Mark Edwards, ‘Follow You Home’ Review
What starts with a genuinely chilling venture into the woods through some bumblefuckian stretch of Romania quickly devolves into a schizophrenic mess of a plot.
It starts scary, yes, but author Mark Edwards has us suffer through many chapters of two unlikable main characters treating each other like shit. One drinks to no end, which I’m usually a fan of but not when you’re being a weepy twat about everything, but only to use the ‘Gosh I was so drunk I forgot what happened’ fiction trope. The other main character, um, starts seeing some ghosts. Or some shit. Who cares? None of it is consequential to the plot.
I’m writing this review now, only after ingesting two large glasses of cabernet – currently chasing those with a lukewarm Miller Lite, because my dad taught me that only communists and Canadians like their beers cold – and thank Jeezum for that. The characters in Follow You Home are dumb enough to give you a headache.
Daniel – who is not only one of the most passive protagonists I’ve read in a while, but one of the whiniest as well – chooses NOT to show the police surveillance footage of two intruders entering his apartment.
Granted, Daniel has had some bad encounters with police – who think he’s a tad bonkers – but now he has proof that he’s being burgled. Yet he does nothing with the evidence.
The same goes for the drug dealers who, quite behind the curtain, push this slogging plot along. (Oh yeah, there are drug dealers too, plus sex slavers. This book has no idea what it wants to be.) These two idiots employ the least effective way to smuggle drugs across Europe, short of punting a bag of dope over the Romanian border and hoping it doesn’t bop any Bulgarians on the noggin.
Speaking of these drug dealers, who appear at the beginning of the novel before fading into the slop, the author abruptly decides to abandon the main plot for several chapters to focus on these two morons. It’s a lazy tool the author uses to mash together some weak plot points because the story isn’t coherent enough to work organically.
The author seems to be a fairly established author. I’m hoping this isn’t his best work. Follow You Home reads like a first draft that should have been trashed, because it had a half-dozen great ideas that unfortunately just didn’t mesh well together.
Not unreadable, but certainly not enjoyable, especially after the first few chapters. Each copy of this novel should include a free beer coupon to be redeemed after you finish, just to settle your nerves, because WHY THE HELL CAN’T THESE CHARACTERS GRASP THE SIMPLEST LOGIC?
Got it on audiobook. Found the plot was quite interesting if, as you say, the two main characters aren’t exactly dealing from a full deck. The Romanian parts maintained my interest but back in London it did get messy, but I was really interested to see what the outcome would be as the author keeps his cards fairly close to his chest. I listened for a few days and checked how much was left. Feck! I wasn’t even halfway through! I did find the book mildly interesting but not enough to listen to for another three days. Shoulda, coulda been so much better. Good review BTW Mack.
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