Sunday, 20 December 2020

The Visitor: A Post-Apocalyptic Murder Mystery by Terry Tyler

The Visitor: A Post-Apocalyptic Murder Mystery by Terry Tyler
Self published in November 2020.

Included in my Vegan Bookshop

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In 2024, a mystery virus ravages the entire world. 'Bat Fever' is highly contagious and one hundred per cent lethal. 

A cottage tucked away in an isolated Norfolk village seems like the ideal place to sit out a catastrophic pandemic, but some residents of Hincham resent the arrival of Jack, Sarah and their friends, while others want to know too much about them.

What the villagers don't know is that beneath Sarah's cottage is a fully-stocked, luxury survival bunker. A post-apocalyptic 'des res'. 

Hincham isolates itself from the rest of the country, but the deaths continue―and not from the virus. There's a killer on the loose, but is it a member of the much-depleted community, or somebody from outside? Paranoia is rife, as friend suspects friend, and everybody suspects the newcomers.

Most terrifying of all is that nobody knows who's next on the list...

The Visitor is Terry Tyler's twenty-second Amazon publication, and is set in the same world as her Project Renova series, while being a completely separate, stand-alone novel. 

I'd enjoyed reading the whole of Terry Tyler's dystopian Project Renova series so, when I heard about this new addition, The Visitor, I was intrigued to find out how the novel would fit within the existing PR world and also how writing during a pandemic might have influenced Tyler's vision. I loved that Tyler chose to make The Visitor primarily a crime fiction story. I felt that this gave it a distinctive atmosphere and identity so, while it shares the essential Project Renova timelines, The Visitor is very much its own self-contained story. I think it would be equally as satisfying a read whether one was already familiar with the earlier series or not.

The isolated Norfolk village, Hincham, makes for a wonderfully claustrophobic and very English setting. Tyler's portrayal of this small inward-looking community really brought the place to life for me. I could completely empathise with these people desperately trying to maintain their former standards and beliefs because to fully acknowledge the collapsing world around them would destroy their sense of self. Poor under-appreciated Verity was my favourite character, although I wouldn't want to have to spend a moment with her in real life, and I recognised Peggy in several women I do actually know!  In this story, The Visitor narrates occasional chapters in a suitably chilling, disembodied voice, while most of the narrative is told from the points of view of Sarah, Jack and their friends, Avalon and Finn. There's a fairly large cast to keep track of, several of whom speak directly to the reader, so I was thankful that each one has a distinctive style. The village's suspicious attitude towards incomers rang very true, reflected as it is across Brexit Britain, and I thought Tyler's nods to the Covid situation were very clever, especially the disastrously over-confident ideas that, having survived one pandemic, these people knew exactly what to do in the event of a completely different disease outbreak.

And regarding The Visitor's true identity - I managed to guess wrongly, correctly and wrongly again during the course of reading as each clue swayed my opinion. I like crime fiction but, fortunately, appreciate being surprised by the final denouement as I rarely unravel the truth before it is revealed to me!

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Terry Tyler / Crime fiction / Books from England

1 comment:

  1. Thank you again, so much! I'm delighted that you saw what I hoped you would, in this book - and that you mentioned a couple of the secondary characters. Peggy was great fun to write! x