The Visitors (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

In The Visitors, Simon Sylvester writes about the lure of folktales, of being an outsider, and of growing up, and then weaves it all seamlessly into a classic whodunit murder mystery. Perfect for those who typically shy away from the genre, this is a lyrical and moving mystery about a high school girl on a Scottish island and her reclusive new neighbors who or may not be killing the other islanders. The Visitors is a suspenseful coming of age story with a dash of selkies and plenty to teach you about the mysteries of home and the heart.

-- Cari

— From Cari Q. Staff Picks

January 2016 Indie Next List

“Neil Gaiman meets Tana French in this debut thriller that takes place on a remote island off the coast of Scotland. Flora is as independent, vulnerable, and anxious for adulthood yet yearning for magic in all of its guises as any teen you're likely to meet in literature. It is no surprise that she is drawn into the mystery of a man and his daughter moving into the abandoned Dog Cottage next door. The braiding of Scottish myth into this tale of suspicious disappearances adds a compelling twist to the wonderfully evocative setting and great cast of supporting characters.”
— Sara Hinckley (E), Hudson Booksellers, Newark, NJ


In the tradition of Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks, Simon Sylvester brings an ancient myth to life with this lush, atmospheric coming-of-age tale

Nobody comes to the remote Scottish island of Bancree, and seventeen-year-old Flora can't wait to move to the mainland when she finishes school. So when a mysterious man and his daughter move into isolated Dog Cottage, Flora is curious. What could have brought these strangers to the island? The man is seductive but radiates menace, while Flo finds a kindred spirit in his daughter, Ailsa.

Meanwhile, several of the men on Bancree have disappeared, unnerving the community. When a body washes ashore, suspicion turns to the newcomers. But Flo suspects something else, even though it seems impossible: She asks local residents for anything they know about"selkies," the mythical women who can turn from seal to human and back again.

Convinced of her new neighbors' innocence, Flo is fiercely determined to protect her friend Ailsa. Can the answer to the disappearances, and to the pull of her own heart, lie out there, beyond the waves?

About the Author

SIMON SYLVESTER is a writer, teacher, and occasional filmmaker. After working as a camera assistant and journalist, he began writing fiction, and his short sotries are published regularly in literary journals. He lives in Cumbria with his partner and their daughter.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781612194639
ISBN-10: 161219463X
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Publication Date: December 29th, 2015
Pages: 368
Language: English