Review 15: The Night Visitor

It’s the time of year when everything pumpkin flavored or scented  is available, when you dig out your favorite afghan, and when you curl up on the couch with the harvest moon shining in the window, making skeletal fingers out of the branches of the oak tree in the side yard.  You are now prepared to read whatever the newest spine tingler is on your Kindle, and you are hoping it will keep you up all night, afraid to turn out the light and go to bed.

Dianne Emley does a fair job of making you start at the shadows in your kitchen with her book “The Night Visitor.”  Beautiful Rory Langtry runs a cosmetics company whose best selling line memorializes her dead sister, Anya, a high dollar fashion model who was murdered several years before.  Lying in a hospital in a vegetative state is Rory’s former fiancé, Junior Lara, an artist who is believed to have killed Anya in the throes of an illicit affair and then tried to kill himself.  Junior’s family believes Rory found out about the affair and is the real murderer.  His younger brother begins acting more and more erratically, claiming Junior communicates with him and needs him to make the real murderer confess.  Junior’s bedsores begin to appear in duplicate on his brother’s body.  When he is killed by Rory’s stepfather during an attempt to force her to admit her guilt, Rory begins to feel the same frisson of a connection with Junior that his brother had.  When she begins to experience the injuries to his prone body, and starts to feel a sexual dreamstate with Junior’s persona, Rory has to either solve the mystery or believe she has lost her mind.

Emley packs her story with all the stock characters and twists.  Family dynamics are exploded , secrets are exposed, relationships are explored.  The pervasive miasma of the supernatural floats throughout the story the way Junior’s spirit floats in the ether, free of his comatose body.  Emley juggles the reader between Junior as the lost love and as the voracious djinn, leaving them always unsure as to whether he is a benign or a malevolent spirit.  Rory teeters on the edge of sanity, never knowing whether she can believe the things she is feeling.  Good guys are bad guys, bad guys are good guys, and everyone changes lobsters and dances with abandon.

Not a wet-yourself kind of thriller like The Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby or Carrie, but definitely a creepfest like She Waits, or Pet Sematary Light.  If you have a cold evening with a cup of pumpkin spice tea and a foggy night, this could fill the bill nicely.

  • In accordance with FTC guidelines for bloggers and endorsements, I would like to clarify that the books reviewed by me are either purchased/borrowed by me, or provided by the publisher/author free of charge. I am neither compensated for my reviews nor are my opinions influenced in any way by the avenues in which I obtain my materials. I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
  • Print Length:272 pages
  • Publisher:Alibi (September 16, 2014)
  • Sold by:Random House LLC
  • Language:English

Reviewed by Paula Tupper  September 20, 2014


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