The Visitors by Catherine Burns
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Marion and her brother, John, live together in a home that was once well cared for but has now seen years of neglect taking its toll. In her 50s, Marion has never truly been seen as her own person. She's bossed around, verbally abused by peers and loved ones, and spends most of her day lurking in the home, ignoring the cries she hears coming from the basement, and sleeping with her collection of teddy bears each night.
Marion's neighbor only socializes with Marion when she wants something. John wants Marion to realize the neighbor only uses her. He also wants Marion to keep out of his things and do as he says. When he suffers a heart attack, Marion finds herself finally by herself in a house where John still wants to control what she does and says.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The atmosphere in The Visitors is chilling. It's creepy. It's one eerie family and that comes true from the very minute you start meeting the mother, father, and children in the past to the children who are now adults.
It was slow to build, however. I was far more than halfway through the book before the brother has his heart attack. That's when the action really picks up. By that point, I knew what was coming even if the main character was seemingly blind to it. I also found myself no longer interested in what Marion would do next. It was too late.
RTR's Bottom Line
If you look at The Visitors as a disturbing look into a woman who never truly grew up, the book works. If you're, like me, expecting a surprise in the basement, well I'm sad to say it just was never surprising. I wanted to love all of the story, but when I was halfway through and Marion was still muddling along and nothing had changed, I didn't really feel compelled to finish the story. It was a struggle from that point.