Charismatic and charming - two words that should set alarm bells ringing in anyone contemplating any kind of relationship with a charismatic charmer.
When Emma and her boyfriend Simon are offered the chance to live in a gorgeous London house designed and built by Edward Monkford, a famous, award-wnning architect, they jump at the chance. The rent is ridiculously reasonable and, although the terms of the tenancy seem somewhat stringent and unusual, Emma and Simon sign on the dotted line and take up residence. At first, all goes well. But then Emma starts to act strangely. Simon moves out. Edward and Emma begin a sexual relationship that seems to be the opposite of a loving one, and Emma - well, something happens to Emma that means the gorgeous house is soon on the rental market again.
Jane is the next tenant of One Folgate Street. At first, she loves it. But then she too starts to realise Edward intends to be more than just her landlord. What happened to Emma? Jane investigates and what she discovers is terrifying. What seemed like an opportunity to live in an ideal home now looks as if it's an opportunity to live in a death trap.
Who is the bad guy here - Edward or Emma's rejected boyfriend Simon? Why are Emma and Jane both so attracted to Edward? Who will be the next tenant of One Folgate Street and how long will he or she want to live there?
This is a compelling psychological thriller in which all the characters (apart from Edward) seem helpless when it comes to controlling or even organising their own lives. What happened to Edward's wife, if he ever had one? Maybe she's buried under the foundations of One Folgate Street? How and why does Edward subjugate the women he encounters - is he a domineering, controlling obsessive? Or is he obsessed and controlled himself?
I don't recommend starting to read this novel as you're about to settle down for the night. You'll probably still be reading at six the following morning.
Personally, I didn’t find any of the characters very likeable. I dare say people like Edward exist, but I didn’t really believe in him. But I did find the story compelling and I raced through it.