Be­ware of long-lost friends

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - BOOKS - BREDA BROWN

CRIME I In­vited Her In

Adele Parks Ea­sons, €8.96

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.

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