When I first saw the synopsis for The Visitors, the debut novel by Catherine Burns, I was so excited. I am such a sucker for a “serial killer in disguise” type thriller. From books like You to Normal to Perfect Days, I am always intrigued to read stories about the twisted things that happen in regular neighbourhoods. This one seemed like a book that would fit into that category.
Now that I have finished the book, I am a little disappointed to report that this book ended up being completely different from what I was expecting.
The novel opens with the introduction of Marion, a timid spinster, who lives with her brother, John. Marion knows that John does things in the cellar. Things that she doesn’t want to necessarily spend time thinking about. However, when John has a heart attack and is hospitalized, Marion is forced to go down into the cellar to face what she has been avoiding and, perhaps, to discover her own dark side.
I loved the general concept and found myself completely drawn into the story. Marion, as a character, was really interesting to read. I couldn’t help but ask myself continuously about how naive she actually was or what type of Stockholm Syndrome was allowing her to behave in such an avoiding manner. It was a really interesting portrayal of the human psyche and loyalty.
However, as much as the plot and the lead character intrigued me, as the story unfolded, I found myself a little underwhelmed. I felt like the author could have done so much more with the plot. There were so many things that I found myself wanting more of or that I was waiting to be further developed. There was so much potential for this to be a really creepily satisfying read but it just fell flat.
I still enjoyed the read and the author’s writing style but I felt like the plot was lacking.