Commercial pilot Chip Linton crash-lands on a lake after the engines fail, killing 39 of the 48 people on board. To get a fresh start on life, Linton, his wife Emily and two daughters move to a small New Hampshire town. Immediately the family is befriended by strange neighbors who call themselves herbalists. It quickly becomes apparent that there is some animosity between the herbalists and the rest of the community. The herbalists seem to have an obsession with the Linton family and try to draw the girls and Emily into their clique. Chip, who is undergoing therapy for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, spends most of his days renovating their old Victorian house. He is drawn to a door in the basement that is held closed by 39 heavy bolts. Disturbed by the fact that there are 39 bolts and there were 39 deaths from the plane crash, he feels compelled to break down the door. Chip is haunted by dead passengers and internal demons and becomes more mentally unstable. The girls have difficulty making friends their own age and spend more and more time with the herbalists. Strange objects are found hidden around the house. All the while Emily tries desperately to keep some semblance of normal family life.
With a creepy plot twist near the end, The Night Strangers will keep you awake listening for bumps in the night. This novel could be categorized as psychological suspense with a hint of horror.
Reviewed by nw, 10/11. Other reviews by nw.