By: J.R. Klein
Publisher: Del Gato
Publication Date: December 28, 2021
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: January 31, 2022
J.R. Klein delivers a fantastic read in his latest release, The Visitor. In the quiet and sleepy town of Cedar Bluff, Minnesota, local resident Ben Malone is about to get the wakeup call of a lifetime. Ben is not a native of Cedar Bluff. He is originally from Chicago, "...and in a place that big, your next-door neighbor can be manufacturing counterfeit bills in the basement, could be a serial killer, may well be posting lewd pictures of himself—or herself—on the internet. You’d never know..."
Strange happenings seem to be coinciding with the arrival of Ben’s new neighbor (famed writer), Victor Cartuso. Imagine Ben’s surprise when he learns there are a few more dimensions to who he is and what he does beyond authoring books. For instance, not long after Victor’s arrival, Ben’s son discovers a noose hanging in their garage. On the heels of this discovery Jimmy’s (Ben’s son) best buddy is found swinging from the rafters of his home in a similar noose. Is this coincidence? It is perplexing to Ben when he asks Victor about his family. Initially, Victor tells Ben he has a son who is the same age as Jimmy who is away at boarding school. A brief time later, he recants this version with the truth. Victor’s son died. He hung himself and there are still questions that require answers as to whether it was suicide or homicide. Ben is going to keep an open mind and do what Cedar Bluff residents do: make newcomers feel welcome. It’s summertime and the time is right for sharing a beer or two as the sun goes down and what better way to get to know your neighbor. However, curiosity has a stronghold on Ben and that gnawing suspicion that there was more to Victor than conversations convinced Ben to investigate further. It was time to do his own information gathering into what his neighbor was up to.
J.R. Klein knocks his latest book out of the park. It is the quintessential ‘get in/get out,’ edge of your seat mystery that has NO predictability whatsoever. The characters are rich, and the dialogue is quite believable. The ending is a fantastic ‘aha’ moment. I sat down yesterday morning to read The Visitor around 10 a.m. In a mere couple of hours’ time, I finished the book. What a great page-turner with terrific cadence. I have not had the pleasure of reading any of Mr. Klein’s previous works, but he is now on my list of ‘must read authors’! Well done Mr. Klein. I can only hope you are working on your next book and its release is soon.
Quill says: The Visitor may be a work of fiction, but it certainly poses the question: "How well does one really know his/her neighbor?"
For more information on The Visitor, please visit the author's website at: johnrklein.com/