I received this e-Arc from NetGalley and Amazon Publishing/Thomas and Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Release Date: June 30, 2015 Synopsis ~ It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a final adventure before settling down. After a perfect start, Daniel and Laura’s travels end abruptly when they’re thrown off a night train in the middle of nowhere. To find their way back to civilization, they must hike along the tracks through a forest…a haunting journey that ends in unimaginable terror. Back in London, Daniel and Laura vow never to talk about what they saw that night. But as they try to fit back into their old lives, it becomes clear that their nightmare is just beginning…
After finishing Follow You Home all I could think is why haven’t I read Mark Edwards before? This is a pulse-pounding thriller that despite being 402 pages long, transfixed me so that I finished it in two days.
As the story opens, we’re introduced to Daniel and Laura, a couple who are ready to settle down and start a family. Before doing so they decide to splurge and embark on a grand tour of Europe. All goes well until they visit Romania. As they’re traveling on a night train they meet another young couple, Ion and Alina. Shortly thereafter their passports mysteriously go missing and they and Alina are tossed off the train by Romanian guards. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, they decide to follow the train tracks to the nearest town, but first Alina steps into the forest to relieve herself. When she fails to return Daniel and Laura desperately search for her, finally tracing her to a ramshackle house where they hear a baby crying. While something obviously horrifying happens, the story quickly segues to the couple being back in London, three months later, trying to pick up the shattered remnants of their lives. They’re both so traumatized by what’s happened that Daniel is in therapy, and Laura has moved out because she can’t look at Daniel without unwanted memories boiling to the surface. They avoid telling anyone what’s happened, so it’s a while before the reader finds out what transpired. The problem is that even though Daniel and Laura think they’re safe now, sinister events begin to unfold, and it’s soon apparent that the evil they thought they left behind in Romania has followed them home.
All too often in psychological thrillers and horror fiction, I’ve found that the main characters make some incredibly stupid decisions which make it difficult for me to emphasize with them. Through the first half of the book Mark Edwards tantalizingly lays a trail of breadcrumbs out until what happened in Romania is finally unveiled. Once it is, although mistakes were made, I found Daniel’s and Laura’s actions for the most part completely understandable. The only thing I had a little difficulty with was their decision to keep quiet, especially once they’re out of Romania and safe at home. They are both people who have always tried to do the right thing, yet when faced with unimaginable evil, discover it’s not so easy. The story is told from Daniel’s perspective for the most part, so I found myself identifying with him more than Laura who remains an enigma through the majority of the book. The secondary characters are multidimensional and intriguing, and had me constantly guessing as to their true motivations. The only thing obvious is that no one is really as they first seem.
The richly layered plot is filled with so many twists and turns that just as I thought I had everything figured out, something would happen that spun everything in the opposite direction. For a good portion of the book I felt as though I was on a runaway train and was almost afraid to discover each new revelation. Even the ending rocked me to the core! Once I finished it was apparent to me that Mark Edwards not only has the ability to get into the minds of his characters, but also those of his readers. Now I have to hunt down the rest of his books! If you enjoy high octane thrillers and psychological suspense, and writers such as Linwood Barclay and Harlan Coben I highly recommend this. It’s not a story you’ll soon forget.