Here is the full review:
Bohjalian, Chris. The Night Strangers. Crown. Oct. 2011.
Chip Linton, an airline pilot suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after a tragic crash from which he is one of only nine survivors, retreats with his family to a Victorian house in New Hampshire, but peace proves elusive. Why do the town’s “herbalists,” a group of gardening women who all have the first names of plants and flowers, take such an intense interest in the family, particularly Chip and Emily’s ten-year-old twin daughters? And what is behind the mysterious door bolted shut in the basement? VERDICT Bohjalian (Secrets of Eden) has crafted a genre-defying novel, both a compelling story of a family in trauma and a psychological thriller that is truly frightening. The story’s more gothic elements are introduced gradually, so the reader is only slightly ahead of the characters in discerning, with growing horror, what is going on. Fans of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones and Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye and The Robber Bride will find similar appeal here. —Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis