The Night Strangers

The Night Strangers

by Chris Bohjalian


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From the bestselling author of The Double Bind, Skeletons at the Feast, and Secrets of Eden, comes a riveting and dramatic ghost story.
In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire, a door has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts. 
The home's new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin ten-year-old daughters. Together they hope to rebuild their lives there after Chip, an airline pilot, has to ditch his 70-seat regional jet in Lake Champlain after double engine failure. Unlike the Miracle on the Hudson, however, most of the passengers aboard Flight 1611 die on impact or drown. The body count? Thirty-nine – a coincidence not lost on Chip when he discovers the number of bolts in that basement door. Meanwhile, Emily finds herself wondering about the women in this sparsely populated White Mountain village – self-proclaimed herbalists – and their interest in her fifth-grade daughters. Are the women mad? Or is it her husband, in the wake of the tragedy, whose grip on sanity has become desperately tenuous?   

The result is a poignant and powerful ghost story with all the hallmarks readers have come to expect from bestselling novelist Chris Bohjalian: a palpable sense of place, an unerring sense of the demons that drive us, and characters we care about deeply.

The difference this time? Some of those characters are dead.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307395009
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 04/24/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 196,984
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

CHRIS BOHJALIAN is the critically acclaimed author of fourteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Double Bind, Secrets of Eden, and Skeletons at the Feast. His novel, Midwives, was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah’s Book Club. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages and two of his novels have become movies (Midwives and Past the Bleachers). He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter.


Lincoln, Vermont

Date of Birth:

August 12, 1961

Place of Birth:

White Plains, New York


Amherst College

Read an Excerpt


The door was presumed to have been the entry to a coal chute, a perfectly reasonable assumption since a small hillock of damp coal sat moldering before it. It was a little under five feet in height and just about four feet wide, and it was composed of barnboard and thick pieces of rough-hewn timber. Its most distinguishing feature was not its peculiarly squat visage—and if a person were predisposed to see such things in the dim light of the basement, the knobs on the wood and the character of the planking did suggest the vague shadow of a face—but the fact that at some point someone had sealed the door shut with six-inch-long wrought-iron carriage bolts. Thirty-nine of them ringed the wood and it was all but impenetrable, unless one were feeling energetic and had handy an ax. The door glowered in an especially dank corner of the basement, and the floor before it was dirt. The fact was, however, that most of the basement floor was dirt; only the concrete island on which sat the washing machine, the dryer, the furnace, and the hot-water tank was not dirt. When most prospective buyers inspected the house, this was their principal concern: a floor that seemed equal parts clay and loam. That was what caused them to nod, their minds immediately envisioning runnels of water during spring thaws and the mud that could be brought upstairs every time they did laundry or descended there to retrieve(perhaps) a new lightbulb or a hammer. It was a lot of largely wasted square footage, because the footprint of the house above it was substantial. As a result, the door was rarely noticed and never commented upon.

Still, the basement walls were stone and the foundation was sturdy. It capably shouldered three stories of Victorian heft: the elegant gingerbread trim along three different porches, which in the greater scheme of things weighed next to nothing, as well as the stout beams that weighed a very great deal but stood invisible behind horsehair and plaster and lath. Though the first-floor ceilings were uniformly twelve feet and the bedrooms' and sitting rooms' that marked the second and third floors no less than ten, the height of the basement ceiling wavered between six and eight feet, and—underneath an addition from 1927—a mere four feet. The floor rose and fell like beach sand. Further capable of inducing claustrophobia there were the immense lengths of copper tubing for gas and hot water, the strings of knob-and-tube electrical wiring (some live, some dead), and the horizontal beams that helped buttress the kitchen, the living room, and the dining room. The den. The library. The bright, wide entry hallway and the thinner, dark corridor that snaked behind the kitchen to the back stairs and the pantry. The copper tubing looped together in Gordian knots near the furnace and the hot- water tank. This piping alone scared away some buyers; it certainly scared away many more than did that door. There were strategically placed jack posts in the tallest section of the basement and a railroad tie turned vertical in the shortest.

In the years the house was for sale—one real estate agent attributed her inability to sell it to the unwillingness of the cantankerous, absentee owner to accept anything but the asking price, while another simply presumed it would take time for the right sort of family to express serious interest—all of the prospective buyers were from out of state. A great many were from Boston, enticed north into the White Mountains to see a house advertised in the Globe real estate section as the perfect weekend or retirement home for families that would appreciate its sweeping views of Mount Lafayette or the phantasmagoric foliage offered each autumn by the sugar bush to the south and the east. It was only twenty minutes from a ski resort. Still, almost no one with any familiarity with the property—and that was the right term, with its connotations of acreage (nineteen acres split between forest and meadow cut by a neighbor for hay) and outbuildings (two, including a garage that had once been a carriage barn and a small but workable greenhouse)—showed any desire to buy it. No one from the nearby village of Bethel even looked at it, viewing it as a house with (and this was the euphemism they were likely to use) a history.

At the same time, few of the agents who brought flatlanders from Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania to see the house ascribed its years on the market to the door in the basement or the thirty-nine carriage bolts that sealed it shut.

                     *                                    *                                    *

When your airplane hits the flock of birds, the passengers in the cabin behind you feel the jolting bangs and the aircraft rolls fi fteen degrees to its starboard side. The birds are geese, and it is not uncommon for you to see them from the flight deck as your plane begins its climb out of Burlington, Vermont. In this particular departure corridor, you see geese, crows, seagulls (lots of seagulls), and ducks all the time. The geese are flying perhaps forty miles an hour, traveling in formation from one feeding area to another, angling south from Malletts Bay, the animals always careful to keep near their cohorts. Today your aircraft is a Bombardier CRJ700, a regional jet that seats seventy passengers, two pilots, and a pair of flight attendants. This flight has forty-three passengers and three attendants, two on duty who have been with the airline for over a decade and a half, and another who is merely commuting home to Philadelphia and has almost as much experience. Both working flight attendants are, by any standard, immensely competent. You do not know them well, but you have gotten to know them both a bit over the last four days together. Likewise, the pilots (if you may be so bold) are skilled, too, though your first officer has only been flying for three years.
(The reality is that you and Amy have not been doing your jobs as long as the flight attendants have been doing theirs.) But Amy Lynch is smart and funny, and you have enjoyed working with her the last few days, as you have flown between Washington, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Columbus, Philadelphia, and finally Burlington. She has nearly thirty-five hundred hours of flying time, twenty-one with you over the last four days. You are a veteran who has been flying for fourteen years, and you have finally lasted long enough for there to be talk that soon you may get to start training on an Airbus simulator and begin your climb to a considerably bigger plane and a considerably bigger salary. You have twin daughters, and in eight years they will start college: That bigger paycheck matters, as does the esteem that comes with a 154-seat jet.

This afternoon you see the birds, each with a wingspan almost the length of a man, just a second after your fi rst officer does. She happens to be handling the takeoff. But the moment you fly through the drapes of geese—there it is, the sound you have always likened to a machine gun, the violent thud as each animal careens like a bullet into the metal and glass of your aircraft—the plane wobbles briefly to its side as first the left engine and then the right flame out. Most of those geese must weigh ten or eleven pounds each, and when they careen into the engines, the animals’ bones and feathers and flesh are turned almost instantly to jam and then almost as quickly incinerated. The passengers don’t know what they are smelling, but they know there is a stench in the cabin that they have never inhaled during a takeoff before, and combined with the way the aircraft has pitched to starboard, they are experiencing what even the most frequent fl yers would describe as an uh-oh sensation as they peer out the fuselage windows.

Meanwhile, you say “my airplane” and you take the controls. You flip on the APU, the backup generator in the tail of the plane, because a few years ago Chesley Sullenberger did this when his jet plowed through geese over the Bronx, and now turning on the APU is a part of the emergency checklist. You tell Amy, “Ignition on,” although you are quite sure that the wrecked blades have completely ripped the engines apart and neither will ever reignite: You can see on the instrument panel that the engine speeds are at zero. Nothing inside the turbines is spinning because whatever metal is there is now scrap and shard. But it can’t hurt to have your first officer try to restart the engines while you find the best spot to bring the plane down. “Airspeed, two hundred and forty knots,” you say, the best glide speed for this jet—the speed that will give you the longest possible glide.

And while radio communication is your lowest priority this second, you do tell the tower that there has been a bird strike. You begin with words that sound at once foreign and cinematic in your mind because you never anticipated saying them: “Burlington, we just had a bird strike and are declaring an emergency.”
   “Roger. What do you need?” a cool female voice in the tower responds.
   “Stand by,” you tell her simply, trying to focus. After a moment, she offers you a heading in the event you want to return to Burlington.

And, indeed, your first instinct is to make a wide, sweeping circle and land back at the airport. You left to the northwest on runway 33; perhaps you could loop back around and land on runway 15. But making a turn that large will cause the plane to lose a lot of altitude, and right now you’re only about twenty-five hundred feet in the air. You weren’t quite half a mile above the Champlain valley when that flock of geese darkened your windshield like a theater curtain. Your instincts tell you that you are never going to make it if you try for runway 15.
   “Not happening,” you tell the tower. “We have no thrust in either engine.” An emergency landing at the airport is impossible.
   And when you hear that voice from the tower next, you detect a twinge of panic in that usually professional façade: “Roger. State your intentions.”
You project alternate flight paths, scanning the Champlain valley.
Maybe instead of Burlington you could glide across the lake to Plattsburgh—to the airport there. The old Air Force base in upstate New York. You can see the area in the far distance to the right, and the angle of the runways looks promising. But it’s not likely you have anywhere near the altitude or the speed to make it. And even if you do coax the crippled airliner across the lake, you will still have to adjust your approach: The angle of the runways is promising, not perfect, which means you might be crash- landing in a populated area. Moreover, the CRJ has very low wings. Not a lot of clearance as you scoot along ground that isn’t a long, flat patch of pavement. It would be easy to catch a wingtip and lose control. You have seen your share of videos of planes cartwheeling along the ground into fireballs.

But you have to bring the plane down somewhere, and you have to bring it down soon. Neither engine has restarted.

You know well how that other captain managed to crash-land a powerless jet—and that was an Airbus 320, an oil tanker compared to this relatively petite CRJ—in the Hudson River one cold but crystal clear January afternoon. It was considered a miracle, but mostly it was just excellent flying. Chesley Sullenberger had flown commercially for twenty-nine years and prior to that had been a fighter jock. Twenty-nine years versus your fourteen. Arguably, a considerable difference. But you still have a boatload of hours in the air.

Likewise, you know the story of the Lockheed Electra turboprop that sailed into thousands of starlings—some people estimated as many as ten thousand—on October 4, 1960. The plane and the birds collided seconds after takeoff from Logan Airport, only four hundred feet above the water in Boston Harbor. The engines stalled and the plane plummeted into the water, no more than two hundred yards from shore. This was no gentle, seemingly slow-motion glide. There were seventy-two people onboard. Miraculously, ten survived, largely because of the flotilla of small boats that descended on the wreckage.

And now it is August, and though the sky is that same cerulean blue as it had been that January day over New York, it is downright muggy outside. Before you looms Lake Champlain, wider than the Hudson but still long like a river. You notice two ferryboats, one venturing west to Plattsburgh and the other motoring east to Burlington. There must be a dozen sailboats. And there is the crystalline surface of all that warm August water. Warm. August. Water. You will bring your plane down there—nose up so the aircraft doesn’t flip—because it is your best option. It is, perhaps, your only option. You have two dead engines and the speed of the aircraft’s descent is accelerating. You will do precisely what Sullenberger did on the Hudson. You’ve read all about it. All pilots have.

The tower is asking you again where you want to land. That voice once more brings up Burlington. She tells you that they have stopped all incoming and outgoing traffic there. Then she suggests Plattsburgh.

“I’m going to use the lake the way he used the river,” you tell her evenly, not specifying who he is because you don’t have time and, really, you were just thinking aloud when you added that to your tower communication. And already you are turning your plane from the northwest to the south and watching the water start to rise up.

You wish it were possible to dump the fuel on this CRJ, and not simply because you fear an explosion and fire; you know that the plane would float longer if there were more air in the tanks. Still, the plane should float long enough if you do this correctly. And so you descend as if you were approaching an ordinary runway, nose up, flaps full. The ground proximity warning system kicks in, and a computerized voice starts repeating, “Terrain. Terrain. Terrain.” Soon it will become more urgent, insisting, “Pull up. Pull up.” As if you didn’t know. Behind you, your passengers in the first rows hear it, too.

In a moment you will give the command every captain dreads: “Brace for impact.” Then you will skim across Lake Champlain, landing from the north a few minutes past five on a summer afternoon, and your passengers will be rescued by those ferryboats and sailboats. They will not face the frigid waters of the Hudson River but will instead wait on the wings in the gentle summer bath of a New England lake or bob on the waves in those garish orange life rafts.

“Thrust levels all idle,” Amy tells you, shaking her head, just a trace of anxiety in her usually giddy, usually playful voice.

Without thrust, landing the plane will be all about pitch. Lowering the nose will give you more speed and a longer glide; raising it will slow the aircraft and shorten your time in the air. You want to belly into the lake as gently as possible, though gentle is a relative term. The water can feel like granite to the underbelly of a jet if you hit it at the wrong angle.

“No relight,” Amy tells you, essentially reiterating what she shared with you just a moment ago, speaking louder now because, in addition to having to be heard over the synthetic Cassandra telling you to pull up, pull up, pull up, your flight deck is alive with emergency chimes and bells and a controller who wants you in Burlington or Plattsburgh or (Did you hear this correctly?) the interstate highway in New York that runs parallel to the lake. But the asphalt linking Albany and Plattsburgh is no more an option than the asphalt on the runways at the airports on either side of the water. No, you will use the lake the way Chesley Sullenberger used the river, and soon your passengers will be wrapped in blankets on the decks of the ferries.

                     *                                    *                                    *

The plane is eighteen rows long along one side but only seventeen on the other so there is room for a second lavatory at the front of the aircraft. There are two doors at the front of the plane and two over the wings at row fourteen (though that is actually the unnamed thirteenth row). Everyone in the passenger cabin is agonizingly aware of their proximity to those four exits, but perhaps no one is more focused upon them right now than Ethan Stearns as he sits in an aisle seat in the very last row, barely a foot and a half from the rear lavatory. It is not his own safety that has him calculating in his mind the speed with which he will be able to fi ght his way through the chaotic, merciless swarm to those exit windows, assuming the plane actually remains intact after it hits the surface of the lake; it is the safety of his young daughter, Ashley, who is sitting in the window seat beside him. His wife, Ashley’s mother, is ten rows ahead of them. The plane is not full, but it seemed like a lot of work to have the gate agent reassign their seats so they could be closer together on the short trip to Philly. So, instead of his wife in the row ahead of him, there is a man he knows nothing about and a woman who, based on something she said into her cell before the doors were locked and armed, had just interviewed at the IBM facility in Essex Junction, Vermont.

His wife, he realizes, is five rows from the exits over the windows and just seven from the front doors of the plane. He and Ashley are five rows from their only real shot from the aircraft, the window exits. His mind has already done the triage and the odds: His wife is more likely to survive than either he or their eight-year-old daughter. His eyes meet his wife’s when she turns back to glance at Ashley and him. He smiles; somehow, he smiles. He reminds himself as he gazes around his lovely little girl’s head—which is pressed so close against the glass that he can barely see out of it—that the guy who landed an Airbus in the Hudson got everyone out alive. It’s not like they’re about to slam into a mountain or a skyscraper. He makes sure that her life jacket is tight around her waist and he understands how to inflate it once they are outside the plane. He had barely had time to find it under her seat and figure out how to pull it from its bag and unfold it. He never did find his. He guesses no more than three or four other passengers have donned life jackets.
   “Brace for impact!” the flight attendant is telling them. “Brace for water landing! Heads down, heads down, heads down!”
   “When we come to a stop in the water, we are going to race for that window exit,” he tells his girl gently, whispering into her ear, trying to sound as serene as the flight attendant sounds urgent. “Okay? I am going to lift you up and carry you like we’re racing through the crowds on Main Street in Disney World. You remember, when the park’s closing for the night after the fireworks and we’re racing for spots on the monorail?”
   “But I can’t swim that far,” she stammers, her voice a little numb.
   “That’s why you have a life jacket,” he tells her. “The key is to scoot out of the plane with me, that’s all. Your mom will already be waiting for us because she’s a little closer to the exit.” Then his eyes go back to his wife’s, and her terror is like an electric shock. The cabin is eerily quiet because the engines aren’t working, and the passengers are mouthing their prayers or texting or staring in mute wonder as the plane seems to be descending beneath the Burlington skyline to the east and the Adirondack foothills to the west.
   “Do not wait for us!” he finally says to his wife, uncaring that it is like shouting in a cathedral during silent prayer. “I’ll have Ashley! Just get out of the plane!”

Once he has spoken, broken the spell, others start offering advice. Someone, a man, yells for the women and men in the exit rows to be prepared. Someone else starts yelling out how many feet above lake water he believes they are.

Ethan finally pulls his daughter's head from the window, kisses her on the cheek, and then pushes her down into the brace position. Then he joins her, but he wraps his left arm around her shoulders, as if he actually believes he is strong enough to protect her from the impact of a passenger jet augering into a lake at 150 miles an hour.

                     *                                    *                                    *

The captain never thought the door in the basement in any way resembled the over-wing exit doors on an airplane. Or even a main cabin door. Which, of course, it did not. But much later his new therapist, when the captain and his family had moved from Pennsylvania to New Hampshire, would probe this connection. A squat door? A pilot with PTSD? How could a psychiatrist not mine this possible connection? But of all the things the captain saw in the door in that dusky corner of the basement in the house they had bought, a locked and armed passenger jet door was never among them.

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The Night Strangers 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 199 reviews.
ElainefanfromMichigan More than 1 year ago
Fans of Chris Bohjalian- you are in for a fabulous read. This story will grab you from the first first page and will not let you go until the last page. This is a "can't put it down" read! For readers not familiar with this author's work, The Night Strangers is an excellent introduction to novels by Chris Bohjalian. Be prepared to add his name to your list of favorite authors! A great choice for book clubs.
mommybooknerd More than 1 year ago
I was fortunate enough to read a galley of The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian. I have to say that I have rarely gotten the chills while reading a book, but The Night Strangers was an amazingly, unsettling, paranormal thriller. It has so many interesting components that will both keep you turning pages and finding it hard to sleep at night. I have to say that I just loved The Night Strangers.
Michigan-Fan More than 1 year ago
This amazing author has done it again. I don't know if I would describe this book as a ghost story, a tragedy, a mystery or a all of these apply. Chris is one of those talented authors who surprise me with every story. Every book is different, every character is different and this book is no exception. Taking a road he hasn't traveled before, he brings us twists and turns that had me scared to turn the page but racing to see what happens. Very rarely does an author surprise me as Chris did in this book. This story will have you afraid of the dark, questioning your spouses motives and wondering about the brownies all while listening to the whispers of the Night Strangers....
michiganrules More than 1 year ago
When I started reading this book I could have Never anticipated the twisted and turns that lie ahead of me. I couldn't put it down.
TerisBook More than 1 year ago
What do we owe the dead? The Linton family is trying to put itself back together after the tragic accident of Pilot Chip Linton's semi-successful airplane crash. Escaping to rural New Hampshire they move into an old Victorian home with many secrets and secretive neighbors. The ending caught me by surprise.
AndyAC More than 1 year ago
Having read all of Chris Bohjalian's previous books, I was eagerly anticipating this one......what a disappointment. Beginning with the "you, you, you" as someone else mentioned, and going on to the characters who lacked charm, or interest. I simply couldn't care about any of them and started to feel that they deserved what was happening! The choices they made weren't logical. The supposed "cuteness" of ten year old twins escaped me....ten years old is past the age of such childishness displayed here. I gave up about 3/4 of the way through, skimmed the rest, and can offer this advice to any who may want to read this -- save your money.
dnalini More than 1 year ago
This book was good in average until the end, which made the entire book not worth my time. I read Midwives years ago and thought it would be good to revisit the author. Very disappointed, it was like a cheap halloween tale made for TV.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The seventy seater regional jet flies out of Burlington, Vermont with forty-three passengers, three attendees and a first officer as well as pilot Chip Linton. Geese fly into the two turbines, dying while destroying both engines. As the plane descends and feeling he can not make Plattsburgh or Burlington, Chip decides to land on Lake Champlain just like the heroic landing on the Hudson. He does everything right but a massive wave caused by a ferryboat makes the plane do a somersault. Most on board died while the pilot considers suicide as he suffers from survivor's guilt depression with the image of Dora the Explorer imprinted in his brain. Chip's wife Emily, an estates lawyer, decides the family needs a change so that Chip can start to heal. Thus Emily, Chip, and their twin ten year old daughters move to the White Mountains in New Hampshire where they purchased a fixer-upper Victorian. However, the house proves not to be a home as they begin to get visitors from the beyond including the father and Dora the Explorer daughter who make demands of Chip to have his children befriend the dead girl and find secret passages including a hidden crypt. Their benign welcoming neighbors have sacrificial designs on the Linton twins. This suspenseful haunted house psychological thriller is a tense tale with a strong cast especially the Linton family, the neighbors and the ghost from the plane crash. The story line is fast-paced with a sense of impending doom. Although the Linton adults' response to the otherworldly assault seems off kilter, readers will appreciate this scary ghost tale. Harriet Klausner
Lexi More than 1 year ago
'The Night Strangers' has further enhanced Chris Bohjalian's status as one of America's most accomplished story-tellers. As with most of his previous books, the reader is immediately drawn into a storyline that involves complex characters and difficult situations. It initially seems to be an examination of a failed hero (airline pilot Chip Linton) and his family - as they settle into a new environment, meeting their new neighbors, and exploring a strange old house that seems to hold secrets - but becomes so much more. And, as in Mr. Bohjalian's other works, there are twists you won't have anticipated. This is a page-turner of the first order, a real ghost story. Read this book! (Just don't forget to breathe!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone who practices wicca, I found this book very disturbing. The author mentions that the people are herbalists in this book not witches; however, he keeps adding words like coven to describe them. What the members of the family endure in the last few pages appears to be of a satanic ritual to me. I don't want to ruin the story for anyone interested in reading it, but this was not a book that I was anxious to read through and it took me more time than the usual book to finish.
Integrity_Consultants More than 1 year ago
The Night Strangers was an above average read and extremely intriguing. What begins as a fast paced ghost story ends up as something very different and quite unexpected. After skimming through dozens of reviews, I must concur that the book is somewhat confusing, almost two stories with two different plot lines combined into one. However, I choose to see aspects and details, such as the "39 bolts" as red herrings, not as the ravings of a possessed author as some claim. Take the story as it comes, sit back and enjoy the ride. What culminates is somewhere between a haunting, psychological thriller, and suspense with the addition of occultist witches. Intrigued yet? You should be. It's worth the time and a wild ride for the right passenger. Let the author drive.
kani_michelle More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a "grab me by the arm and pull me in", can't-put-it-down, terror-enducing ride of your life, then "The Night Strangers" is just the book for you. I started reading it in the evening and I couldn't stop reading. This book terrified me in a way that no other book has ever done. By the time I got well into it, it had me too scared to want to get out of bed for anything! It is so suspenseful and intriguing.... I felt like I was a part of the action. You never know what is coming next, like a roller coaster ride. The characters are completely believable; and I took an immediate interest in what happened to the family. You have never read a more brilliant book with such intelligent twists and turns in the plot before. You will enjoy it! Plus you will never guess how it ends!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
100 pages could easily be shaved out of this book with needless and repetetive flashbacks. You can quickly see what is going to happen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a scary book look elsewhere...this was just silly and predictable.....Glad I got a member discount!
Nancy Wasserman More than 1 year ago
I cannot wait to read this..i heard him on NPR and he talked about never wanting to write the same genre twice..he is an incredible wordsmith!
CrystalV More than 1 year ago
Up till 1:30 a.m. reading. Great twisty plot.
Ella_Jameson More than 1 year ago
This is a very interesting tale of the guilt and the anguish of a pilot after an unsuccessful emergency landing in Lake Champlain after a bird strike. The fallout from this unfortunate event is tale that will keep you reading way past your bedtime. But it definitely worth the loss of sleep!
TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
Chip Linton, an experienced pilot, is forced to make a split decision which results in the death of thirty-nine of his passengers. Although the accident itself was caused by a flock of geese flying into both engines, Chip finds himself reliving the moment over and over again. What could he have done differently? Overwhelmed with grief and wanting a new start, Chip purchases a rambling Victorian and moves his family to New Hampshire. Emily, his wife, is at first pleased with the move. Their ten-year-old twin daughters, Hallie and Garnet aren't so sure. This is a ghost story and these ghosts are not subtle. They appear often and know exactly what they want. Because of this, you don't get the atmospheric creep factor that you do with most ghost stories because you know right away who they are, and what they want. However, there is no escaping the dread that you feel while reading this story. This little town that they've moved to has its own secrets and the inhabitants are weird and cult-like and when you begin to understand what they have in mind for those twins, you can't help but be disturbed by it. It's unsettling and I was absolutely shocked by the ending. There is no denying the fact that this book is incredibly hard to put down. Bohjalian's writing is gripping and the opening sequence took my breath away. I was sitting in my car, out in the middle of parking lot, just me and my Kindle and I swear I held my breath the entire time. But. I wanted more of the ghost story and a little less of where the story went. I won't go into details for those who haven't read it yet, but Bohjalian had me with the house.nothing else was needed. Give me a creepy house with secrets and a set of strange, yet likable twins and I'm more than happy. I haven't read a ghost story in a long time, so I really enjoyed this one even though I had a little quibble with where it went in the end.
MEENIEREADS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great writing. That's what really kept me interested. Of course,being a reader of thrillers for 40 plus years I kinda figuredout what was going on not the far into the book. It was confirmed 2/3 into the book.I did not really like the ending but it was inevitable.
TFS93 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Terrible!! The book jacket description does not even match the story. I could do without the wife being turned on by the "witch" sticking her tongue down her throat! I think all the characters in this story have lost it!! If you want a good gothic haunted novel try The Little Stranger of The Thirteenth Tale. My recommendation is stay away from this one!!
justmelissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this book. I am a fan of Chris Bohjalian¿s work and the critical reviews of The Night Strangers have been good. The back story is interesting: Chip Linton, a regional airline pilot, crash lands his plane, saving the lives of only a few of his passengers. Wracked with guilt and suffering PTSD he moves with his wife and twin ten-year-old daughters to the New England countryside to regroup and live a less stressful life. A mystery door in their new home and their neighbors¿ odd activities make it soon clear that all is not a bucolic as it first appears. Chip¿s reaction to his ordeal is explored fully and through his nightmares and memories we learn how difficult it is for him to move on. His wife Emily is supportive but frustrated by the speed of Chip¿s recovery. The daughters are less clearly developed. Though their personalities are supposedly markedly different, I had trouble differentiating between them (or caring about why I should). I had the same problem with the town herbalists: there are many of them, but they all seemed like replications of other characters. The mystery was only mildly suspenseful and the ending was wholly unsatisfying. For whatever reason, The Night Strangers just didn¿t work for me. I¿m not a big reader of magic/witch/ghost stories so it may have been too far out of my preferred genre. I¿ll look forward to his next book and hope for something that hits a little closer to my interests.
es135 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Despite a heavy work schedule for the past couple of months, I was able to read this novel in short bursts, whenever I had the time. Fortunately, Bohjalian has crafted a tight, supernatural thriller that will have readers craving more. After a freak plane accident ripped directly from recent headlines, pilot Chip Linton is struggling with the death of 39 of his passengers. The family moves to a small New Hampshire town to escape the attention of the media, and to try to resume a normal life. The sleepy town, however, holds a dark past that slowly reveals itself to the newest residents. Like some of the great Stephen King novels, and more recently the work of Michael Koryta, this novel contains enough building suspense and supernatural elements to satisfy thrill seekers while providing strong human characters for all readers to get invested in.
rhonda1111 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is hard to rate a story thats is not a book I enjoyed. It is a horror story that is scary and doesn't help tonight was storming and raining hard. So if you like scary well told stories, this is your book.Captain Chip Linton is a pilot is co-pilot was doing the take off and they hit flock of geese, both engines were destroyed. Captain took over and they could not make it back to airport and decided to land on lake. He knew it was risky and it had to get pitch right. But a ferry turned around to go help and the wave came at wrong time and plane broke in half. Captain got out and 8 others survived.Chip was found not at fault but it was hard for him that he survived when so many did not 39 died.His wife Emily was a lawyer and they had twin ten year old girls. Hailey was more out going. She was named after her grandmother. Garnet was named after her red hair she was born. She has seizures where she just turns off.Chip is now afraid of flying. They decide to move to new England to a small town town. Emily works for a smaller firm. They ended up buying in a old house that had 4 levels. The basement has a mud floor except square of cement that water heater,furnace, washer & dryer. In one spot behind some coal is a door with 39 long bolts. The top floor had two bedrooms,bathroom and walk in closet that the twins shared also blocked off was part of attic. Each hallway was in different widths with main floor the bigest and third floor the smallest. also had old barn and greenhouse. They found lots of weird stuff left behind like knife hidden in heater vent,axe and crowbar.The town had lots of greenhouses or more than any other town around them. Most of the females had plant names. They also had shamans. People were fasinated by the twins.Chip was dealing with lots of issues and was not the strong guy anymore. Emily was also going through depressions.The story gets darker and darker and for the ending not one that I would choose. I doubt I will read more of his books if they are in the horror or thriller versions. Would rather have happier books personaly.I was given this ebook in exchange for honest review.
Alvaro77 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Traumatized after crashing his plane in an emergency landing over water,Captain Chip Linton and his wife Emily, and their two twin daughters move to the mountains of New Hampshire. The move is a fresh start and a chance to put the crash behind Chip, who suffers from a bad case of survivor's guilt. They quickly realize that things are different in the small town of Bethel. People are different. This was a really creepy book with an ending that I had to read more than once.
ForSix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn¿t write this review right away. I couldn¿t. I needed time to process it. This novel took possession of my thoughts, it dominated them. I thought about The Night Strangers every waking minute. Sadly, I¿m not sure if it was because the novel was that good or that disappointing. I am relatively new to Chris Bohlajian¿s work, this being my second with The Double Bind my first. I loved the Double Bind. Unfortunately I can¿t say the same for this one. Mr. Bohlajian is a master of mystery. He has an uncanny ability to write about emotions in a way that you as the reader experience them too. I also loved how he infused a perfect amount of creepy through the pages. I thoroughly enjoyed a few things about this novel. The first being the relationship between Emily and Chip. You could feel the genuine love they felt for each other, especially in Emily¿s protection of Chip. Secondly, Reseda was a character I wish I had known. She seemed to genuinely care for Emily and the twins. And finally Chip. I loved Chip. I thought Mr. Bohlajian did an incredible job of adding realism to his character. There were times it read more as an emotional realistic account of what happened and not a work of fiction. Chip was flawed, troubled, and carried around the guilt of not going down with his ¿ship.¿ We all know the heroic effort of Captain Sully, Chips efforts were no less heroic but tragically his end result was catastrophic.There was one aspect of The Night Strangers that felt a bit off the mark for me. A part of me wishes this had been more about Chip¿s demons rather than the mysterious Herbalists (the witches) that live in Bethel. Although the stories merge in the end, one clearly dominated the other. The witches were too farfetched, they distracted me from the Captain¿s battle with his demons. It¿s not that the witches portion of the story was bad, far from it. But oddly this novel would have been better as two separate tales instead of one. However I can¿t imagine having one without the other. The one thing I totally give him credit is the very ending of the novel had that catch my breath, exploding stomach feeling I was hoping for. It was the same feeling I got at the end of Double Bind, and that same feeling is what will keep me reading Mr. Bohlajian for years to come.