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The Shape of Night

Tess Gerritsen

Average Review Rating Average Rating 6/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Bantam Press

Published : 2019

Copyright : Tess Gerritsen 2019

ISBN-10 : PB 1-78763-165-6
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-78763-165-6

Publisher's Write-Up

If the walls could talk... they'd tell her to leave. Now.

When Ava arrives at Brodie’s Watch, she thinks she has found the perfect place to hide from her past. Something terrible happened, something she is deeply ashamed of, and all she wants is to forget.

But the old house on the hill both welcomes and repels her and Ava quickly begins to suspect she is not alone. Either that or she is losing her mind.

The house is full of secrets, but is the creeping sense of danger coming from within its walls, or from somewhere else entirely?

'A clever contemporary spin on the Gothic novel.'

Financial Times
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ben Macnair (010620) Rating (6/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 6/10

Anyone expecting the squeamish gore that is usually to be found in the work of Tess Gerritsen will be hard pressed to find it in her latest novel, The Shape of Night.

Instead of the crime procedurals of Boston Policewoman and medical Dr that power the Rizzoli and Isles novels, we have a book that is completely different. It blends elements of horror, the ghost story, the erotic thriller, the suspense thriller, even the psychological thriller.

Ava moves into Brodie’s Watch, to work on her latest cook book, and to escape for her old life, for a while but the time that she spends at the old house means that she meets Captain Brodie, the spectral lover who may be real, or the product of her fevered imagination, haunting the house. The old Sea Captain, and his travails on the sea, and his life of it are well known, even the death of a young girl back in the 1970’s is blamed on the superstitions of the house, rather than the facts.

Ava is rather partial to drama in her life, has some unresolved issues from her past, and likes to drink, a lot, so maybe she is imagining a spectral lover, the fear of the house playing with her mind, as her deadline for the delivery of the book getting ever closer. Ned Haskell, a local man takes a romantic interest in Ava, which fuels the ire of the Sea Captain, but is Ned really as nice as he appears to be, or does he have some dark secrets of his own. As Ava researches the past inhabitants of Brodie’s Watch, she notices similarities to herself, and thinks that if Captain Brodie is as real as a ghost can be, maybe he has unresolved issues and a reason for staying in the house.

At 268 pages the novel packs a lot in, and perhaps the ending is a bit rushed, but the sense of a foreboding atmosphere is well maintained throughout the entire course of the novel. Although it was an interesting read, readers would be advised that this was a brave literary experiment, and standalone books such as Life Support, The Bone Garden and the Rizzoli and Isles books might be a better choice to see Tess Gerritsen’s writing at its best.
Ben Macnair (1st June 2020)

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