First impression review: The Visitors by Catherine Burns



first impression review (2)

When me and Matt were in Malta, we somehow got into a discussion of judging a book purely on reading it’s synopsis. The more I thought about this idea, the more I liked it, but I also realised that of course the books I’m going to judge will be ones I actively want to read, so their ratings are going to be high if I base the review of the synopsis alone. From here, I’ve developed the idea to just simply a “first impressions review”.

How this is going to work is that I will judge a book by my first impression of it. Then, once I’ve read it, I can see how it compares to my original rating. I’m not exactly sure how and if this is going to work as a blog post but I’m trial running it for the time being…

Also, Matt wants me to fully credit him for this idea as he sparked the conversation. So there you go Matt, you have been credited.

I’m going to start this off with my next book to read, The Visitors by Catherine Burns.

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Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar.

Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden.

As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side.

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First impression review:


When people ask my what kind of books I like to read, I come up with words like “dark”, “disturbing”, “horror”, “murder”, so this book sounds absolutely spot on for my tastes. I’m intrigued… What the hell is in the cellar? How dark can Marion get? This is exactly the kind of synopsis that grabs my attention. I also love the tag line!

If I didn’t already know that I prefer the US cover version of this book I would say that the cover is very ominous and atmospheric, even though it’s likely something I would look over in a book store.

Even though the cover of this one lets me down a little bit, I still think this deserves a 5 star first impression because the synopsis is absolutely perfect for my tastes.

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There you have it! That’s my new blog post idea that I can do each time I begin a new novel. Let me know what you think of it!

I have actually started reading this book, I started it Sunday evening, but I didn’t have my laptop with me to post this blog! Pssst, I’m loving the book so far!!

I’d love to know if you’ve ever judged a book based on first impressions and then been really surprised by the novel? Either in a good way or a bad way! Let me know.

9 Replies to “First impression review: The Visitors by Catherine Burns”

  1. I think it’s a great idea for a comparison! I’ve seen people review books on Goodreads before they ever get the book, so maybe that is their version of this? (Still, I won’t officially rate something online until after I’ve read it. Maybe on the blog, though.)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! Reviewing a book without reading it feels like cheating to me (though I know there are people who do it). It’s kinda like an author reviewing his own book…. (saw that today for the first time. Uck.)

        Liked by 1 person

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