cover image The Night Visitors

The Night Visitors

Carol Goodman. Morrow, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-285200-7

This brilliantly conceived and executed gothic thriller from Mary Higgins Clark Award winner Goodman (The Other Mother) opens on a bus heading through Upstate New York on a cold and snowy December day. Alice, a frightened woman in her 30s, and Oren, a 10-year-old boy with a passion for Star Wars and Greek mythology, are fleeing from Oren’s abusive father Davis, who has threatened to kill Alice, his lover, and reclaim Oren. They arrive at the little town of Delphi, where they are met by Mattie, “a woman on the wrong side of fifty,” who acts as a volunteer at a women’s shelter and is charged with taking the two to a safe house. Instead, she abandons protocol and takes them back to her home, an elegant, if dilapidated, Victorian pile. Mattie doesn’t reveal that Oren reminds her of her brother, who died years before at age 10. Alice in turn has her own secrets. The tension builds with delicate precision toward the ultimate confrontation with Davis. Goodman provides readers with that delicious frisson that comes from not knowing what will happen next. [em]Agent: Robin Rue, Writers House. (Mar.) [/em]