Guest Review: Engle Byen (A Place to Call Home #1) by David Goldon

After a traumatic event, Michael found himself in a coastal town with the odd name of Engle Byen. Engle Byen is a town so perfect Michael could have dreamt it up, a place he could call home.

Not long after his arrival, he was stunned to meet one of his neighbours, the devilishly handsome Jacob. Michael was instantly attracted to Jacob’s heart thumping good looks, but also sensed danger within this man who began to relentlessly pursue him romantically.

Michael formed close friendships with his other neighbours, who suggested he should steer clear of any romantic intentions with Jacob, as much as they wanted to, they wouldn’t, they couldn’t, say why.

Jacob began working as an orderly at St. Angelina’s hospital where Michael worked as a nurse. Shortly after, Michael began to sense strange occurrences with the patients in his care, occurrences that appeared to involve Jacob.

What is behind Jacob’s obsession with Michael? Will the love-starved Michael submit to Jacob’s unrelenting, lustful pursuit or act on his instinct to steer clear of the most handsome man he ever did meet?

Reviewer: NeRdyWYRM

This novella was one of those stories where you know you're missing something obvious the whole time, but how obvious is it really if you can't figure it out? Yep. Mindtwister. That's pretty much what this story was.

inside your head-bigbang-engle byen review pics

The characters were engaging and the pacing was good for a novella. I kept waiting for something really gnarly to happen and I wasn't disappointed although it wasn't nearly as dark as some of the other shorts I've read lately. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I had expectations, Oh The Horror! And this one lived up to those expectations and failed to live down to them in other ways. Figure that one out. Mindtwister.

I don't want to spoil anything and that is all too easy to do with a shorter story so I won't say too much more. Suffice it to say that I would be surprised if anyone can both discern the threads that run through this story and weave them into something coherently accurate before the author reveals all. In other words, it's un-figure-out-able and if there's anyone out there who managed to suss out the plot and the twist in this one before we're explicitly told what's going on on-page, then I bow down to you because you must be a genius and this is for you:

genius-engle byen review pics

I absolutely love stories with unexpected twists where I can look back and go "Duh! How did I miss that?" before realizing that I missed it because someone way smarter and more skilled than I managed to keep it under wraps and there was NO WAY even my smart self could have caught on. Huh. I have an I've-been-outsmarted kink. Who knew?

Read this story. You'll like it. It's not the hottest thing I've read lately, it's not the most funny, or the scariest, or the most ... well, anything really. What it is, is strangely compelling even if it doesn't really feel that way until after it's over. See? Strange. But don't forget the 'compelling' part. That's important, too.

More reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be found on Goodreads here.

Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.

An ARC copy of this title was provided for an honest review.


  1. When I read this novella I could not stop... I just HAD to know what was going on. Then, when I got to the end I realised I actually knew all along. Then I re-read it and realised the answers were always right there staring me in the face but I just couldn't see it. The style of the writing was another give away that I missed, all part of the magic that makes this a story I desperately want to see made into a movie. I can't wait to read David Goldon's next book in this series.

  2. Ex-actly what I was thinking only it makes no sense trying to explain it. Mindtwister! It would make a goid mivie but I'm also pretty sure I've seen one with a similar plot before.