When does a gift become a curse?
Meg has a gift. She can change lives. But when tragedy strikes in childhood she vows never to use it again.
Now an adult, she is living in Cornwall; a place where the elements themselves have a life of their own. When they call she refuses to listen, fearful of the dark places where her gift can lead.
But the dead will not be silenced. They are stronger than her. And now they have chosen she is powerless to escape…
The Night Visitor by Patrick Redmond Review
A Spooky, Addictive Page Turner – Lights On Essential!
Armed with my Kindle, a 4-hour flight, and a lot of recent stress, I was looking forward to some much needed sheer escapism. As I left TGH HQ, It occurred to me that I had agreed to review this book without knowing anything about it, and so I asked the Editor for the lowdown. Her underwhelming response came “it’s a psychological thriller with a supernatural twist”, great, thanks Ed, very helpful.
I have been looking forward to reading this for a few reasons. The first reason is that I met Patrick, around a year ago, at a book-geek party. I love to read the work of people I’ve met, as the person never ever matches the books, and it’s fascinating to see how different the persona is from the stories they create. He was a lovely guy, easy to talk to, and immediately put my very nervous book-geek wife at ease – he is one of those people who makes me consciously pronounce ‘grass’ as ‘gr-arse’, and ‘castle’ as ‘car-sil‘, he used to be a solicitor, and I would bet money that his accent cost his parents a fortune in school fees! Not the most obvious person to be writing novels with supernatural storylines.
The launch of The Night Visitor itself is timed perfectly for Halloween, and this book is one of the few that I read cover to cover in one sitting. I think I made it last 6 hours in total, 4 hours of flying, an hour on the train, and the final, satisfyingly creepy, gut-punching ending in my hotel room.
To say it is compulsive would be an understatement. The pace of this book caught me off-guard. I am a bullet-point kind of person, if it takes an entire paragraph to describe a kitchen I will quickly zone out. But Patrick manages to do it in a way that gave me all the detail, but kept me turning, and turning. It’s also worth pointing out that he wrote a female lead, brave man. (I wouldn’t mention that unless you are willing to elaborate. The whole ‘should you write your own gender’ argument is quite a nasty debate to get into)
The Night Visitor is centred around a strong-willed, but lovably insecure, Meg, and we watch her grow from child to adult. She has a special ‘gift’ that she tries to ignore and she believes is causing mayhem and tragedy in her life affecting everyone she loves.
The pace of her journey from child to adult is the special part of this book for me. Ordinarily I wouldn’t choose to read any book with a supernatural element to it, honestly, it just creeps me out, and I’m not brave enough to read them. The Night Visitor, however, and Meg in particular, is so brilliantly woven into the very core that you genuinely accept her gift and empathise with her, to the point that I forgot I was scared most of the time. In other words, it felt perfectly natural.
The blurb tells us that the main plot of the story is centred around Meg living her life in Cornwall, after the tragic loss of everyone closest to her, but it’s also an epic love story. A hilariously awkward, compelling, cryptic love story – with a twist that will feel like you’re winded, and will knock you off your feet.
One minute I was close to tears, the next I was running around my dark hotel room checking for ghosts, and finally, I was sat laughing uncontrollably.
One of my favourite parts of the book is an exchange between Meg and her boyfriend Dan. In one paragraph we watch them have the most passionate, hilarious argument which is so fantastically paced and full of expletives just as a real-life argument between two stubborn idiots would be. We start with the inevitable ‘grow up’, followed by a 20 line exchange of insults that feels so real you could be sat there with them, with the occasional ‘b-word’ and ‘f-word’ thrown in for perfectly timed, comic pleasure.
It’s one of those books that builds like a snowball, a very linear progressive tale of love and loss, but with a twisting, turning meta-story that would make a book all by itself. After the underwhelming ‘blurb’ from the Editor, I wasn’t expecting to love it, but I can say without any doubt that this is my favourite book of this year so far, and I will be going back to read the rest of Patrick’s extensive back catalogue.
The pace catches you off-guard, and the fact that it has lots of supernatural elements feels surprisingly natural, and not at all what I expected. Do yourself a favour, and grab a copy, if you need an escape like I did, then this book is well worth a read.