I am so in the mood for a scary stories. The Visitant came to me at the perfect time, with lovely descriptive writing of a creepy home and a very odd situation.
Published by Amazon Publishing on September 22nd 2015
Genres: Fiction, Ghost, Historical, Literary
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?
Elena is a guest a Basilio palazzo, a ruin of a mansion. Elena has been tasked by her parents to help nurse an injured epileptic named Samuel back to health in time for his wedding. Elena has been very sheltered in her life, the year is 1884 and Elena is very much of her time. The owner of Basilio palazzo is Nero Basilio, a ladies man whose has lost his lifelong betrothed. The palazzo is an eerie location. Samuel is haunted in the palazzo with visions of apparitions and his mind is held captive threatening to expose his epileptic condition. Elena must find a way to cure his condition enough for him to get married against his will.
This is a historical paranormal romance, almost Gothic romance. That said, Elena go through much character growth as Nero and Samuel give her a taste of what she has been missing. Samuel, as a patient who does not want to follow instructions, Nero as temptation to a life she wishes she had.
What I Liked: The location of this story is so creepy. Elena encounters a lot of characters who don’t want her there and her patient is very difficult. This seemed like believable elements which set Elena up to be the thing Basilio palazzo dislikes the most. There was a creepy factor as soon as Elena is alone. The threat for her is to her person, and also her reputation. The story is told entirely in Elena’s POV, which left me the dark for some of the conversations (which were in another language Elena didn’t speak), this added to the feeling of alienation. I think that translated so well and I felt out of place as well.
Elena’s feeling of despair at the mess she left behind before being tasked to heal Samuel was spot on caretaker fatigue. Working with the mentally ill is really hard and Elena has been doing it her whole life. She is trying to use a medication on Samuel called Bromide, which was used to cure so many ails back then. Samuel is the perfectly wicked patient for her. He is the typical self destructive patient perfect for testing a wary nurse. I through the characters were wonderfully developed throughout the story. The motivations were clear and well written.
The love story was a fun element that carried Elena through the despair of the palazzo. In all the creepy surroundings something wonderful happens for Elena.
What I Disliked: Elena is not as curious about the house as I want her to be. She doesn’t go off exploring as most victims do, but it leaves the picture unfinished in my head. The pacing in this story was awfully slow. I hate to say that it dragged, but it really did. I almost had to force myself to see this book though. I figured out the ghost and the motivation way early in the story. I disliked that I figured out the mystery so quickly, I like more surprises in my reading.
In Conclusion: I think this story will appeal to those who really love the genre. Although I felt the story dragged a bit in the middle, the endings was well written. There was still a hint of the creep factor I found in the beginning and it was just enough to save this read for me.