A Visitor: John Pelletier
Reviewed By Yvonne Miller
18.00 hours…start A Visitor
19.00 hours…finish A Visitor
19.05 hours…feel the shivers of the sinister undertones of the ending.
A Visitor is a self-published horror novella by author John Pelletier. It’s a story that follows its own set of rules, a story that ensures a creeping sense of dread is present in every sentence. There isn’t a wasted word, everything is trucking towards the finale. The story that Dr. Barrett tells his guests of a visitor to his family home on a stormy night in 1837, leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
Dr. Barrett tells an enticing story that wouldn’t be out of place being told around a campfire. The darkness envelops around the listeners, and we are led down a darkened path, jumping at every sound…twigs being stood on, owls hooting…everything leaves us on edge. Horror is the perfect canvas to get creative on – it’s a complicated maze of atmosphere and terror and The Visitor excels at both profoundly.
A story tinged with elements of the gothic horror genre, we get a real taste of the dark and picturesque scenery. Although A Visitor is a novella, we still get a feel for the atmosphere – the storyline isn’t there despite the atmosphere, it is there because of it. Typical of the genre we have a mystery surrounding the visitor that paid Dr. Barrett’s family a “visit.” The telling of the tale is in a Victorian home with an almost locked door mystery feel. A supernatural narrative adds to the reader’s entertainment.
Initially, you think you know what you are up against. There was a stormy night, a lack of resources, and a mysterious knocking at the door. The cabin is far from any road and the conditions make it impossible to get there. It’s a bad omen with multiple ramifications for those present that night for years to come.
With a format of dual timelines, it works brilliantly. It feels like we are in real-time witnessing the guests’ reactions to a story that should rightly defy science, but it happened all the same. The author’s veracious skill with the written word makes it a propulsive narrative.
Things are clear from the get-go, A Visitor has made Doctor Barrett obsessive about hunting him down. When his servant delivers a telegram from an unknown source, things turn for the worse. Look into a crystal ball, it seems so clear but so cloudy at the same time.
A Visitor is a spine-tingling novella, extremely fast-paced, and doesn’t for a second lose momentum. A subtle nod to the masters and mistresses of Gothic Horror, but confident in its own place in the genre.
Some mysteries should not be solved.
Dr. Charles Barrett hosts an intimate after dinner party with close friends in the study of his Victorian mansion one night in 1837.
As the evening grows late, talk turns to tales of the unexplained and Dr. Barrett recounts a strange tale about a man who visited his childhood home. A man whose strangeness has bedeviled the good doctor over the years leading both men paths to converge again in an unexpected way.
Well, what can I say about myself? I’m a 33-year-old married woman and mum to 3 crazy boys, aged 13,6 and 4. My eldest has a genetic condition that causes a visual impairment so as you can imagine life can be very chaotic and provides many challenges along the way but I would 100% never change any of them. They fulfil my life beyond measure.
I adore books – I adore shouting about books! I’m a reviewer of mainly horror and dark fantasy. Whether that’s featuring werewolves, evil creatures or the depravity of humanity, I will read them all.
You can follow Yvonne on Twitter: @coycaterpillar
Please visit Yvonne’s Official Website: www.thecoycaterpillarreads.blog