I quite often wake up early in the morning, or can’t sleep at night, so I like to make sure that as well as a stack of good paperbacks, I also have my trusty Kindle to hand (so I can read in the dark). That said, trying to choose a book to download and read presents me with the same problem as 21st century television – what to decide on. Also, what does annoy me is that a lot of the categories (psychological, thriller, British detectives) all have the same books in each. Yeah, I know, I am turning into Victor Meldrew.

Anyway, I decided on this book as it had 4.5 stars and had been reviewed by nearly 5000 people. Surely that many bookworms can’t be wrong? And I am pleased to say that they’re not!

Elliot is a science teacher who hasn’t had much luck in life. When he meets a beautiful, intelligent and mysterious girl called Gemma he quickly falls in love and after a whirlwind romance they get married. Skip forward a couple of months, and she gets an unexpected email from her parents (who Elliot hasn’t met as they were living in France) asking if they can stay for a couple of weeks, as they’re moving back to the UK and haven’t yet found a place to live. Of course, Elliot agrees – how bad could it be having your in-laws stay with you for a couple of weeks? The answer is very. 

At first they seem ok – yes, perhaps a bit loud and a touch inconsiderate, but hey – it’s only for 2 weeks isn’t it?  Wrong. They quickly turn into the house guests from hell, refusing to move out, cigarette burns on the sofa, expensive bottles of wine going missing, furniture being replaced and Elliot’s cat going missing. Also, there’s Gemma’s strange sister who won’t leave her room and seems very withdrawn. Concerned for her safety, Elliot asks his next-door neighbour (a retired doctor) to check she’s ok – which his in-laws are not best pleased about. 

When Elliot’s beloved neighbours are discovered brutally murdered, and his father-in-law seems very blasé about it, Elliot starts to wonder if he might have something to do with it? Since they’ve moved in, his new wife appears to be frightened of her parents and has started drinking heavily and isn’t herself anymore. After Elliot confronts his father-in-law and asks him to leave things take a sudden turn for the worse – Elliot is arrested by the police on suspicion of inappropriately touching one of his pupils. How is he going to get out of this situation, and how is he going to get rid of the in-laws from hell?

I really enjoyed this book, it is a real page turner and having had a few unwanted houseguests myself over the years (none of which were family I hasten to add), I related to his situation and the dilemma he was faced with. It is full of intrigue and action, and although there are a few far-fetched elements, this didn’t detract from the overall story. Definitely worth a read if you like thrillers (it’s about £3 on Amazon if I remember correctly). Hope you enjoy!

Best wishes, Jim

April 2024