The overnight train to Sighisoara from Budapest is late. Laura Mackenzie and Daniel Sullivan board the train into regular seats. Daniel wasn’t willing to shell out the funds for a sleeping carriage. A mismatched couple, mid-twenties. Daniel is short, stocky, with cropped blond hair, physically fit, average looking. Laura the taller by inches, around 5’ 10”. Kinda like Olive Oyl and Popeye ya know? Both Eastern European.
They’re traveling to Romania, about 2 and ½ hours journey by train.
They meet Ion and Alina. They’re from Sibiu Romania. Going home to visit folks.
Laura and Daniel are on a European tour for two months, then they plan to marry and start a family back in London. Laura’s best friend, Erin is pregnant. Laura works in marketing for a children’s charity. Daniel developed an app for iphone and ipads, sold to skiddle.
Daniel’s best friend is Jake, a musician in London.
Alina’s an illustrator, comic books. Ion is in between jobs.
Later Daniel finds an empty sleeper. They us it for a nap. A guard checks their tickets and passports. They were stolen from their bags. “Stow aways…fare dodgers…” The guards stop the train, pushes Alina, Laura, and Daniel off, at a small open air station in the middle of nowhere. The train leaves. The middle on night, country in Romania. No luggage, no phone.
They are in Apuseni National Park, in the forest. The nearest town, 10 Kilometers away, six or seven miles. They start walking. They assume Ion is still on the train.
At 4 a.m. Alina goes into the woods for privacy. She doesn’t come out. Laura and Daniel go in after her. They hear a human cry. Deeper into the forest they trudge, while looking for Alina, only finding her boot, they find a creepy house. Ancient with candles in the windows, gave off a bad aura. They heard a strange sob from inside the house. They go inside, then come out and run all the way to town without looking back.
Anxiety and depression set in for both Laura and Daniel. They soon become emaciated and rundown.
Erin and Rob are having a boy, she’s eight months pregnant.
Laura wants a fresh start in Perth, Australia by herself, without Daniel.
Daniel sees Dr. Sauvage, a woman psychologist for his trama after the house in the woods, PTSD. His brain is in phychological shock. He suggests the same for Laura. They promiced never to talk about what they saw that night.
Daniel tells Dr. Sauvage the story about what happened inside the house.
Laure attempts suicide. A ghost is at her bedside in the hospital. “You mustn’t kill yourself yet. I need you. I need you to stay alive.” Beatrice was gone. She’d been visiting Laura since the house in the forest. Beatrice was twelve when her father murdered her, 30 years ago in that house.
Dr. Sauvage and her husband were killed in a fire in their home, trapped upstairs. Claudia and Patrick, mid 40’s, no children.
Jake commits suicide. Daniel doesn’t believe it.
Daniel told Jake and Dr. Sauvage the story about the house, now they’re both dead?
Erin delivers a baby boy, Oscar James Tranham.
Who is Camelia? Daniel wants to know. He tries to find her.
Daniel tells his story to Edward Rooney, same story he told Jake. He tells Edward the entire story of the house in the forest. A nursery with a crying child, two unconscious, malnourished woman. Rancid smells. One woman said, “Help.” Several babies had been born and had died as infants in that room. Laura was taking the baby.
A man stood at the bottom of the stairs with a gun as they began to leave. The man wanted the baby. Daniel placed the baby on the floor and they both ran.
Two gunshots from inside the house, then all was silent as they ran.
After Daniel goes to the police, they search the house, found it deserted. Records indicate the house has been deserted for 20 years, since the owners death in 1991.
Daniel and Alina were following Ion’s plan, smuggling cocaine. His bags on the train each contained 250 grams.
Camelia is a stripper in London. She tells Ion that Daniel and Alina stole his cocaine. That its long gone. He plots his revenge on Alina.
At Erin and Rob’s house, Oscar is missing, so is Miss Mackenzie, possible child abduction.
The police find Camelia. Ion is there.
The devil speaks to Laura Mackenzie and threatens Oscar.
The police come across the name Nicolae Gabor, villains of Communist Romania. Guilty of crimes against people. A vicious and corrupt comrade, known for rapping and abusing woman and children. After the revolution, Gabor disappeared. Assumed murdered for revenge, no body was ever found. Gabor would be seventy by now.
Daniel thinks Gabor is the man in the house in the forest. He recognizes his photo online. Gabor was on the train in Romania. The old guy that helped with his luggage.
Laura and Oscar are with the devil.
Daniel and Edward drive into Hatfield Forest and stop at a pub. Then go into the dense forest looking for Laura and Oscar. They see scary faces, twisted . Black eyes in the darkness. Dead babies hanging from branches. Whispering, “Go back…Go back…”
They find the house. Gabor is there with a shotgun. Gabor shot Edward then fired at Daniel.
Alina, Laura, and Oscar are in the house, held captive.
Inside, Alina slams a rock down on Gabor’s head, killing him.
They are rescued from the house.
Follow You Home, by author, Mark Edwards was a poorly written book with too many plotlines that the author failed to connect properly. The story was confusing and hard to read much of the time.
I thought I was reading a ghost story, then the plot changed to drug smuggling, then to a Communist Romania war criminal.
My rating: 2 stars
May good fortune guide your path.