After a whirlwind two-month romance results in marriage, Gemma asks Elliot if her parents can stay with them for a couple of weeks.
Wanting to impress his in-laws, Elliot obliges and invites them to stay in his home.
The Robinsons arrive with Gemma’s younger sister, Chloe, who seems to be mute and won’t leave her room. Elliot begins to feel like something isn’t quite right.
When the in-laws outstay their welcome and destroy Elliot’s beautifully restored Victorian home, he becomes desperate to get rid of them. But to do so, he must uncover the family’s darkest secrets and risk losing everything. How far will he go to save his wife and his marriage?
If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, then you know I’ve read a fair few psychological thrillers. Here to Stay is another brilliant one to add to the pile.
Some relationships do develop very quickly in real-life. So when I read this and discovered how quickly the relationship developed between Elliot and Gemma, I was a bit shocked at first. That’s how whirlwind romances work though!
Did I get into this book right away? No, it took a few chapters before I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. But the backstory at the beginning was very important, so while it slowed the pace down considerably, it needed to be there.
Gemma comes across as quite timid to begin with when she first steps into Elliot’s garden during a public viewing. You soon see a different side to her as the couple grows closer. As soon as Gemma asks to invite her parents to stay and she is incredibly anxious, the alarm bells start to ring for me. Clearly, something is wrong with them.
Her parents are cruel and vile, making jibes at Gemma about her appearance and pushing Elliot to the very end of his tether. They are messy, arrogant, and rude making them the exact description of the ‘in-laws from hell’. On top of this, they are beyond clever and can find ways to stay within the law to make Elliot’s life a living hell. It takes a long time before he actually tells them to leave, I think most ordinary people would’ve had them out of there a lot sooner.
I love that you could really feel his frustration with the in-laws and actually feel his pain when he slowly loses his grip on his own sanity. The plot twist at the end of the book is incredible. As I said earlier, I read a lot of psychological thrillers so I tend to find them predictable. I thought I had this one all figured out about half-way in, I was so wrong. I’ve never been happier to be wrong before.
Now, the resolution to Elliot’s problems was far-fetched to me. Whether he had to take things to such extremes is questionable and unlikely. There are definitely other ways to solve the problem. I suppose we all love a bit of drama though, right?
Due to finding the plot twist so good, I’d have to give this a 4/5 star rating. It couldn’t be given five stars due to the extreme resolution Elliot came to on how to get rid of the in-laws and the police not being able to work out what happened to his elderly neighbors (not going to spoil that one). It’s gripping, gory, and dramatic – an almost perfect mix for a great psychological thriller.
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