After she nearly ruins her family with a terrible misstep, Elena Spira is sent to Venice to escape disgrace and to atone by caring for the ailing Samuel Farber. But the crumbling and decaying Ca’ Basilio palazzo, where Samuel is ensconced, holds tragic secrets, and little does Elena know how profoundly they will impact her. Soon she begins to sense that she is being watched by something. And when Samuel begins to have hallucinations that make him violent and unpredictable, she can’t deny she’s in mortal danger.
Then impoverished nobleman Nero Basilio, Samuel’s closest friend and the owner of the palazzo, arrives. Elena finds herself entangled with both men in a world where the past seeps into the present and nothing is as it seems. As Elena struggles to discover the haunting truth before it destroys her, a dark force seems to hold Samuel and the Basilio in thrall – is it madness, or something more sinister?
Rating: A- for narration; B for content
Megan Chance is someone I’ve been aware of for a while as an author of historical gothic mysteries with a touch of the supernatural about them, but I’ve not so far read or listened to one of her books. I have now rectified that situation with The Visitant, which I enjoyed well enough to want to delve into her back catalogue and keep an eye out for future books.
The novel’s subtitle says it all, really – A Venetian Ghost Story is a very apt description! But even with that massive hint as to what to expect, I was nonetheless gripped by the story, which is well-written and darkly atmospheric with an increasingly pervasive sense of menace; and which is peopled by an intriguing and strongly drawn set of characters.
You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.