Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story by Megan Chance

Opening Sentences: Only in my dreams had I ever imagined I might come to Venice. And, given the nature of dreams, I had always pictgured the city sunny and warm, with gentle, salt-tinged breezes and melting colors and a handsome gondolier to row me about and serenade me as he declared his undying love.

Synopsis: A crumbling palazzo in nineteenth-century Venice holds a buried secret.
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 bysomething. 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?

Review by 

The Visitant by Megan Chance is a delightful gothic tale set in Venice. Elena Spira travels from the U.S. to Basilio Palazzo to work as a private nurse for an epileptic man named Samuel Ferber. The mood is set with the crumbling palazzo and its location in a less than desirable, neglected area of Venice ripe with crime and plagued with filth. Further, an old aunt and a female servant and their suspicious, untoward behavior adds curiosity and tension to the story as it progresses. Once there, Elena encounters an impoverished nobleman named Nero Basilio (whose family owns the decrepit palazzo). Seizures, ghost sightings, addiction, family secrets, and loyalties are revealed throughout. The ending was definitely an unexpected surprise. This was a truly enjoyable cozy gothic mystery. Definitely satisfying!

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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