The Visitant: A Venetian Ghost Story by Megan Chance

Setting: Venice, 1884, the crumbling Casa Basilio


  • Elena Spira: A nurse from America
  • Samuel Farber: Elena’s patient, recovering from a savage beating that left him near death
  • Nerone Basilio: Samuel’s friend and his host at the Venetian palazzo

Plot: Elena has been sent to care for Samuel, who, after suffering an epileptic episode, was beaten and left for dead. Samuel is recovering at the Basilio estate in Venice, there at an invitation from his friend, Nero. When Elena arrives, she finds Samuel indulging in laudanum; preferring to remain drugged. Elena immediately takes away the drugs and imposes a strict diet – no wine or other drink – and no philandering with the house maid, either. As the days pass, Samuel remains intractable, battling Elena at every turn. Nero soon arrives home and the level of tension grows. Both men are taken with the beautiful young nurse – but there is more than romance and seduction in the air.

There is a darkness in the estate, and puzzling episodes of intense, inexplicable cold. There are times when Samuel seems to stare into space, as though entranced. He seems to have fits that have nothing to do with his epilepsy; times when he has remarkable strength – that he uses against Elena. As Elena learns more about both Samuel and Nero, her own past and tenuous future is revealed. The Visitant is a story of how the mistakes and horrors of the past can affect the present and shape the future. Will one of these three sacrifice their future happiness for the others?

Pacing: Steady

Predictability: Medium

Wild Card: This story is heartbreaking. Megan Chance casts a spell over her readers, drawing them in with every scene, chapter, and page. There is mystery and suspense to be found in this book, as well as romance and intrigue, family drama and elements of the supernatural. Through it all, there is a thread of hope – a dream that one may not need to be saved, but rather, that one can save oneself and create one’s own future happiness.

Hit, Miss, or Draw? Hit!

About the Author
234253Megan Chance is the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of several novels. Her novel Bone River was an Amazon Book of the Month, The Spiritualist was chosen as one of Borders Original Voices, and An Inconvenient Wife was a Booksense pick.

Critics love the work of Megan Chance. The Best Reviews says she writes “Fascinating historical fiction.” “Provocative and haunting,” says Booklist. “Stellar characterization, terrific dialogue,” praises Publishers Weekly. “Impossible to stop reading,” raves the Seattle Times.

She is also a popular workshop speaker whose speaking credits include the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference, Romance Writers of America National Conference, Edmonds Write on the Sound Conference, the Seattle Assistance League, Timberland Regional Libraries, and many others.

In addition to her historical fiction novels, Chance is the author of the young adult Fianna Trilogy, short stories, and eight historical romance novels. Her novels have been translated into several different languages.

Chance was born in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to Washington State as a girl. She is a former television news photographer with a BA in Broadcast Communications from Western Washington University. Megan lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters.

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