This is another book I was attracted to because of the pretty and unusual cover (hardback version: scarab beetle). The other thing that caught my attention was the mention of a Victorian diary - I'm a sucker for stories with old diary entries. Although, as it turned out, there were no historical flashbacks in this one!
The Night Visitor is about Olivia, a TV historian, who is finding it impossible to juggle family commitments with her high-flying career. When she comes across the Victorian diary of one of the first female doctors she knows it will make a brilliant book, but she can't spare the time to do the research. So she hires Vivian to do the work for her. Vivian takes care of the dilapidated gothic house where the diary was found and was apparently once a university professor - the perfect research assistant. Except Vivian sees herself more as Olivia's co-writer and friend, and she has ideas for lots more books that they can write together. Oh, and she believes that every night she's visited by a 'ghost' who wants to kill her...
The Night Visitor is particularly clever in that I felt sympathy for the character whose viewpoint I was reading, but as soon as the viewpoint changed so did my allegiance! I don't think I would have liked to have been friends with either of these women in real life but they were incredibly compelling to read about. Creepy and deliciously twisty, I couldn't put this one down. Some of the twists I guessed, some took me completely by surprise. And although I never thought I'd say this, I found all the stuff about the beetles completely fascinating! Particularly clever is the way the author links the different types of beetles and their traits to the behaviour of the humans.
Brilliant stuff, and thoroughly recommended for anyone who loves psychological suspense and character-driven mysteries. Another of my favourite reads this year.
Thank you to Lucy Atkins, Quercus, and NetGalley for my copy of this book, which I received in exchange for an honest review.