The Shape of Night: A Novel

The Shape of Night: A Novel

by Tess Gerritsen

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Overview

A woman trying to outrun her past is drawn to a coastal village in Maine—and to a string of unsolved murders—in this novel of romance and psychological suspense from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

“Suspenseful, sexy, and soulful.”—J. R. Ward, bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series

After an unspeakable tragedy in Boston, Ava Collette flees to a remote village in Maine, where she rents an old house named Brodie’s Watch.

In that isolated seaside mansion, Ava finally feels at peace . . . until she glimpses the long-dead sea captain who still resides there.

Rumor has it that Captain Jeremiah Brodie has haunted the house for more than a century. One night, Ava confronts the apparition, who feels all too real, and who welcomes her into his world—and into his arms. Even as Ava questions her own sanity, she eagerly looks forward to the captain’s ghostly visits. But she soon learns that the house she loves comes with a terrible secret, a secret that those in the village don’t want to reveal: Every woman who has ever lived in Brodie’s Watch has also died there. Is the ghost of Captain Brodie responsible, or is a flesh-and-blood killer at work? A killer who is even now circling closer to Ava?

Advance praise for The Shape of Night

“This book reminds me why I love reading. I wish this were a series so I could spend more time in Tucker's Cove. Tess Gerritsen is a writer I look up to!”—J.R. Ward, bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series

“Reminiscent of the best of du Maurier, this modern gothic is eerie, tantalizing, spine-tingling, and sensual. . . .  An altogether delicious read.”—Sandra Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“With a twisty mix of dangerous passion, obsession, and suspense, Tess Gerritsen reinvents the Gothic novel, giving it a razor-sharp, modern edge.”—Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author of Untouchable

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984820952
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 618
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen earned international acclaim for her first novel of suspense, Harvest (1996). She introduced Detective Jane Rizzoli in The Surgeon (2001) and Dr. Maura Isles in The Apprentice (2002) and has gone on to write numerous other titles in the celebrated Rizzoli & Isles series, most recently The Mephisto Club, The Keepsake, Ice Cold, The Silent Girl, Last to Die, Die Again, and I Know a Secret. Her latest standalone thrillers are Playing with Fire and The Shape of Night. A physician, Tess Gerritsen lives in Maine.

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

Even now I still dream about Brodie’s Watch, and the nightmare is always the same. I am standing in the gravel driveway and the house looms before me like a ghost ship adrift in the fog. Around my feet mist curls and slithers and it coats my skin in icy rime. I hear waves rolling in from the sea and crashing against the cliffs, and overhead, seagulls scream a warning to stay far, far away. I know that Death waits behind that front door, yet I do not retreat because the house is calling to me. Perhaps it will always call to me, its siren song compelling me to once again climb the steps to the porch, where the swing creaks back and forth. 

I open the door. 

Inside everything is wrong, all wrong. This is no longer the magnificent house I once lived in and loved. The massive carved banister is strangled by vines that twist like green serpents around the railing. The floor is carpeted by dead leaves which have blown in through shattered windows. I hear the slow tap, tap of rainwater dripping relentlessly from the ceiling, and I look up to see one solitary crystal pendant dangling from the skeletal chandelier. The walls, once painted cream and adorned with handsome crown molding, are now streaked with tentacles of mold. Long before Brodie’s Watch was here, before the men who built it hauled up wood and stone, hammered beams to posts, this hill where it stands was a place of moss and forest. Now the forest is reclaiming its territory. Brodie’s Watch is in retreat and the smell of decay hangs in the air. 

I hear the humming of flies somewhere above me, and as I start up the staircase the ominous sound grows louder. The once-sturdy steps I climbed every night sag and groan with my weight. The banister, once polished to satiny smoothness, bristles with thorns and vines. I reach the second-floor landing and a fly appears, buzzing as it circles and dive-bombs my head. Another fly moves in, and another, as I start down the hallway toward the master bedroom. Through the closed door I can hear the flies’ greedy hum in the room beyond, where something has drawn them to feast. 

I open the door and the hum instantly becomes a roar. They attack me in a cloud so thick I am choking. I wave and flail at them but they swarm my hair, my eyes, my mouth. Only then do I realize what has drawn the flies to this room. To this house. 

Me. They are feasting on me.

One

I had felt no such apprehension on that day in early August when I turned onto North Point Way and drove toward Brodie’s Watch for the first time. I knew only that the road needed maintenance and the pavement was rippled by the roots of encroaching trees. The property manager had explained to me on the phone that the house was over a hundred fifty years old and currently still under renovation. For the first few weeks, I would have to put up with a pair of carpenters swinging hammers up in the turret, but that was the reason why a house with such a commanding ocean view could be rented for a song.

“The tenant who was renting it had to leave town a few weeks ago, months before her lease was up. So you called me at just the right time,” she said. “The owner doesn’t want his house to stand vacant all summer and he’s anxious to find someone who’ll take good care of it. He’s hoping to find another female tenant. He thinks women are much more responsible.”

The lucky new female tenant just happens to be me.

In the backseat my cat, Hannibal, yowls, demanding to be released from the pet carrier he’s been trapped in since we left Boston six hours ago. I glance back and see him glaring at me through the grate, a hulking coon cat with pissed-off green eyes. “We’re almost there,” I promise, although I’m beginning to worry that I’ve taken a wrong turn. Roots and frost heaves have cracked the pavement and the trees seem to crowd in ever closer. My old Subaru, already weighed down with luggage and kitchenware, scrapes the road as we bounce along an ever-narrowing tunnel through pines and spruce. There is no room here to turn around; my only choice is to continue up this road, wherever it may lead. Hannibal yowls again, this time more urgently as if to warn: Stop now, before it’s too late.

Through the overhanging branches I catch glimpses of gray sky, and the woods suddenly give way to a broad slope of granite mottled with lichen. The weathered sign confirms that I’ve arrived at the driveway for Brodie’s Watch, but the road climbs into fog so thick that I can’t see the house yet. I continue up the unpaved driveway, my tires sputtering and spitting gravel. Mist veils my view of windswept scrub brush and granite barrens but I can hear seagulls circling overhead, wailing like a legion of ghosts.

Suddenly there is the house, looming in front of me.

I shut off the motor and just sit for a moment, staring up at Brodie’s Watch. No wonder it had been invisible from the bottom of the hill. Its gray clapboards blend in perfectly with the fog and only faintly can I make out a turret, which soars into low-hanging clouds. Surely there’s been a mistake; I’d been told it was a large house, but I was not expecting this hilltop mansion.

I step out of the car and stare up at clapboards weathered to a silvery gray. On the porch a swing rocks back and forth, squeaking, as if nudged by an unseen hand. No doubt the house is drafty and the heating system is archaic and I imagine damp rooms and air that smells of mold. No, this is not what I had in mind as a summer refuge. I’d hoped for a serene place to write, a place to hide.

A place to heal.

Instead this house feels like enemy territory, its windows glaring at me like hostile eyes. The seagulls scream louder, urging me to run while I still can. I back away and I’m about to retreat to my car when I hear tires crunch up the gravel road. A silver Lexus pulls to a stop behind my Subaru and a blond woman climbs out, waving as she walks toward me. She’s about my age, trim and attractive, and everything about her radiates chipper confidence, from her Brooks Brothers blazer to her I’m your best friend smile.

“You’re Ava, right?” she says, extending her hand. “Sorry I’m a bit late. I hope you haven’t been waiting too long. I’m Donna Branca, the property manager.”

As we shake hands, I’m already hunting for an excuse to back out of the rental agreement. This house is too big for me. Too isolated. Too creepy.

“Gorgeous spot, isn’t it?” Donna gushes, gesturing toward the granite barrens. “It’s a shame you can’t see anything right now with this weather, but when the fog lifts, the ocean view will knock your socks off.”

“I’m sorry, but this house isn’t exactly what—”

She’s already climbing the porch steps, the house keys dangling in her hand. “Voila. Home sweet home!”

The front door swings open, revealing a gleaming oak floor and a staircase with an elaborately carved banister. Whatever excuses I had on the tip of my tongue suddenly evaporate and an inexorable force seems to pull me over the threshold.

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The Shape of Night: A Novel 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
Anonymous 10 days ago
Tess gerritsen never disappoints. This is an easy and very suspenseful read. Her descriptive writing made me feel like I was there in that house and I too was drawn to the ghost of captain Brodie. I always look forward to her new books. I hope the next one comes soon.
nookerCB 10 days ago
Oh my - romance, mystery, history, architecture, seafaring captains, delectable food. What more could a girl want? Ava is an emotionally wounded cookbook author seeking a place to test her recipes and write in solace. She picks a coastal town in Maine that offers her a mansion on a hill, named Brodie’s Watch. Over 150 years ago a seafaring captain built this historic house and then perished at sea. What she finds is a welcoming house under renovation. Maybe a little too welcome when things start appearing in the night. Ghost? Demon? Apparition lover? Is Ava losing her mind or being haunted? Meanwhile she learns women have previously died in the house while the town doctor starts a romance with her at the same time she has to deal with her estranged sister. It all becomes too much and something has to give, but what will that be? Just read it already!
diane92345 10 days ago
The Shape of Night is an abrupt departure from this author’s usual police procedural. It’s an atmospheric gothic romantic suspense story with some modern twists thrown in. Ava has a terrible guilt-driven secret. In addition, she is over a year past the publisher’s deadline on her latest cookbook. Hoping to escape her guilt, Ava rents a remote old house on the windswept Maine coast. The house is incredibly cheap because it is still undergoing renovation and the previous tenant left without giving notice. Ava soon sees the ghost of the former owner of the house, 1800s Sea Captain Brodie. When he appears in her bedroom, they start a unique relationship involving Ava’s guilt and the Captain’s unusual method of helping her get over it. Will he really never hurt her in his house as he promised? Or is there something darker afoot? The entire plot of the Shape of Night is unexpected. It is a slow-burning gothic suspense novel mixed with a modern amateur sleuth story. There are actually three mysteries involved. What is Ava’s secret? Who or what is Captain Brodie—a benevolent ghost or a vindictive demon? What caused the previous tenant of the house to run away one night never to return? I thought that the atmospheric gothic feel of the novel was pitch-perfect. I had some issues with the mysteries. One was too easy to figure out. Another was wrapped up too quickly at the end of the book—though in an exciting way. The other was never clearly answered. Surprisingly, since I am a mystery reader, I enjoyed the paranormal aspects of this novel the most. That part of the plot was engrossing making this book a compelling page-turner. However, the mysteries left me underwhelmed for the reasons I stated above. Because of that schism, it is hard to rate this book. However, since I love genre mash-ups, I’ll round up to 4 stars! Thanks to Ballantine, Random House and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Dogs-love2read2 13 days ago
An interesting story but it seemed to end rather abruptly. Ava is a respected food writer. She thinks she found the perfect house to rent as she finishes her latest book but she didn't know the right things that would keep her safe. The suspense slowly builds around the secret that is keeping Ava away from her sister. Now she has another secret that could lead to her death. I received an Advanced Reader's Copy from the author and Ballantine Books. The opinions expressed are entirely my own. #TheShapeofNight #NetGalley
IrishEyes430 13 days ago
After Ava experiences a tragedy in Boston, she decides to seek refuge in an old mansion in Maine. Rumor has it that the house is haunted by Capt. Jeremiah Brodie. Upon moving in, Ave learns that several of the women who have lived in the house have died there. Ava begins to investigate the history of the house and the women who have lived there. Is there really a ghost? If so, how does it relate to the women? It’s a fascinating story. I’ve been a fan of the Rizzoli and Isles series by this author and was delighted to read something a little different from her.
JG_Chianese 7 hours ago
Dark, edgy, and brilliantly written. First off, this is not Rizzoli & Isles, so if that’s what you’re looking for…stop, but don’t because this story is fabulous, it’s just different. If you’re a fan of ghost stories and especially The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, but maybe want something a little sexier, darker, and definitely edgier, then this is your book. The story is brilliantly and beautifully written as you’d expect from Tess Gerritsen. The details are there so you feel like you’re in a small, coastal town in Maine in a hundred and fifty-year-old home. No surprise in either of those areas because we’re talking Tess Gerritsen. What was surprising was the paranormal aspect. But yet…was there really a ghost or was it just Ava’s mind? I’ll let you decide. No spoilers from me. I will say, I read this in one day because I couldn’t put it down. The story drew me in, consumed me, wrapped Ava’s pain and guilt around me and wouldn’t let go until the end. If you like a good psychological suspense with twists and turns give this book a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Booklover225 1 days ago
Spellbinding story that will keep you glued to the book page after page. Is there such a thing as ghosts? Can they appear real? Can you fall in love with a ghost? Ava rents Brodies Watch to get away from her past and try to finish writing her cookbook. Her publisher is not happy she is a year behind in finishing. Ava feels getting new scenery and away from home will help, besides being able to get away from her past. And different scenery it is. She finds Brodies Watch, once owned by a powerful and rich ships master Captain Brodie, is an isolated mansion high on a cliff over looking the ocean. From the kitchen and her bedroom she can hear the crashing waves hit the rocks below. Once inside the imposing mansion she feels a welcoming warmth from the house. Her initial discomfort vanishes. There is a small New England town down the winding road where she can get supplies and she settles in to hopefully begin to write again. She soon gets going on her testing recipes to put into the book. She also begins to hear and see Captain Brodie who died at sea many years ago Is she crazy? Why did the woman who lived there before her break her lease and leave? Did she also see Captain Brodie or Could Captain Brodie be a figment of her imagination even a mental punishment for her guilty past. She begins to thirst for his visits never knowing when he will appear. and when he does will he take her back up to the rooftop widows walk? Ava battles between wanting to run away and rent some other place and never leaving Brodies Watch again. She has to find out if she's going crazy. She decides to research the history of the place and the rumors of it being haunted. She even consults a woman from Help for the Haunted Professional Ghost Investigations. No one seems disturbed that the woman who fled the house before Ava moved in left items that would be very important to her. No one can reach her. When Ava meets the lady Maeve from Ghost Investigations this strange lady agrees to come to Brodies Watch to get a feel of the place. When she does meet at the mansion she discovers it might not be a ghost after all but it might be worse. I thank the author Tess Gerritsen, NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. This book wasn't what I expected it was more! Of course Tess is a very gifted writer but this kept me on the edge of my comfort zone, my heart pounding in anticipation or fear or both. You become Ava and her struggles and fears and love of a man who could be a figment of her imagination or very dangerous.
JReppy 2 days ago
This book was not quite what I expected, but still good. There was a good murder mystery and I liked some of the characters, especially Ava and Ned. The paranormal aspect played a more prominent role in the story than I had expected. And at times it seemed a bit "hokey." But overall, the apparition of Captain Brodie worked well as a character in the story. I liked how the theme of punishment was utilized. Ava has escaped to a small town in Maine in large part to escape a terrible, life-shattering event that she is hiding from her family and friends, but she is punishing herself by engaging in self-destructive behavior. Captain Brodie's appearance and actions toward/with Ava involve punishment at times, which she both wants and feels she deserves. I received a review copy via NetGalley.
Momma_Becky 4 days ago
This story was interesting but I didn't get the creepy vibe I thought this one would've had. Creepy things happen, but I just didn't get that sense. I don't know if it's the way the story is told or the circumstances surrounding the ghost, but The Shape of Night was more run of the mill mystery than psychological suspense, and I definitely didn't find anything romantic about the story. Haunting or flesh and blood killer, either way, this mystery was way too easy to figure out, and you don't have to be an avid reader of the genre to get there. In the end, it's not a bad story, I just expected so much more.
Anonymous 6 days ago
This book was very different from other Tess Gerritsen books I have read. It is part ghost story, part suspense, part dark romance (kind of?). Ave is not a very sympathetic character and you get the gist of why she is on a self-destructive path pretty early. However, it is not really said out loud until late in the book. So when it is revealed, it was pretty anti-climatic. The suspense part was the saving aspect of the book for me. You didn't really know what was happening until the last few chapters. I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley.
book_junkee 6 days ago
I was looking for something new and the premise of this one sounded interesting...sadly, it didn’t deliver. I wanted to like Ava, but I’m not sure I did. She drinks heavily every night and her while inner monologue didn’t reflect that, it was something she thought about often. There are some fairly huge mistakes in her past {which is fine}, but I didn’t feel like she had any growth. And yes, I’m being vague on purpose. Plot wise, it was disappointing. I didn’t quite get the romance {okay, let’s be honest and just call it sex with a ghost} and the murder mystery part felt like an afterthought. There wasn’t any tension or build up. Overall, I constantly thought about DNFing, but for some reason I kept reading. Mostly because I wanted answers and never got them. FYI: several scenes of bondage, name calling, and forceful sex that read like it was borderline consensual **Huge thanks to Ballantine Books for providing the arc free of charge**
Bookworm_Babblings 8 days ago
An intriguing and fascinating novel. Ava Collette has decided to live in a small Maine town for a few months while she finishes her New England cookbook. She rents out a beautiful mansion with an amazing views of the ocean. But living in a historical mansion also includes many stories of the original owner, Captain Jeremiah Brodie. During the gathering of information for her book, she quickly gets consumed in the history until she begins seeing Captain Brodie. Is it a figment of her imagination, a drunken hallucination, or is she really seeing an apparition? This was a great novel, I was drawn in quickly and could not put it down. I love the way Tess Gerritsen writes, it always just flows. Not only does she have a ghost story but she even squeezes a mystery into the mix! A fabulous read through and through!
bookluvr35SL 8 days ago
Ava Collette, on the run from memories she would rather forget, rents an old house in Maine where she can finish her latest cookbook and try to heal. What Ava did not know, is that the house has a past. The house is named Brodie’s Watch and it is supposedly haunted by the long-dead sea captain Jeremiah Brodie. Ava sees the apparition and begins to feel all too comfortable with him. However, dead women are piling up and Ava needs to know if it is because of the ghost or if there is an actual killer on the loose....a killer who now has his sights set on Ava. This book was a lot different than her usual books, but I thought she did an excellent job branching out into new territory. It was a combination of supernatural, romance and mystery, so if you are a fan of any of those you should enjoy this one.
Dedee1 8 days ago
I have never read Tess Gerritsen books but am familiar with the TV series Rizzoli & Isles based on her books. I must say I was captivated at the start of the book with the setting and a little mystery. However, '50 shades' with a jealous controlling ghost just didnt work for me. The detailed sex scenes could have been eliminated altogether and still been a good story.. I think I was hoping for a little more like '"The Ghost & Mrs. Muir". The characters were not all fully developed and some hints of their relationships seemed to vanish.. I did enjoy most of the book and completed just to see what happens. I received this book as a complimentary copy for an unbiased review. The opinions expressed are my own. Thanks to the author,publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy.
ReneeElizabeth 8 days ago
This book was so good! I had a hard time putting it down. Well-written with compelling characters and a chilling plot. I definitely love a good ghost story and mystery.
casey710 8 days ago
This is a standalone from one of my long time favorite authors but this one kind of let me down. It was less of a mystery (I solved it early in the book) and more of a gothic romance type novel. A female protagonist who was almost unlikeable and not the kind of character I really prefer to read about. She seemed to prefer being a victim. The location...Maine, was beautifully portrayed and you could really feel the atmosphere. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir will spring to mind for many readers but probably not in a good way. I really wanted to like this but at the end of the book I can't really say I felt like it was time well spent. Some will enjoy this...just not me. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
casey710 8 days ago
This is a standalone from one of my long time favorite authors but this one kind of let me down. It was less of a mystery (I solved it early in the book) and more of a gothic romance type novel. A female protagonist who was almost unlikeable and not the kind of character I really prefer to read about. She seemed to prefer being a victim. The location...Maine, was beautifully portrayed and you could really feel the atmosphere. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir will spring to mind for many readers but probably not in a good way. I really wanted to like this but at the end of the book I can't really say I felt like it was time well spent. Some will enjoy this...just not me. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
casey710 8 days ago
This is a standalone from one of my long time favorite authors but this one kind of let me down. It was less of a mystery (I solved it early in the book) and more of a gothic romance type novel. A female protagonist who was almost unlikeable and not the kind of character I really prefer to read about. She seemed to prefer being a victim. The location...Maine, was beautifully portrayed and you could really feel the atmosphere. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir will spring to mind for many readers but probably not in a good way. I really wanted to like this but at the end of the book I can't really say I felt like it was time well spent. Some will enjoy this...just not me. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
casey710 8 days ago
This is a standalone from one of my long time favorite authors but this one kind of let me down. It was less of a mystery (I solved it early in the book) and more of a gothic romance type novel. A female protagonist who was almost unlikeable and not the kind of character I really prefer to read about. She seemed to prefer being a victim. The location...Maine, was beautifully portrayed and you could really feel the atmosphere. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir will spring to mind for many readers but probably not in a good way. I really wanted to like this but at the end of the book I can't really say I felt like it was time well spent. Some will enjoy this...just not me. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
Anonymous 8 days ago
The Shape of the Night is an eerily atmospheric ghost story set amidst the cliffs of a remote Maine seaside village. The story primarily takes place at Brodie’s Watch, a semi-decrepit house rental that Ava Collette, a Bostonite who is escaping a recent tragedy, has chosen as the perfect place to renovate and seek solace. This inexpensive and isolated fixer-upper, with a picturesque view and calm presence seems the perfect way to get her life back on track and write her next cookbook. This plan changes, however, when Ava begins to hear noises and comes across the long since deceased sea captain who once lived there and has long since haunted its halls. She soon finds that she loves not only this captain, but also this house with its captivating history. But the house’s history holds deadly secrets of its own. This story is a romantic suspense novel and is heavy on the side of detailed, explicit seduction. It’s quite a departure from Tess Gerritsen’s previous series, though there is evidence of her graphic descriptions in both. The Shape of the Night will definitely appeal to those who enjoy paranormal and more descriptive romantic suspense stories.
BookAddictFL 8 days ago
Tess Gerritsen has given me the book I've been seeking all year. The Shape of Night is true Gothic suspense, in the vein of Shirley Jackson's Haunting of Hill House, in which the house feels like a character in its own right. Sitting safely in my not-haunted house, I could feel the unsettling energy and pull of Brodie's Watch. At about the one-third point, I thought I knew where this story was going, and I confess to a slight eye roll, but I should've known better. The layers and subtle complexities of this story add surprising depth, intensity, and emotion. This is a story about desire, punishment, secrets, lies, and guilt, and how these things manifest almost as living entities when we allow them to fester. While I love Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli and Isles Series, I'm thrilled that she has taken us in an entirely different direction. *I received a review copy from the publisher, via NetGalley.*
Anonymous 9 days ago
Tess Gerritsen is someone I have followed for a long time through her Rizzoli and Isles series which I couldn't get enough of. This book takes a 180 degree turn as it delves into the paranormal and romantic suspense category. Ava Collette retreats from her apartment in Boston to a small quaint Maine town after a horrible bombshell affects her life,her sister and her sister's husband. She settles into a large seaside house while drinking away her sorrow but is visited by spirits, ghosts? or maybe bad dreams in the deep of the night. He appears to be the apparition of Captain Jeremiah Brodie who was thought to die at sea but haunts this house where all woman who have lived there have also died. It is an easy enjoyable read and the tension in the end ratchets up quite a few decibels but I think I was expecting something more along the lines of her other books. As I am not a big paranormal fan, I don't feel qualified to give a true assessment of this book, but for those fans who want a suspenseful thriller with a bit of romance, this is the book for you. (less)
Anonymous 9 days ago
Ava is a food writer from Boston who has leased a reputedly haunted Brodie’s Watch in Maine for the summer. She has a lot of personal baggage and guilt over things in her past, and isn’t sure whether she is interacting with the 19th century sea captain’s ghost, or is just overindulging in alcohol. Apparently there have been a few suspicious deaths connected to this house—could the ghost be responsible? I liked the way the author captured the atmosphere of coastal Maine and the lonely old house, and the spectral S&M added an interesting twist to this ghost story.
Anonymous 9 days ago
Yes This book was HORRIBLE. I have read all of Gerritsen books and loved them, but this was lame. Not a good romance story, an even worse ghost story. Disjointed and clunky. I had to skim to power thru to the end. Yes
labmom55 9 days ago
I enjoyed Gerritsen’s prior series, Rizzoli and Isles, so I was willing to give this standalone a try. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that paranormal, gothic mysteries are not my normal cup of tea but I need to step outside my favorites every now and then. Ava is a food writer, looking to work on her cookbook. She rents an almost renovated mansion in Maine to have the peace and quiet she needs. She’s also running away from her prior life in Boston. We are only given small illusions as to how she screwed up there. Once again, I’m going to give away my age by saying my first impression of this book was that it was a weird take off on the old (very old) tv show called The Ghost and Mrs. Muir with a bit of Fifty Shades of Grey thrown in. Ava is your typical unreliable narrator. She’s got a severe alcohol dependency going on. This one is a bodice ripper of the first order. If that’s your thing, you’ll love this. I, on the other hand, plan to return to a good old fashion murder mystery next. One, hopefully, with a little less predictable ending than this one. My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.