cover image The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess

The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess

Andy Marino. Redhook, $16.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-62948-5

Marino makes his adult debut (after the Plot to Kill Hitler YA series) with an ambitious if slightly overstuffed psychological horror novel about a woman’s struggle to piece reality back together in the aftermath of an attack. Sydney Burgess, who has spent the past nine years maintaining sobriety and building a life with her son and boyfriend, is attacked and nearly murdered by a home intruder. When she recounts her narrow escape to the police, they give her a different timeline of events—one that ends with the intruder’s body found in her home, profoundly mutilated. Sydney doesn’t remember killing the man, much less desecrating his body in such a gruesome fashion. As a malevolent force grows within her and coaxes back old addictions, her life unravels and reality bends. Now Sydney must uncover the truth and confront the trauma of her past before it devours her. Marino does an impressive job writing tender and heartbreaking moments without sacrificing the brutal tone that drives the story. Though the time jumps and unreliable narration can feel erratic, the dreamy, nonlinear structure keeps things from becoming predictable. The novel juggles devices and themes it doesn’t always manage to catch, but when it works, it’s absolutely devastating. [em]Agent: Cameron McClure, Donald Maass Literary. (Sept.) [/em]