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The Visitors

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  4,385 ratings  ·  956 reviews
Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar.

Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar h
Hardcover, 291 pages
Published September 26th 2017 by Gallery/Scout Press
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Rosella I've been wondering that too. I don't think she's unintelligent, even though she believes she is. I think she definitely has low self esteem and some …moreI've been wondering that too. I don't think she's unintelligent, even though she believes she is. I think she definitely has low self esteem and some extent of social anxiety, but I'm not sure if that is supposed to be in reaction to her troubling childhood, symptoms of mental illness, or just extreme ends of normal. I've also considered that she might be autistic and/or learning disabled as well.(less)

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Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,385 ratings  ·  956 reviews

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j e w e l s
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-bejeweled
Let me just say this straight up: I LOVED this book. HOWEVER.........."big but coming in now"

A bunch of readers are not going to feel the same. If you're looking for a heart-thumping thriller, you might want to skip this book for now. My mood as I started reading: I was burned out on baby abductions and murderous marital secrets. THE VISITORS was like a literary breath of fresh air for me! The book is interesting, unique, and, yes, spine-tingling despite the lack of car chases or police interrog
Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
"The Visitors" written by Catherine Burns was a really twisted, creepy and skin crawling book, that I loved reading from start to finish. Having been sent this book by a fellow reader, who highly recommended it, I was already expecting a good yarn but I was pleasantly surprised at just how much it captured my attention.
Anyone expecting a hauntingly scary or fast paced thriller will be disappointed as the story is much more character focused but it is that which makes the story so much more creep
I always thought I loved books that had a huge "creep" factor. Well, either my taste is changing or now these authors are taking creep to a whole new level (I think the latter is the case!). This was just beyond my comfort zone.

Marion and John are middle-aged siblings still living together in the home where they grew up. Their parents gone. Their neighbors highly suspicious. Of what? Could there possibly be something “creepy” going on in there?

It took me a couple days to write this review. Need
“We are only as blind as we want to be”
--Maya Angelou

The lies we tell ourselves because the truth is too painful to bear. There exists the heart of Catherine Burns’ magnificent debut novel, The Visitors. All those tiny deceptions we use to make ourselves feel better. To justify our actions. Excuse the actions of others. Assuage guilt. DENY, DENY, DENY. But what happens when there’s nowhere left to run? When reality is force-fed and you confront something too horrific to accept?

Marion Zetland,
Diane S ☔
A dysfunctional family, though using that word here may be a disservice to dysfunctional families. Parents, one extremely passive, father, a lecher and maybe more, Marion, sister, backwards, not much expected of nor by her and John, cruel and I think quite insane. Parents dead, now a grown brother and sister live alone, well except for whoever or whatever is in the basement.

It is hard to separate how I felt about the novel, or rather how this novel made me feel, with the quality of the novel. D
What a fun traveling sister read with a huge group of ladies. I have to say that I definitely enjoyed reading alongside everyone!

The Visitors by Catherine Burns is a dark and disturbing thriller. I will be honest, I did not like this book at all. I was confused as to where the author was trying to go with this one and I really tried to understand the plot/characters. I felt that this novel was too much of a slow burn for my taste and I put the novel down multiple times because I was frequently
3.5 stars! I’m still undecided if I want to round up or down so down it is for now.

This was a Traveling Sister group read with Brenda, Diane, Kendall, Kaceey, Sarah, Jennifer, Mackey, Jan, and Holly. It's always fun and a pleasure to read with this wonderful group of ladies, even when we have differing thoughts about the book. So thanks again to all for another wonderful reading experience!

Dare I say this might have been a touch too twisted for this Twisted Sister!

Brenda ~Traveling Sister Book Reviews
Traveling Sisters Group Read with Norma. Kaceey, Diane, JanB, Sarah, Jennifer, and Kendall

I read this as a Traveling Sisters group read with seven of my Traveling Sisters. The Visitors had us split again on how we felt about this one and how much we enjoyed it.

The Visitors starts off slow and creepy catching some of our attention right away and leaving a couple sisters struggling with the pace of the story. Catherine Burns takes time here with our creepy main characters Marion and John. We reall
Sarah Joint
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a group read (hello, Traveling Sisters!) that divided the ladies. I fall into the higher rating camp. It's dark, it's odd, and it'll probably leaving you scratching your head at the end and feeling unsettled. It's also a very slow burn that's more of a character study which takes you inside the head of a very unusual person.

As a child, Marion was bullied by her peers and brushed aside by her parents, who always preferred her brother with his superior intelligence. She could never learn
Holly  B
A dark read that kept me reading...

Open the book and enter the world of the twisted siblings Marion and John! Are these two ill, deranged, or just plain evil?? This is a disturbing book on many levels and not for someone looking for an uplifting read! I knew that when I requested to read it and wanted to get out of my comfort level and see how I would feel. I read Jewels review (loved the review) and decided to give it a try. I agree that it had a gothic feel to it and creepy like the Bates Mote
Dash fan
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4☆ Very Dark, Very disturbing, Eerie, 

When I was asked on The Visitors Blog Tour I wasn't too sure what to expect from the book, after reading alot of mixed reviews.

What I can say now after reading it, is that The Visitors is very disturbing, Very Dark, Creepy and very unnerving, some would say the perfect horror Thriller. This would certainly make a great Halloween Film.

I adore thrillers but The Visitors is a book that plays with your mind. It's unsettling and some readers could definitely find
Fifty-four-year-old Marion and her older brother John have lived together for the last twenty years. Marion is jealous of the time John spends in the cellar with his "visitors." She never sees the mysterious inhabitants, but she doesn't dare go down the dark stairwell to investigate. It's best not to ask too many questions!

Like a white bird, the scream flew up from the depths of the cellar, then became trapped inside Marion’s head. As it flapped its wings against the inside of her skull, she
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddy-reads-1, arcs
3.75 stars rounded up for The Visitors.

This was a Traveling Sister read with a large group, and it made for some fun discussions and a wide range of feelings on the book!

The Visitors had a slower start for me. The backstory was lengthy, but mostly necessary to progress the plot. More of a character study than a thriller, Catherine Burns' descriptions added atmosphere, and the way she built the story had many of us feeling physical signs of fear as we read! The writing was powerful in order to e
Boy, did that book make me feel dirty, tainted, grimy... like Lady MacBeth trying to scrub off the imaginary blood that she just couldn't shake.

This book... I don't know what to say other than TWISTED. It's completely twisted. It's fantastically twisted. It'll wriggle its way into your brain and make you unable to put it down until the very end. And ironically enough, very little happens for most of the book -- but you don't realize that until you get to the real happenings. The characters are s
What a wicked, twisted tale this was! Brilliant debut by Catherine Burns! I really enjoyed this and was fully immersed in the story.

Marion and John are a mid-aged brother and sister who still live together in their old childhood home. Marion has always been weak, and quiet and fully dominated by her brother John since childhood. They were not raised in a particular happy home. Things were just always, "strange." Now that they've grown up things continue to be strange in the household. John preoc
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one eerie, scary read. You know how some books get under your skin and latch into your brain and won't let go, no? If you read this you will. How Catherine Burns understands these siblings, a weird brother and sister, is beyond me, but she does. She tells their horrific, sad, sick story from Marion's point of view and it's her thoughts that get inside your head. At first you feel sorry for her, especially in childhood flashbacks which show the cruelty she endured from her peers and the n ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say. I've dithered between 3 stars and 4 all week.

Why did I almost choose 3 stars?
Because this took me a bit of time to adjust to, the story was drawn out a bit. BUT.....
I chose 4 stars because it "had" to be to get the background of the story however, I didn't realise that until later so it settled with me fine in the end.

I thought Marion who lives with an older brother a bit annoying, well......very annoying infact, she loved her teddy bears, loved her food and her TV, reasoned lik
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Marion Zetland is now in her fifties and still living with her domineering older brother, John, in their family home after both of their parents have long since passed. Marion never knew what love was or had a family of her own so John has been the only one close in her life for years forcing her to rely heavily upon him. Marion overlooks things that should be red flags when it comes to John with him being all that she has until one night John suffers a heart attack forcing Marion to confront wh ...more
This was a Traveling Sister read with Norma, Brenda, Diane, Kendall, Kaceey, Sarah, Jennifer, Mackay, and Holly. It's always fun to read with this group of ladies, even when we don't all enjoy the book.

I found the book description intriguing, and while I normally enjoy character studies I found the first 60% of the book slow and repetitive with a lot of flashbacks and mundane details of daily life. I did find my opinion of one of the character's changed as more was revealed but I was still bored
Schizanthus Nerd

Client Name: Marion Zetland

Age: 54, but looks 60

Personal Appearance: Frizzy brown hair that looks like she stuck her finger in a powerpoint, in desperate need of surgery to implant a sense of fashion

Relevant Family History: Rich in money (business: Zetland's Fine Fabrics) but not affection. Emotionally unavailable mother. Weirdo father. Psycho brother

Education: Attended three schools yet appears to have learned little at any of them

Lives: In her own little world

Home L
Zuky the BookBum
Here is yet another book on my list of recent reviews that has been nothing like I expected it to be! Which seems to be the general consensus with this one, but while lots of reviewers were being disappointed by this, I wasn’t. I was perfectly happy with the way this one turned out. So happy, in fact, that I thought it deserved a 5 star review!

I can’t get over the fact that this is a debut novel. I know there are lots of debuts out there that are incredible, but it’s been so long since I discove
Liz Barnsley
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmm. Yes. Well what to say about "The Visitors"

This is a beautifully written, highly disturbing and incredibly edgy debut, one of those that leaves you with a murky feeling right down in the depths of your stomach. Don't be fooled into thinking you'll get a standard psychological thriller, or a horror story, or a crime novel because whilst The Visitors could be described peripherally as all of those things, it is in fact not really any of them. Or wasn't to me at least.

Catherine Burns has writte
Bam cooks the books ;-)
*4-4.5 stars.

What becomes of a child who grows up without love? Who is relentlessly bullied, teased, made fun of, ignored?

"You are the kind of evil that comes from nothing, from neglect and loneliness. You are like mold that grows in damp dark places, black dirt gathered in corners, a fatal infection that begins with a speck of dirt in an unwashed wound."

Marion and John Zetland, unmarried siblings in their late fifties/early sixties, still live in their childhood home which is falling down arou
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
Marion is a single woman in her fifties. She’s not divorced or widowed or single after a relationship. She is single as in she’s never had as much as a kiss. Mentally, she’s a child. She lives in her derelict childhood home that from descriptions, seems like an episode of Hoarders waiting to happen. Marion’s older, bachelor brother John lives there as well. Their parents have long passed but Marion’s mother is alive and well in her head. Her brother John spends all his time down in the cellar. M ...more
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Very Creepy Stars

This British psychological thriller was the definition of creepy! It was the literary equivalent of driving past a car accident and not being able to look away, I didn't actually WANT to verify what I suspected was happening but I absolutely couldn't stop reading.

Marion grew up in a large house that had been in her mother's family for generations in a charming English oceanside town. Along with the house came a large inheritance. Her family life should have been idylli
Nicole Chinnici
The Visitors is one of the cases where I found the blurb to be somewhat misleading. I went into it anticipating a particular story and wound up being a bit disappointed when it didn’t seem to be going in the direction I had expected. But then it veered in an entirely different direction and the final result was better than what I originally imagined.

I made the mistake of starting this one night before going to bed. The sense of creeping unease from the very first page actually made me put it dow
Erica Ferencik
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful read!
A slow, weird burn of a book, not for the faint of heart or anyone looking for simple answers or "likeable" characters, please save me from those.. But if you like scary, strange, what-the-hell's-going-to-happen here sort of books, this is the one for you.
She grew up in a wealthy, but cold and dysfunctional family. That was just the beginning of a sad, lonely and socially inept life that tormented and twisted a middle-aged woman into the culmination of every monster that had ever terrified her. Catherine Burns’ THE VISITORS is a raw and brutally dark tale of the horrors of one woman’s life as she lives in self-denial of the horrendous secrets her domineering older brother kept in the cellar.

It is a tale of self-deception, of denial and of finall
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received an copy of Goodreads for my honest review. The Visitors is a chilling, gripping read. This book is action-packed. The entire time I read it I was on the edge of my seat. The Visitors is is a story of a brother (John) and his sister (Marion) and the disturbing lives they live.

This book is very eerie and will make your skin crawl. It makes you think twice about people around you. Catherine Burns has created the scenes in this book written so vividly that it makes you feel like you are
Sep 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tried. I really did. I kept waiting for John’s heart attack for having — finally — some action. I dnf at 46%. John was still alive. I can’t do it. Marion is a sad little woman who has been miserable all her life. She has been living in her head, with her little fantasies, and is stuck mentally at 13y.o., not the 45ish that she is really.

I received an e-ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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