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Released: September 26th 2017
Published by Gallery/Scout Press
” It was fantastic albeit in a disturbing way.”
~ Under the Covers
Marion Zetland is a late middle aged woman who has been isolated from the world first by her parents and then by her older brother John with whom she lives. This has left Marion, with her collection of teddies, strangely childlike and very meek. The only escape she has being her innocent, yet slightly twisted, day dreams. All this is done in an effort to forget about the Visitors. The people that her brother John spends his time with in the basement. However, when John becomes ill it is up to Marion to face exactly what is in the basement and confront the visitors.
Firstly, I need to make everyone aware that this isn’t a romance. At all. Nor is it a story of redemption or happiness or any of that good stuff, not really. But this book managed to provoke so many emotions in me and even now days after finishing it I can’t stop thinking about it. It was fantastic albeit in a disturbing way and I guarantee you won’t finish this book without some level of what-the-hell.
This is Burns debut, not that you could tell there was no clumsiness and it was written perfectly from Marion’s point of view, you really immersed yourself into her character and the book wouldn’t have been such an experience if it was written in third person. And Marion and her character was the focus of this book. This wasn’t a fast paced thriller, it was steady moving story going through key event sin Marion’s life and demonstrating how she has become the almost pitiable character that she is in present day. You can’t help but feel empathy for her and when she says something nasty or not quite right…who can blame her? Her life hasn’t been an easy one.
As we learn more though an insidious tension weaves its way through the book as John suddenly becomes a figure to fear. It isn’t out-right terror, more like a low level hum of wariness that you can’t shake off and that builds up as the book goes on. This is what makes the book so brilliant. Burns expertly feeds us knowledge as we look back on Marion’s memories not quite telling us what to think but making sure there’s only one conclusion we can reach. I was completely drawn in.
Then there are the visitors. You don’t know exactly who or what they are. If they’re real or not. But every time they are mentioned the tension in the book sky rockets. All you know is, whatever is going on in that basement, whatever it is that secretly horrifies Marion it isn’t good.
I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone so I am not going to say more. But, the story doesn’t end as you would expect and it leaves you with the what-the-hell feeling I mentioned at the beginning of the book. Loved it, the strange and unhealthy relationship between John and Marion was perfectly executed and Burns made this whole book creepy without any cheesy and overused horror/thriller devices, all she needed was human nature. Whatever Burns brings out next I am definitely going to be reading.
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