Publication Date: 4th May.
Professor Olivia Sweetman has worked hard to achieve the life she loves, with a high-flying career as a TV presenter and historian, three children and a talented husband. But as she stands before a crowd at the launch of her new bestseller she can barely pretend to smile. Her life has spiralled into deceit and if the truth comes out, she will lose everything.
Only one person knows what Olivia has done. Vivian Tester is the socially awkward sixty-year-old housekeeper of a Sussex manor who found the Victorian diary on which Olivia’s book is based. She has now become Olivia’s unofficial research assistant. And Vivian has secrets of her own.
As events move between London, Sussex and the idyllic South of France, the relationship between these two women grows more entangled and complex. Then a bizarre act of violence changes everything.
Oh The Night Visitor has some beautiful beautiful writing, it took me all of 5 seconds to be totally immersed into this one, it has two of the most impressive characters I’ve read in a long long time, with a story that is often haunting and genuinely sends you deeper down the rabbit hole with every chapter.
Told alternatively between Olivia, highly successful, hiding a secret and Vivian, her “research assistant” who knows many things and is hiding her own, the relationship between these two, how you see it and them develop is intensely fascinating and holds a dark sense of menace, things you can feel coming but cannot quite grasp.
The plotting is intelligent and intricately woven, neither woman is easily readable and Lucy Atkins twists the characters around wonderfully to keep you feeling off kilter, yet unable to stop reading. I really don’t want to give anything away, the scene setting is also impressive and overall this was just one heck of a read.
The ending is killer and the rest of it is just as addictive, terrific terrific stuff here. And Beetles. Is all I’m saying.
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