Title: I Invited her In
Editors: Adele Parks
Genre: Domestic Psychological Thriller
Date of Publication: September 20, 2018
I invited her in… and she took everything…
Melanie hasn’t heard from her college best friend, Abigail, in over twenty years. But when Abigail calls her up to ask for a place to stay as she divorces her cheating husband, Melanie is thrilled. She invites her in with open arms, which–as you can probably tell from the book’s title and its assigned genre of “domestic suspense”–isn’t a good thing…
I was surprised by how slow this book started. I’m used to psychological and domestic suspenses starting with a bang – in the form of a prologue or a little taste of what’s to come – and then go through the monotony of introducing the main character and her humdrum life, easing the reader into the plotline, etc. While the “suspense” element wasn’t immediately apparent (and by “immediate”, I mean not even within the first 100 pages), the writing was compelling. I found that I was curious to uncover what would happen next. However, the book is very slowly paced and character driven. Not a lot of anything happens in the first half of the book.
As I said before, there aren’t a lot of thrills in the first half of the book, and you have to really want to find the “thriller” aspect to even feel the slightest bit of suspense. Some chapters are from Abigail’s point of view, and she doesn’t come across as ominous or unhinged, especially in the first few chapters with her POV. It might have added more suspense to not know what she was thinking. Especially since it can be difficult to write someone’s point of view without revealing their motives or what their plans are. That said, the end of her chapters tended to have a single line that made me itch for more. A single line that could be interpreted as innocuous or foreboding. I chose the latter, because that made it a more interesting read.
There are a few plot twists, but they’re all quite obvious from the very beginning. I won’t spoil them here, but if you are reading the book carefully enough, the twists aren’t even twists at all, but more like a natural progression of the plot.
I found the story line somewhat infuriating. While Melanie is quite a normal person, I couldn’t relate to how she dealt with some of the things going on, especially later on in the book. The plot grew more and more exasperating, which was partly because the twists were obvious, but also because of how slow paced the story was in addition to how nonsensical some of the characters were behaving. And it wasn’t infuriating in that fun “Oh, gosh, why can’t they see what’s been in front of them all along!?” kind of way, more in the “Dammit, why are you so stupid!?” kind of way.