Monday, September 22, 2014

BOOK REVIEW - The Night Visitor by Dianne Emley


In bestselling author Dianne Emley’s chilling new paranormal thriller, a beautiful woman’s romantic past comes back to haunt her in the form of an otherworldly visitor seeking justice.

Gorgeous and successful, Rory Langtry seemed to have it all. Daughter of a movie star and sister of a supermodel, Rory was engaged to sexy artist, Junior Lara. But her bright future went dark one terrible, bloody night that left her sister dead and the accused murderer—Junior—in an extended coma.

Now, five years later, Rory appears to have put the past behind her. She has a wonderful new fiancé and heads a successful cosmetics company. Yet dark secrets threaten. Across town, Junior lies close to death but before he departs he seeks to clear his name.

It starts with a feeling. It turns into a vision. Soon Rory is having sensations that only Junior could experience—from the horrifying to the erotic. Then she learns details about the awful night that only Junior could know, newfound knowledge with potentially fatal consequences. When another act of violence rocks her family, Rory plunges deeper into the unsolved mystery, led by an inexplicable visitor to a dangerous time and place where all will be revealed at last. But until then, Junior will not let her go.

.“A taut, gripping paranormal thriller from page one. You won’t be able to put this book down as Rory—a woman who has everything—fears all she believes is a lie. Excellent!”—Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of  Maximum Exposure



At the beginning of The Night Visitor, Danny Lara believes he has a telepathic connection to his brother, Junior Lara, who has been in a coma for 5 years.  I thought maybe Danny was a little overwrought and still suffering from the devastating injuries his brother had received - and maybe wasn't thinking clearly.  Having only Danny's point of view at the beginning, I was ready to believe that Rory was guilty and that having money shielded her from the consequences of her alleged actions.  But how often are things the way they seem at first?

But then a similar 'connection' develops between Junior and his erstwhile fiancee, Rory.  Her visions start shortly before the family's annual fundraiser for "The Other Victims", an organization to assist family members of victims of violent crimes.  Danny has gone there to get Rory to admit she was the one who killed her own sister and shot Junior out of jealousy.  He doesn't expect to make it out alive, which he doesn't.  But he did expect Rory to 'tell the truth' before he killed her.  Well, she doesn't die.

Rory feels compelled to find the truth about that horrible night five years ago.  But compelled by what?  Or by whom?  Many people around Rory have trouble believing what she is experiencing, finding it easier to believe that Rory is going crazy, but then many of them would probably be disappointed reading a book with paranormal elements.  These people who are rooted to the reality of what can be held and experienced probably would not enjoy movies with talking robots, energy swords and big walking rugs.  (Get it?)

Now, I'm not the most perceptive person in the world, but I'm not the least perceptive either.  Emley's twists and turns in the story kept me guessing right up until the end,  But what a great ride!  It was like a trip on a roller coaster.  You know you're going to be going up and downhill fast; you know there are going to be twists and turns.  But there's still that moment at the top of the first rise, that moment between going up and hurtling downhill at breakneck speed where the reality of what is about to happen makes you question why you got on the ride in the first place.

So, why does Rory have these issues of 'possession' (my term)?  Is it the force of Junior's will?  Or is it karma, the cosmic justice system?  Danny can't prove what really happened.  He's dead.  Junior can't prove what really happened.  He's in a coma and his body has wasted away with agonizing slowness, draining his life.  Rory is the closest one with an interest in solving the crime, so karma picks her to play detective.  The closer she gets to the truth, the closer the killer is to losing everything that s/he has gained by the murder and attempted murder.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Night Visitor, especially from the safe vantage point of outside the book.  The writing is taut and suspenseful.  The emotions are raw.  And the truth will out.  If you like mysteries, if you like thrillers and can handle the little spice of some paranormal elements, The Night Visitor makes a tasty read!



Dianne Emley is a Los Angeles Times bestselling author. Her stand-alone paranormal mystery, The Night Visitor, will be published in September 2014. Dianne has received critical acclaim for her mystery series featuring homicide detective Nan Vining, a hard-edged, haunted cop and single mom who's obsessed to find the man who stabbed her and left her for dead. She also writes the Iris Thorne Mysteries about a sexy, single investment advisor in L.A. in the "greed is good" 1980s. Her short fiction has been published in anthologies including Literary Pasadena>. Her books have been translated into six languages. A Los Angeles native, she lives in California with her husband. “Emley masterfully twists, turns, and shocks.” —Tess Gerritsen 

(Disclosure:  I received an e-copy of "The Night Visitor" from the author and publisher via TLC Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)

Other book reviews I am posting today:

The Imaginary Life by Mara Torres
And All That Madness by Joan Merrill

There will be two additional links later in the day.


  1. Thanks for the lovely review of my book, The Night Visitor. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it as much as you did!

  2. I'll be sure to not read this one alone at night - during the daytime for sure!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.