The House Guest by Mark Edwards
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 3.0 MB
Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people. He has sold more than 3 million books and topped the UK bestseller list nine times.
A perfect summer. A perfect stranger. A perfect nightmare.
When British twenty-somethings Ruth and Adam are offered the chance to spend the summer housesitting in New York, they can’t say no. Young, in love and on the cusp of professional success, they feel as if luck is finally on their side.
So the moment that Eden turns up on the doorstep, drenched from a summer storm, it seems only right to share a bit of that good fortune. Beautiful and charismatic, Eden claims to be a friend of the homeowners, who told her she could stay whenever she was in New York.
They know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers—let alone invite them into your home—but after all, Eden’s only a stranger until they get to know her.
As suspicions creep in that Eden may not be who she claims to be, they begin to wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake…
The woman standing on the front stoop looked like she’d crawled straight out of the Hudson. Water dripped from the hem of her little summer dress and pooled around her boots. Her hair, blonde but darkened by rain, stuck to her forehead.
Seeing me, she did a double take and glanced at the number on the mailbox beside the door.
‘Um . . . are Mona or Jack home?’ she asked. ‘Have I got the right address?’
‘They’re away,’ I replied.
‘Yeah, afraid so. I’m the house-sitter.’
‘Oh. Damn it.’ Water clung to her eyelashes like teardrops. ‘I knew I should have called ahead.’
Night had not yet fallen, but the sun, which had burned brightly all day, was nowhere to be seen – though the air, and the rain, retained their warmth. It wasn’t like England, where the rain falls cold throughout the year. New York summers are different.
‘Damn,’ the young woman said again. ‘When will they be back?’
‘Next Sunday?’ She sighed and pushed her wet hair out of her face, peering past me into the house. Behind her, someone ran along the street, seeking shelter, and a car went past slowly, wipers on maximum, spraying water on to the steps below where the young woman stood. The Bedford Avenue subway was a few minutes away, and I guessed that was where she had come from.
‘Sorry to have disturbed you,’ she said, but she hesitated, looking over her shoulder, past the backpack she was wearing. Then she laughed. ‘Why am I being such a wimp? I can’t get any wetter, can I?’
I laughed too.
‘I don’t suppose I could come in for a moment and write a note for Mona and Jack?’
This wasn’t my house. I didn’t feel comfortable inviting a stranger in. But she knew Jack and Mona’s names, didn’t she? And she looked so pathetic standing there on the stoop while rain pummelled the pavement behind her. What harm could it do?
‘Of course,’ I said. ‘Come in.’
She rewarded me with a broad smile. ‘Thank you.’
The woman stepped into the hallway and glanced at herself in the mirror that hung by the front door. She laughed. ‘Whoa. I look even wetter then I feel.’
We both looked down at the puddle that was forming on the floorboards. ‘Wait there, I’ll fetch you a towel.’