|The Night Visitors / Carol Goodman|
New York: William Morrow, c2019
This is a great book for that purpose! Goodman's latest is a strong entry in her oeuvre. It features Alice and Owen, on the run from an abusive situation. They are met at a bus station by Mattie, who works for a shelter organization, but due to the weather and against all the usual rules, she takes them home with her.
But who is more dangerous? Or in more danger? And who is telling the truth about their past -- Alice or Mattie? This is a twisty story, with facts slowly revealed, and many of them surprising and unexpected (though it is fun for the reader when you figure something out before it's made clear).
Added to the chills that domestic abuse and murders far in the past can cause, in this story there is also a supernatural element; a small one but it's clear that the ghosts and spirits are real in this story. Owen is an odd child who seems to know things, and to find things, before he should. It's a bit spooky, but when he's questioned he just says that someone told him -- in his home situation and in this new location, he's tuned in to the local spirits.
There are a lot of layers here, and while some elements feel over the top, it all fits together and creates a strong story. There's a lot of creeping suspense, some really bad men, and sudden violence that overtakes Alice, Owen & Mattie in the end. We're not quite sure where the danger is going to come from or how, and I was taken by surprise by some of the final reveals.
But the characters and the setting work well together to create that sense of dread that Goodman does so well, and I thought the story held together well. Definitely a quick and entertaining read, one that gave me chills in more ways than one.