The Night Visitor: A Novel

The Night Visitor: A Novel

by Dianne Emley

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804178938
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/16/2014
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 338,629
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Dianne Emley is a Los Angeles Times bestselling author who gained critical acclaim for the Nan Vining series including The First Cut and Love Kills. A Los Angeles native, she lives in the Central California wine country with her husband, Charlie.

Read an Excerpt


Junior Lara saw the doves and knew something was wrong. They were loose inside the loft, flying in crazy circles, their beating wings stirring the air, scenting it with musk.

A gust of warm wind blew through the open windows. It carried a trace of something sweet and earthy.
The back of Junior’s neck prickled. He stood with his hand against the edge of the antique elevator’s door, hesitating before stepping into his loft apartment.

“Anya? You here?”

He peered up the long staircase that led to the roof. The door at the top was open. He shouted up the stairs, “Anya!”

Looking around the loft, Junior saw Anya’s purse and two cell phones on the big library table. “You’re here someplace. You wouldn’t go off without your beloved cell phones.”

He knew what she’d done. She’d gotten bored waiting inside the loft and went up to the roof to see the doves, and she had left the door to the coop open. The light had drawn the birds inside. He’d told her that he was on his way, but she couldn’t sit still for a few minutes, and now his place was a mess. But where was she?

“Dammit, Anya.”

It was wrong. Wrong from the get-go. Anya was bad news. He knew it, but he’d done it anyway.

He flipped off the lights and started on the windows along one wall of the loft, working by moonlight. He shooed birds outside and cranked the tall casement windows closed. Two of his favorite doves landed on his head and shoulder and rode with him, cooing and picking at his hair.

The wind gusted. Screens that partitioned the bedroom scuttled against the concrete floor. Magazine pages rustled. Loose drawings took flight. Pencils and charcoals rolled. Paintings on easels caught the wind like sails. The doves had been calming but took flight anew, circling, the moonlight luminescent on their feathers.

Junior cursed when he caught his foot on a stack of canvases leaning against a table and they clattered to the floor.

“Can’t sit still and wait ten minutes, can you, Miss Diva?”

He reached a corner and stopped before going to the windows along the adjacent wall. The back of his neck prickled again. He resisted an urge to turn on the lights. He’d never get the birds out that way. But something was giving him the creeps. It wasn’t the doves. They’d done this before. It wasn’t the darkness. He often painted by moonlight, enjoying the still and quiet of the quirky old building in the desolate neighborhood. It wasn’t the hot wind. The Santa Anas made others edgy but energized him. It was something else. There was a vibration, a tension in the air, formless and weightless, but palpable. It had slithered beneath his skin and nagged the pit of his stomach.

He thought of his fiancée, Rory. He wanted her here. He hated having lied to her. Mistakes on top of mistakes. It was time to come clean and tell her everything. Now.

He brushed his pets off him and pulled a cell phone from his pocket. He brought up Rory’s number and was about to make the call when something caught his eye. He’d left easels set up in front of the windows beside a vintage sofa. One easel displayed the nude portrait he’d painted of Anya. On the second easel was a framed painting, silhouetted by the moonlight. He blinked, not believing what he now saw. The two paintings seemed alive, undulating in the wind. They’d been reduced to ribbons, the strips of canvas flying like the torn fabric of a kite’s tail.

“I know you had a problem with it, but son of a bitch, Anya.”

The wind quieted, settling the tattered canvases, only to scatter them again.

Junior crossed the room, heading for the shredded paintings. Near the sofa, he slipped. The floor was wet and slick. Pitching forward, grabbing on to the sofa to not fall, he skidded into something solid yet soft on the floor behind it. It was Anya.

Even in the dim light, he saw her sultry gaze. Her full lips were parted, and her dark hair was splayed around her head. It was the pose in which she’d been photographed thousands of times.

Junior realized that her face wasn’t shadowed but was covered with blood. He scrambled to get away, holding on to the sofa, fighting the suction pull of the blood. He sensed motion close behind him. It wasn’t the wind. It wasn’t the doves. Before he got to his feet, he was again falling.

There was a flash or a bang—he wasn’t sure which. He was suddenly on the cold, bloody floor but strangely distant from his senses. Anya’s limp form in the moonlight faded as darkness closed in. He grappled to fix a thought in his head, something to sustain him, to keep him here and away from the darkness. Rory. He focused on Rory. Scenes from their life together flashed through his mind. He seized them and held on tightly.

The darkness crept closer. He tried to hold on to the light, but bit by bit it ebbed until all that he had been was reduced to a pinprick. Then, life as he had known it was over.

Customer Reviews

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The Night Visitor 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
booklover- More than 1 year ago
Rory Langtree had it all ... daughter of a movie star and twin sister to a supermodel. Rory was engaged to an up and coming artist, Junior Lara. In one bloody night, she lost it all ... a night tht left her sister dead and the accused murderer - Junior - with a self inflicted gunshot would and in a coma. Now five years later, Rory has put her life together with a brand new fiancee and a successful business. Rory is having visions - horrifying visions that seem to be coming from Junior, who is still in a coma, but who has estabished contact between their minds. It is left to her to prove that the man she loved did not kill her sister. A little paranormal ... a great mystery... and a terrific cast of characters. 5 Stars all the way!
slim9885 More than 1 year ago
I was hooked from page one of this book. I love reading mysteries and this one did not disappoint. It's a quick read which I'm almost sad to say because I wanted more. I enjoy books that start right off with a dramatic beginning. This book started off with a bang and kept the momentum going. Looking forward to reading all of Dianne Emley's books.
HappyreaderSB More than 1 year ago
It didn't take me long to make my way through this page-turner of a paranormal mystery/thriller! I found the story intriguing from the first page, and it soon became totally riveting. In this well-plotted tale, the mind of Rory, the head of a prominent cosmetics firm, is increasingly taken over by that of her ex-fiancé, Junior, an aspiring artist who is suspected of having murdered Rory's supermodel twin sister, Anya, five years earlier, and lies in a coma resulting from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound incurred during the murder. Junior is determined to retain his hold on Rory's mind until she finds out who the real killer is. This complex whodunit features dysfunctional families, vividly portrayed characters that come alive, plenty of suspense, one twist after another, and excellent writing and storytelling. I could not imagine how this tale was going to end, and I was surprised by the shocking, and amazingly satisfying, conclusion. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, even if you don't usually read paranormal thrillers. Thanks to NetGalley for sending me a free copy of this book.
Delish-dish More than 1 year ago
I was grabbed immediately and powered through this book in a matter of a couple days! I found it intriguing and surprising at every turn. Delving into the realm of how a mind can affect you beyond an explainable series of events was an adventurous undertaking and Dianne  did it well. I believed in the characters and rode along with Rory on her emotional roller coaster. I felt that the details of the mystery were covered well to formulate a convincing story line. I was a little uncomfortable with the clarity of Rory’s mind in the unveiling of truths during her encounter with her mother but as the story continued, it balanced out enough to appease me. The stye and display of print was pleasing and I felt that the author effectively used bold print and word highlights. It was an entertaining read and an impressive work of creativity.
gpat67 More than 1 year ago
WOW! This book was excellent! Book moved at a breakneck pace with an unexpected ending. Junior Lara arrives home to his loft and finds his pet doves loose, one of his paintings slashed and the sister of his fiance dead on the floor in a pool of blood. Soon that is the last thing he sees. Anya is dead and Junior is in a vegetative state in a hospital. Five years later his brother Danny decides to avenge his death by shooting Anya's sister Rory who he feels is responsible. Rory was Junior's fiance when he was shot. Rory is the daughter of an aging movie star married to a billionaire. Rory inexplicably is feeling Junior's thoughts and knows it was impossible that Junior could have shot Anya and then tried to kill himself. And she is determined to find out no matter what the cost to herself. I absolutely loved this book another fantastic one by Diane Emley. Well done!!!!!(less)
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Her beautiful, wild and famous twin sister, Anya, is shot and killed. Her fiancé, Junior, is the prime suspect, but he, too was shot when a supposed self-inflicted wound fails to end his life. For five long years he lies comatose and slowly dying in a hospital bed, unable to communicate, unable to defend himself. Rory Langtry has moved on, or tried to, making a name for herself in the world of feminine beauty and becoming engaged to a successful, handsome man. As Junior gets closer to taking his last breath, Rory begins to feel a strange connection to him, a mental connection, a voice, images that only Junior would know. Is she losing her mind? Is Junior trying to tell her what really happened that horrible night? Will Rory’s dysfunctional, publicity-loving family have her committed for trying to get to the bottom of the mystery? Although Rory has put herself back together, is it possible that the love that she and Junior shared transcends all boundaries? Is their love truly over or will it last through eternity and the truth of what happened that night? The Night Visitor by Dianne Emley is dark, atmospheric and chilling while still being a love story that will cause a lump in your throat. Ms. Emley writes with a taut stroke, twisting her tale just enough to keep the reader guessing about “who-dun-it.” Secrets exposed, lies revealed and truths brought to light define this conflicted paranormal intrigue as Ms. Emley reaches into the darkest corners of her world to tell a tale that will stick in your memory long after the last page.
Sherri_Hunter More than 1 year ago
New to me author Dianne Emley offers up a very good, intense and suspenseful story with The Night Visitor, a story about a woman coming to terms with the tragedy that took the life of her twin sister, Anya and put her fiancé in a coma five years before. All evidence points to Junior as Anya’s murderer but Junior’s family believe Rory is the culprit. After a tragic act of violence puts Rory in harm’s way, we begin to learn about the events from five years ago through Junior’s eyes in flashbacks. Though Junior is in a coma and lingering on death’s door in this book, we get to know him through the flashbacks and I felt a strong empathy for him. I knew in my gut from the beginning he wasn’t the murderer, but I was fascinated at how he was psychically connected to his brother and then to Rory. I really liked Rory and her new fiancé, Tom. I admired how he handled the changes in Rory and his willingness to stand by her, showing his love and support though, at times, it appeared she was going to leave him and join Junior when he crossed over. A couple of scenes with Rory and Junior interacting had me in tears. They were beautifully written and so gut-wrenching emotional. In addition to the paranormal mystery angle, I also enjoyed that this story explores the relationships between Rory and her mother and her sister. There are a lot of unresolved issues and hurt feelings that come out. The author writes these tense and very emotional scenes with a lot of grace without glossing over the incidents or sugar coating the pain Rory still feels. I struggled with feeling any empathy for Anya but we get to know her through flashbacks and I began to feel pity for her, though I did not agree with her choices or the way she treated people. I never warmed up to Rory’s mother. I thought she was vain and selfish. I thought Rory’s stepfather and stepbrother were arrogant.  This story moves at a fast pace and the author does a very good job of giving enough detail to keep the reader interested without overwhelming them. The dialogue was appropriate for the subject matter and flowed smoothly. I wish I had discovered this author’s work before. My Final Verdict: Overall, The Night Visitor is a very good story that will appeal to fans of mysteries, thrillers and suspense novels. The paranormal element is an additional bonus that heightens the intensity of the story. I recommend this book if you enjoy stories that draw on all of your emotions. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of The Night Visitor from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hauntingly suspenseful journey! Beautifully written. Very moving.Definitely a worthwhile read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy read. Decent mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would definitely read another of her books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is not a great read and now another honest review for a freebie and unreadable one from one of the alternate As but all high stars. If a friend and you tried to read it just three star and say it was interesting plotting or forgetable oops unforgetable character (so bad!) this is about the 7th sub genre in 2.98 and boring and includes any vampires hanging upside down in dark closets
UndercoverBookReviews More than 1 year ago
~~~RECEIVED FOR AN HONEST REVIEW~~~ Mysterious and dark. Fast paced and well written. Spins you won't see coming. A book not to miss!
Shanrock19 More than 1 year ago
I liked this book, but it was fairly depressing, so it didn't quite click with me. I enjoyed the writing, but I didn't like all the different character perspectives; it made it hard to connect with any of the characters. I liked the story, but like I said, it was pretty depressing, and it goes to a dark place. I kind of had an inkling about the secrets, but I was still shocked at some points, and how the author chose to write them; it's just a sad story. I didn't really like the posh attitude of the characters, and they felt sort of artificial to me. The suspense was interesting, and it was interesting to read the story as it unfolded. I think it's a good read, and all in all I enjoyed it.
MaggieKMK More than 1 year ago
The Night Visitor was my first paranormal mystery and I enjoyed it. Its well-layered plot features an especially dysfunctional family that explores complicated sibling relationships. And the ending will take your breath away. You can’t go wrong with this one!
Magoria More than 1 year ago
Haven't read/ heard of Dianne Emley? READ IT! Like mysteries, with a dash of paranormal? READ IT!  Already a fan of Dianne Emley? Great -- READ IT ALREADY! This is a super quick, fantastic read that kept this reader guessing for most of the book (and that's hard to do). What else can I say? "THE NIGHT VISITOR" is a must read! Thank you to Alibi/ Random House and Netgalley for an e-galley to be used for honest bookseller/ review purposes.
Fincastle More than 1 year ago
Back in 1963 when the Angels sang, “My boyfriend’s back and there’s gonna be trouble,” they hadn’t a clue as to how bad it could get. Dianne Emley’s THE NIGHT VISITOR brings new meaning to the scary theme of a boyfriend’s unwelcome return in this thriller. I pored over THE NIGHT VISITOR, eager to find out who murdered the sultry Anya Langtry, Rory’s twin, and whose gunshot left Junior Lara, the promising artist and Rory’s fiancé, in a coma. My theories about the perp were entirely wrong; that’s how cleverly Emley takes you through the plot twists. I loved the glimpses into L.A.’s trust fund set, too, with their servants and glittering parties.   
DrA More than 1 year ago
Bestselling novelist Dianne Emley returns with a suspenseful and engaging tale that is sure to keep the reader quickly turning the page to see what shocking twist has again occurred in this well-crafted plot. The characters are vibrant and complex as exemplified by Rory whose life is shattered when her unresolved past literally grabs hold of her with a strange netherworld connection. Startling revelations will keep the reader guessing as the characters navigate their way through a world of wealth and glamour that is confounded by paranormal experiences and family psychopathology. The California backdrop only adds to the allure of this dynamic mystery. Definitely a must read!
MargieS1 More than 1 year ago
Given To Me For An Honest Review The Night Visitor by Dianne Emley is a great paranormal book to read. It's a mystery which will keep you  on the edge of your seat.  Yet it's a romance without being a romance.  It has special connections between  people.  There are secrets revealed, lies told and truths are found out.  There are so many twists and turns  you will keep turning the pages to get to the end.  When you are at the end boy is there a real surprise for you.  Dianne Emley has done a fantastic job with this book.  I gave it 5 stars but it deserves more.  I highly  recommend it to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story could have gone several different ways, kept story interesting