve made themselves at home and have no incentive to leave. Ever.
Elliot, wanting to protect Gemma and hold onto the happiness they’ve found together, goes into self-protective mode and begins digging into the Robinson’s past. Elliott’s discoveries threaten the cushy life his in-laws are enjoying and their retaliation makes life a living hell for him and Gemma. Could it get any worse? Oh yeah. Much worse.
Mark Edward’s “Here To Stay” gave me goosebumps and nightmares. This psychological thriller was one of my Kindle First selections and my first encounter with author Edward’s work. The protagonist narrates this scary tale in first person so you see and feel the full range of his emotions. Although Elliot isn’t worldly, he is intelligent and well educated so I had trouble reconciling myself to his naivete, accepting the in-laws at face value and ignoring what his senses were telling him. At age thirty I might’ve been just as gullible but I can’t remember that far back. Even so, the ending has a wicked twist and the story is a good yarn overall. Four stars.
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