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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

‘The Night Visitor’ by Lucy Atkins

Published by Quercus Books,
1 June 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-48204-4

Olivia is a well-known historian and as the book opens is attending a launch of her book Annabel at the Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons in London. The story is of Annabel thought to be one of the first female surgeons of around the Victorian age. She has based her book on the diary of Annabel Burley written in1898 and supplied to her by Vivian a housekeeper to Lady Burley of Ileford Manor.

However, it appears that Olivia has a dark secret and is terrified it will get out and ruin her. The plot then goes back two months and we slowly learn the secret she is so desperate to keep.

Olivia then becomes convinced that Vivian is slightly unhinged, it seems she will do anything to convince Olivia to write another book with her collaboration, even following her to France where she is on holiday. We learn that Olivia's father was well known too, he was an expert on beetles and was credited with finding a new species encased in amber. He named it after Olivia. Vivian has an interest in beetles too, but claims not to know of Olivia's father, but she seems to be lying, why? Also what is the significance of the spectre dripping blood that appears to Vivian often in the middle of the night?

As the plot unravels it becomes apparent that it is not only Olivia who has secrets she would rather keep hidden, the tension builds and builds so much that it becomes almost palpable leading to a dramatic ending.

A cleverly plotted story which kept me guessing throughout. At times, it is also quite creepy especially the description of Vivian's “Night Visitor”, what we eventually find is what it means and who it is.

I read that after doing all the research on dung beetles, Lucy Atkins herself found a fascination for them but I can't say they are my favourite species even if they are a beautiful colour!
Reviewer:  Tricia Chappell

Lucy Atkins is the author of three acclaimed novels: The Night Visitor (May 2017), The Missing One (2014) and The Other Child (2015), published by Quercus. She has also written, co-written or ghost-written seven non-fiction books including the Amazon #1 parenting title, First Time Parent (Collins). Lucy is a book critic for The Sunday Times and regularly appears on BBC radio Oxford's Book Club. She was a feature journalist for many years for UK newspapers including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, The Sunday Express and magazines such as Red, Woman & Home, Psychologies and Grazia. Lucy lives with her family in Oxford, UK. Follow Lucy on Twitter @lucyatkins

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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