In 2024, a mystery virus ravages the entire world. ‘Bat Fever’ is highly contagious and one hundred per cent lethal.
A cottage tucked away in an isolated Norfolk village seems like the ideal place to sit out a catastrophic pandemic, but some residents of Hincham resent the arrival of Jack, Sarah and their friends, while others want to know too much about them.
What the villagers don’t know is that beneath Sarah’s cottage is a fully-stocked, luxury survival bunker. A post-apocalyptic ‘des res’.
Hincham isolates itself from the rest of the country, but the deaths continue―and not from the virus. There’s a killer on the loose, but is it a member of the much-depleted community, or somebody from outside? Paranoia is rife, as friend suspects friend, and everybody suspects the newcomers.
Most terrifying of all is that nobody knows who’s next on the list…
I received a Kindle version of this book in return for an honest review.
‘The Visitor’ is a post-apocalyptic murder mystery set in 2024 against a backdrop of a bat-flu pandemic. This lethal pandemic was first introduced in ‘Tipping Point’ the first novel by this author in her ‘Project Renova’ series. I haven’t read that series yet, but ‘The Visitor’ works well as a stand-alone story, since the whole bat-flu epidemic is outlined in the opening chapters.
Before I began reading ‘The Visitor’ I was concerned that the background situation, with people dying left right and centre might be tough to read with our current COVID-19 pandemic in full swing. However, this pandemic carries a death sentence for all who become infected, and it is not long before society as we know it has completely collapsed. It therefore makes COVID-19 seem like a walk in the park in comparison and is far enough removed from our own pandemic to make it a compelling read.
I love a good character driven story and these characters are all realistic and easily believable. I feel like they are people I’ve known in real life at one time or another. This realism makes it easier to become invested in their stories and to become emotionally involved. I found it tear-jerking when some of what at first seemed to be main characters started to succumb to the virus.
The point of view switches between a number of different people including that of the murderer, who we come to know as The Visitor, whose tone is at times chilling:
Even when I was a child, I knew I had a dark side. Sometimes it thrilled me, my wicked secret, but at other times it made me scared of what I could do. I subdued it, but I was keeping caged a resourceful beast who would, eventually, learn to pick the lock. After the world went to hell, when we began to act according to our own instincts, judgement and needs, rather than the redundant rules of a disintegrated society, ‘it’ became ‘he’, and broke free.Terry Tyler
I was unable to guess who the murderer was, I kept thinking I knew, only to be intriguingly presented with something suspicious about one of the other characters which led me off in another direction. It’s a very difficult book to put down, as you want to keep following the clues to see if your assumptions were correct.
I found it interesting to see how quickly all societal norms disappeared as part of this hellish post-apocalyptic landscape. Yet apart from a few, the people of the secluded Norfolk village of Hincham were desperately hanging on to the hope that normal service would be resumed:
“In other words,” said the good old doctor, “this is your new normal. But we don’t need
to talk about spring planting yet. We’re all still reeling from this latest tragedy―”Terry Tyler
The book is left open-ended and it would be interesting to revisit the few survivors after a while to see how they are getting on with their ‘new normal’.
I highly recommend this book; it was very compelling and intriguing – fans of both murder mysteries and post apocalyptic fiction should equally enjoy it.
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About the Author
Terry Tyler is the author of twenty-two books available from Amazon, the latest being The Visitor, a post-apocalyptic murder mystery set in the same world as her popular Project Renova series. She is a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team, and likes to read historical fiction (12th-16th century), most stuff about the collapse of society and bleak dystopian futures, and non-fiction based on travel, sociological and anthropological subject matter.
Terry enjoys a TV binge – she is a Walking Dead obsessive, and also likes South Park, political/historical/crime documentaries, crime thrillers, and series that feature Travis Fimmel and Jason Momoa striding across barren landscapes. She used to be a committed rock chick but these days is more likely to agree to a nice walk in the park than an Aerosmith gig. She lives with her husband in the North East of England.
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