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  • Location: London, Sussex, Cote d'Azur

The Night Visitor

The Night Visitor

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Can you believe everything you read?

  • ISBN: 978-1786482044
  • Genre: Mystery, Psychological

What you need to know before your trail

Olivia is a successful historian and author, who seemingly has the perfect life, and now has written the perfect book. 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. A bestseller about a women named Annabel, a woman largely forgotten by history, who killed her husband. An intriguing historical mystery – but fact is often stranger than fiction.

For despite the fact that Vivian has been Olivia’s unofficial research assistant these past few months, the relationship between the two women is strained to say the least. And Vivian has not told her everything about the diary. Vivian has held back secrets of her own.

The day of the book launch arrives and there is a face in the crowd…. a face of someone who knows the whole truth and who might tell it.

Travel Guide

The Night Visitor

London

A book launch in a museum of gory surgical artefacts  – The Hunterian Museum – you just know this is going to be good. The first line of introduction – “Olivia huddled between Arteries, Heart and Veins” you get a gothic sense of that place and wonder at the type of book being launched here. The sense of the stuffy museums, with their creaky wooden floors, the sense of history and the years of work all present in these rooms, and the stories throughout history which lie here waiting to be discovered.

The British Museum and the British Library also feature in the novel as places of research and excellence and are definitely worth a visit to taste some of this history for yourself. Indeed there might well be a collection of green beetles in the British History Museum

Sussex

Ileford Manor is of course fictional but Vivian makes it feel so real with the vivid descriptions of the rooms and gardens. She lives here, “Her thoughts as hectic as ants disturbed from a nest”. The house is dark and unforgiving, living here alone as she does now. There is a sense of loss, a recent death and a woman who sees “Rain is a brutal jailer”. This is  a dark and unforgiving place, one where she barely leaves if just for an occasional night away. She is the maid to the mysterious Lady Burley and tends to the house where the damp has encroached inside, the trees tap on the windows wanting to be let in and the wind surrounds the house in its whistling cloak. Lady Burley and Vivian have a strange relationship and the tension and gothic pull of their chapters really sends shivers down your spine.

France – cote d’Azur

The house of escape somewhere in the South of France (possibly St Tropez as characters go to the Cafe de Paris) where Olivia goes and is shocked to find in such a ramshackle state – the door little more than a gravestone. This is the place where Olivia is trying to have a holiday but in reality is just fighting to keep the clouds of doubt at bay, the stress has followed her here in a suitcase. The sense of foreboding in this vague, but beaitufl location means that every flower, every breeze is loaded with hidden meaning and an impending sense of doom.

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

I borrowed a proof copy of this from someone and only managed to read half before I had to hand it back, but I was so enthralled I was prepared to beg for a copy to read asap. Thankfully the publishers were sending me one anyway and a day later it arrived – I devoured it and was knocked out by the rest of it as well as THAT ending!!

Lucy Atkins has written some great novels in the past – The Missing One still sticks in my mind for those beautiful orcas – but this one although not really having a real sense of location, has a unforgettable sense of gothic mystery, of those shiny green beetles that still makes my skin itch when I think about them.

Never before have I read about two such brilliantly creepy characters. Two women who you know really distrust each other from the off. A sense of a stalker, a creepy sense of unease and in the ‘scenes’ in Ileford House, a creepy sense of someone just standing there waiting in the shadows. In Olivia’s chapters there was a sense of being watched – the tension was palpable and with the theme of the beetles running through the novel and becoming very cleverly clear at the end – it was a itchingly good read from start to finish.

You know those books when you are led down one path, then another and another and then BOOM that ending which floors you with its brilliance. It’s a novel to read for yourself as to give too much away would really spoil it – but the discovery is  a great one and I wanted to know why I hadn’t spotted it earlier. I had that sense of a really satisfying read –  a deliciously satisfying read and strangely enough a morbid sense in beetles now although I stil itch when thinking about them.

I love puzzling novels like this – this has stayed with me ever since I read it. It’s also clever as it carries avery clear message for people today where the truth in many things is often hard to find and where (on social media especially) you can never really see behind someone’s facade. Reading this will make you think and then wonder some more. Sharp, atmospheric writing has punched this into my reading memory like the sharp stab of a pin which sticks the beetle to the mounted frame.

Booktrail Boarding Pass: The Night Visitor

Author/Guide: Lucy Atkins  Destination: London, Sussex, St Tropez  Departure Time: 2000

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