The Visitors

The Visitors Book Cover The Visitors
Catherine Burns
Simon and Schuster
September 26, 2017

“Once you start Catherine Burns's dark, disturbing, and enthralling debut novel, it's hard to stop. The Visitors is bizarrely unsettling, yet compulsively readable.” —Iain Reid, internationally bestselling author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things With the smart suspense of Emma Donoghue’s Room and the atmospheric claustrophobia of Grey Gardens, Catherine Burns’s debut novel explores the complex truths we are able to keep hidden from ourselves and the twisted realities that can lurk beneath even the most serene of surfaces. Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother John in a crumbling mansion on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to live by John’s rules, even if it means turning a blind eye to the noises she hears coming from behind the cellar door...and turning a blind eye to the women’s laundry in the hamper that isn’t hers. For years, she’s buried the signs of John’s devastating secret into the deep recesses of her mind—until the day John is crippled by a heart attack, and Marion becomes the only one whose shoulders are fit to bear his secret. Forced to go down to the cellar and face what her brother has kept hidden, Marion discovers more about herself than she ever thought possible. As the truth is slowly unraveled, we finally begin to understand: maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side....



Had I written this review as soon as I finished “The Visitors,” it would have been three stars.  I’m glad I waited, because this is the sort of book that sticks with you and chills you to the bone whenever you think about it.

It isn’t fast-paced, and honestly some of the scariest moments come when you identify with the loneliness of Marion.  Quite a bit of it is simply a slice of life type story with bits of the macabre tossed in.  I really don’t want to spoil anything.  If you are up for a slow-burn horror/ thriller, this is highly recommended.

Caution:  There are some animal deaths, though none particularly graphic.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

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