If I were asked to provide a list of my favourite books, there would be quite a few in that list by Mark Edwards. Follow You Home would certainly make the list. Thanks to a Facebook video event that Mark hosted yesterday (24 March 2021) and that I was going to be given the opportunity to ask a question during, I re-read the book over the last week. I was surprised to discover that although my memory was that this was one of the first of his books of his that I had read, at least according to Goodreads, it wasn’t until 2019 that I read it (I’m still not convinced this is correct). I also found that, unusually, I’d not written any sort of review. I always leave a star rating (as much as I dislike using this type of system, as I have discussed before – for example see this post), but also usually leave some sort of review since I know that this tends to have more use for potential readers and also in how the algorithm works on Amazon and other sites in calculating an overall rating. So this post is an opportunity to provide a review on Follow You Home and also a link to the Facebook video.
The biggest problem with reviewing a novel, compared to the academic books that I also review, is saying enough about the book without spoiling the experience for those who haven’t read the book yet. The book summary itself probably provides sufficient detail in that respect…
After a perfect start, Daniel and Laura’s travels end abruptly when they are thrown off a night train in the middle of nowhere. To find their way back to civilisation, 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…
One of the aspects that I like about this book is that it reminds me of the style of The Retreat, another of Mark’s books, where you are not sure whether the book is going to descend into a horror/supernatural tale (not a type of book that I would read) or whether it is ‘merely’ a thriller. The cover itself hints at the horror/supernatural, but in the end it’s a horrific thriller.
As is typical of Mark’s books, while there are elements (as most novels will do and there’s nothing wrong with this) where it pushes the boundaries of believability, for the most part it takes you on a journey where you could imagine getting drawn into such a situation, with characters that are just like you and me. These are like the ‘pillars of truth‘ that I have discussed in relation to the novel Kuraimazu Hai (Seventeen in English) by Hideo Yokoyama and my work on disaster movies, for example.
Going through Follow You Home a second time, there was one passage that particularly stood out for me (I should probably point out that there really isn’t that much swearing in this book and there’s hardly any in most of Mark’s books)…
I had an urge to tell the baby to stay in the womb, where he was safe, sheltered. It’s fucked up out here, I wanted to say. It’s fucked up and there are monsters. Don’t believe people when they tell you there’s no such thing.
It’s a fabulous book and I would urge you to read it if you’ve not already done so. Hopefully we will also get to see Follow You Home (and Mark’s other books) on the big screen – or at least as a TV adaptation… although I doubt they could fully recreate the tension and brilliance of the writing.
Once you have read it, then please do watch the Facebook video. There are some spoilers discussed in the video (and the chat) – though the co-host/interviewer, author Michelle Davies (see also my post about Shadow of a Doubt by Michelle Davies), did a good job in limiting the number of these for those who joined the video live and hadn’t read the book yet.
As mentioned above, and as you will see if you watch the video, I was able to ask a question directly to Mark in relation to working titles for his book, a subject which I have discussed in one of my previous blog posts.
Here are links to Mark’s other books which I have already written posts about:
For more information about Follow You Home see information about the book on Amazon.