I Invited Her In review: Beware of long-lost friends
I Invited Her In
Ever wondered what you would do if an old friend you hadn't seen in decades suddenly gets in touch asking for your help? This is the starting point for the new noir from best-selling UK author Adele Parks.
Mel is married to Ben, has three children and works in a local bridal shop. Money might be tight and her life isn't overly exciting, but she is extremely content with her happy family life. When she receives an unexpected email from Abi, it brings back memories of her carefree university days.
Mel and Abi had been inseparable until Mel became pregnant and had to drop out of college to bring up her son. Living very different lives, Mel and Abi went in opposite directions and eventually lost touch.
Now a hot shot TV presenter living in the US, Abi emails Mel to tell her that after finding her husband in bed with a much younger woman, she is divorcing him and returning home to the UK. Despite not hearing from her for years, Mel immediately invites Abi to stay, feeling it's the least she can do until she sorts herself out.
The pair immediately slip back into their friendship routine, instantly picking up from where they left off. It's not long before Mel is questioning her boring life which seems extremely dreary and humdrum when compared to her glamorous friend.
But everything is not as it seems and when Mel's eldest child, Liam, suddenly starts asking questions about who his real father is, the novel takes off like a rocket, turning into a dark tale of jealousy, betrayal and revenge.
Parks is a master of characterisation and, by telling the story from a number of different viewpoints, she succeeds in giving us a real insight into how one woman will stop at nothing until she gets what she wants, while another does everything in her power to save her family from destruction.
There are plenty of twists and turns, but overall, Parks delivers a well-executed plot.