The Night Visitor: Lucy Atkins 3 Stars

The Night Visitor
Author: Lucy  Atkins
Published: May 20th 2017
ISBN: 9781786482181
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Publishers Summary
Professor Olivia Sweetman has worked hard to achieve the life she loves, with a high-flying career as a TV presenter and historian, three children and a talented husband. But as she stands before a crowd at the launch of her new bestseller she can barely pretend to smile. Her life has spiralled into deceit and if the truth comes out, she will lose everything.
Only one person knows what Olivia has done. Vivian Tester is the socially awkward sixty-year-old housekeeper of a Sussex manor who found the Victorian diary on which Olivia's book is based. She has now become Olivia's unofficial research assistant. And Vivian has secrets of her own.
As events move between London, Sussex and the idyllic South of France, the relationship between these two women grows more entangled and complex. Then a bizarre act of violence changes everything.
Olivia, the history professor, sees a flyer that reads:

“The Real Diary of a Victorian Lady!
…. a sensational diary, handed down through one family. On short term loan by Lady Catherine Burley of Ileford Manor”

Curious, and on the lookout for some inspiration for writing a new book, Olivia visits the museum where the diary is held on loan, there she meets the taciturn and surly looking Vivian Tester, housekeeper to Lady Burley. She gets to read the diary, she can barely contain her excitement when she realises that this is it, her new book!

Vivian makes herself invaluable to Olivia during her writing process, Olivia wants to milk all the information that she can from Vivian but she does not want her as her friend.
 Neither seems to like the other much, the two women work together in an uneasy and slightly unfriendly way.
Both women seem a bit odd, Olivia is perpetually stressed by family problems, she needs money badly, hence the importance of writing a best seller, and she is also haunted by the belief that she has a stalker.

Vivian is a complex character, she seems to care that Olivia shuns her friendship yet she herself never displays a friendly manner towards Olivia.

I did enjoy this book … eventually, but I found it to be a really slow starter, everything is such a slow burn and I often felt that I was being manipulated into thinking that something awful was about to happen only to be let down because the creepily written build up led to something mundane.

It isn’t until towards the end of the book that the storyline begins to crackle and gather pace, and though a tad predictable in places it does have a very unpredictable ending.
Paperback copy provided by Hachette Books Australia for unbiased review

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