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Book Review: The Night Visitors

Carol Goodman’s latest novel, “The Night Visitors” (William Morrow, 288 pages), deals with the trauma of domestic violence and the scars it leaves on its victims.

Mattie, a middle-aged social worker, gets an emergency call to pick up Alice and Oren, a young woman and boy, who are fleeing an abusive home. But the two do not wish to be lodged in the women’s shelter, so Mattie takes them to her old home in the countryside.

As hours go by, Mattie suspects Alice isn’t Oren’s mother and that she may be a drug addict. But even more troubling is the discovery of a knife which leads her to believe that one of them killed their abuser.

Alice is not the only one bearing terrible secrets — Mattie’s past is filled with the trauma of being raised by a tyrannical father and the loss of her beloved “brother” many years ago.

With the trio snowbound in Mattie’s old secluded house, things take a dramatic and dangerous turn as their secrets threaten to catch up with them.

Goodman’s novel blends elements of Stephen King’s “The Shining” with the brutality of domestic violence which yields a very, modern horror story.