Invite Me In by Emma Curtis
|Invite Me In by Emma Curtis|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A cracker of a story which had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: September 2021|
|Publisher: Black Swan|
|External links: Author's website|
Martin Curran's wife, Eliza knew that she had to be home to make his lunch for one o'clock on the dot, despite the fact that she was actually painting one of their properties prior to it being let. If she didn't get home, there would be trouble. There was some excuse: Martin was a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair, but don't be too quick to be understanding. He was also a very unpleasant person: he once told Eliza you're good at being a disappointment. All this was in Eliza's mind when she first met Dan Jones who arrived, unannounced, at the flat just as Eliza was about to leave: he wanted the lease of flat 2, 42 Linden Road and he was desperate to get in before it was advertised as being available.
Martin was initially against the idea: he didn't like the thought of a reasonably attractive man getting around his wife and gaining an advantage. He might just have been feeling contrary - it happened with Martin. Then Dan was on hand when Eliza was mugged in the street and Martin changed his opinion. Dan got the flat - and stole a bit of Eliza's heart in the process. Life with Martin hadn't been easy for a long time and Eliza had been dreaming about moving into the flat she was painting, along with just six-year-old Lucas and three-year-old Aurora, even before she encountered Dan Jones.
There was a snag, though. Malcolm knew something about her. She'd told him about it in the heady days of first love when they vowed to have no secrets from each other - and this could mean that she lost the children if she tried to leave. Then, to complicate matters, the Curran's French au pair, twenty-one-year-old Isabel Gardin took a shine to Dan Jones and life started to go wrong for the Currans.
Invite Me In is tightly plotted but gloriously easy to follow. Immediately after Martin had his accident, Eliza had an ill-judged, one-night stand with his best friend, Peter Gordon, who subsequently married Martin's sister, Ali - who also happened to be Eliza's best friend. All the children are best friends too: one hint of what happened all those years ago is going to affect a lot of lives. Eliza's security is hanging by a very thin thread.
It's a cracker of a story - one of those that you really can't put down until you find out what happens. The characters stay in your mind and are so remarkably well-drawn without reliance on a physical description that I have my own images of them all in my mind. I didn't really warm to Eliza but I understood her and could empathise with the actions she took. I knew that I could well have done the same. Martin was a brave character to introduce: capturing how a paraplegic feels could not have been easy, but Emma Curtis goes one step further. Martin Curran is not needy and grateful: he's proud and confident of who and what he is. He's not likeable and you don't feel in the least bit sorry for him - but that's exactly the way that Curran would want it. Superb.
I read the book over a couple of days and didn't want it to end. It was a great read and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For more from Emma Curtis, we can recommend Keep Her Quiet - another one that was unputdownable!
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