Title: I Invited Her In
Author: Adele Parks
Publisher: HQ – HarperCollins
Date of Publication: 18th September 2018
Date of Review: 29th August 2018
‘I invited her in… and she took everything.’
When Mel hears from a long-lost friend in need of help, she doesn’t hesitate to invite her to stay. Mel and Abi were best friends back in the day, sharing the highs and lows of student life, until Mel’s unplanned pregnancy made her drop out of her studies.
Now, seventeen years later, Mel and Abi’s lives couldn’t be more different. Mel is happily married, having raised her son on her own before meeting her husband, Ben. Now they share gorgeous girls and have a chaotic but happy family home, with three children.
Abi, meanwhile, followed her lover to LA for a glamorous life of parties, celebrity and indulgence. Everything was perfect, until she discovered her partner had been cheating on her. Seventeen years wasted, and nothing to show for it. So what Abi needs now is a true friend to lean on, to share her grief over a glass of wine, and to have some time to heal. And what better place than Mel’s house, with her lovely kids, and supportive husband…
This dark, unsettling tale of the reunion of long-lost friends is thoroughly gripping exploration of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.
I Invited her In is exactly the kind of book I love to curl up with: where one small act from the past has come back to haunt the protagonist with devastating consequences. Domestic noir type thrillers suck me right into the plot: not too blood thirsty but spine-tingling creepy, and all too real like it could happen to anybody.
Starting with a prologue, the narrative has a mixed point-of-view: first-person for Mel (and a couple of chapters near the end for her son, Liam, and his girlfriend, Tanya) and third-person for Abi and Ben. This works really well, leaving the reader in no doubt who they should be routing for.
Whilst Mel made a stupid and selfish mistake in the past, she is just far too considerate for her own good. Who takes in somebody they haven’t seen for the best part of twenty years and lets them stay for as long as they like? You just know there’s going to be trouble and although Mel is likeable there were times when I just wanted to scream at her to throw Abi out. Mel feels guilty for what she did to Abi when they were at uni together and is so intent on trying to make it up to her she puts her before those who matter the most. She is also blinded to her flaws and selfishness. A recipe for disaster!
With both Ben and Abi having substantial third-person narrative parts in the story, this adds a further layer of dramatic irony, giving a nail-biting and page-turning read. Luckily Mel has the most amazing husband and Abi’s scheming plans to destroy Mel aren’t as easy as she thought they’d be. But Abi isn’t about to give up on her revenge and what she does next will leave you reeling. Whilst I did guess what happened in the past fairly early on in the plot, how Abi exacts her revenge is a unique twist on what could have been a cliched story.
This was a brilliant read with a great twist at the end. I recommend this book for anybody who likes Lisa Jewell or Louise Jensen.
Under Literature Love’s rating scheme this book has been awarded 5 out of 5 stars.
I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down. I recommend you stop what you’re doing and go and buy this book now!
Thank you to HQ for an Advance Review Copy of this book in return for an honest and unbiased review.