Invite Me In
reviewed by Carolyn Scott
Eliza and Martin Curran appear to have an idyllic life. Well off with two adorable children, a French au pair and a beautiful house they seem to want for nothing. Martin became a paraplegic after an accident on his motorbike but has recovered well physically and is mentally stronger than before.
He designed the house himself with the help of his best friend Phil, an architect and it is totally wheelchair friendly for him to move around freely with a lift and a therapy pool Martin can use without help.
While Eliza really respects how Martin has dealt with his injury and is now thriving, she is very unhappy in their marriage. Martin is a manipulative bully and watches her like a hawk, always wanting to know where she is and what she is doing and never letting her forget that he helped her overcome her alcoholism eight years ago.
Eliza and Martin own several properties that they rent out and it was as Eliza was preparing a new property for lease that she first met Dan Jones. Friendly and charming, he persuades Eliza and Martin to let him be their newest tenant. He then gradually becomes more involved in their lives, dating their French au pair Isabel, and inveigling himself into Martin’s business and flirting with Eliza, who finds herself strongly attracted to him.
This is a gripping, multilayered suspense, filled with an increasing sense of tension and claustrophobia as Eliza’s world closes in on her. It’s clear that Dan is playing some sort of game with Eliza and Martin, but what is it that he wants? Eliza is so unhappy in what is a toxic, smothering marriage that you would think she would leave Martin, but it seems he knows some deep, dark secret about her that would prevent her getting custody of the children.
The plot is skilfully written and although none of the characters are people we would want to befriend, they are intriguingly real and interesting and their fates become important. Starting with a slow burn as Eliza’s life starts to fall apart, the tension gradually builds as secrets and revelations spill out until the plot suddenly explodes, with Eliza caught in the middle of a crime scene that she can see no way out from. It all combines for a tense and gripping psychological suspense, and a very addictive read.
With thanks to Random House UK and Netgalley for a copy to read. Expected Publication September 2, 2021.