The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins

  Source: Free review copy received from the publisher

Five words from the blurb: historian, author, beetles, research, atmospheric

The Night Visitor is an intriguing story about the dysfunctional relationship between an author and her researcher. The story is told, in alternate chapters, from each of their perspectives and becomes increasingly gripping as their dislike for the other grows.

The book was a bit like a cross between The Behaviour of Moths and Notes on a Scandal, but with beetles instead of moths and authors instead of teachers. The scandal was of a different type too, but I won’t reveal more for fear of spoiling the end.

The writing was slow at first but quickly became compelling – I especially loved the sense of unease and tension that was created. It was fantastic that the reader could see both sides of the story and how they misinterpreted the actions of the other.

She pretends to be kind, reasonable and morally upstanding but when it comes to protecting her own interests she is capable of anything.

The lies and deception quickly escalated and neither of the women was likable, so avoid this book if prefer to become friends with the people you’re reading about. But, if you like to investigate the darker side of humanity, this is a memorable story packed with vivid scenes. I found a few of the plot points at bit too convenient but was willing to forgive these as the overall story was quite clever. I think it will be a big hit with book groups as it was easy to read and brought up lots of different discussion points.

Recommended to anyone looking for a psychological thriller with some interesting facts about beetles!



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  1. Okay this sounds fantastic! I am not the MOST interested in beetles, but it takes very little to make me fascinating with any subject, so I trust this book to make me care about beetles. Adding to the list!

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenny, I don’t have any specific interest in beetles either, but I do enjoy learning random facts when I’m reading. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!

  2. I loved this book too Jackie. Had me gripped throughout and it reminded me of Notes on a Scandal too (which I also loved).

    1. Jackie says:

      Rebecca, Yes, there were similarities between the two. I do love books where the characters have some major flaws!

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