Thanks to NetGalley and Redhook for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: September 28th, 2021
Synopsis: From a thrilling new voice in horror, Andy Marino, comes a haunting tale of a woman whose life begins to unravel after a home invasion. She’s told she killed the intruder. But she can’t remember, and no one believes her…
Sydney’s spent years burying her past and building a better life for herself and her eleven-year old son. A respectable marketing job, a house with reclaimed and sustainable furniture, and a boyfriend who loves her son and accepts her, flaws and all. But when she opens her front door, and a masked intruder knocks her briefly unconscious, everything begins to unravel.
She wakes in the hospital and tells a harrowing story of escape. Of dashing out a broken window. Of running into her neighbors’ yard and calling the police. What the cops tell her is that she can no longer trust her memories. Because they say that not only is the intruder lying dead in her guest room, but he’s been murdered in a way that seems intimately personal.
When she returns home, Sydney can’t shake the deep darkness that hides in every corner. There’s an unnatural whisper in her ear, urging her back to old addictions. And as her memories slowly return, she begins to fear that her new life was never built on solid ground-and that the secrets buried beneath will change everything. (Goodreads)
The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess is a very different type of horror story which has left me torn over how I feel about it. I liked Sydney because she’s the poster child of an unreliable character and she kept me guessing through most of the book. A former drug addict, she’s turned her life around and seemingly has a wonderful life now with her loving, supportive boyfriend and her sweet eleven-year-old son Danny. But then she walks in on a home intruder and her life quickly begins to spiral out of control, and as this happened I increasingly felt as though I had fallen down a rabbit hole. There are several nonlinear time jumps that I found jarring and confusing, and I wound up more than once, having to go back a page and reread the section I just finished. The storyline also took a strange turn to science fiction which I personally didn’t care for, and I hated the ending although some readers may like the unexpectedness of it. The reason why this is getting 3.0 stars from me is because I really did like Sydney and her determination to forge a better life for herself and Danny, and I appreciated the uniqueness of story, but these weren’t enough to completely save the book for me. Overall, The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess had some bright spots, but didn’t quite live up to its potential.