Setting: Tucker's Cove, Maine
A woman trying to outrun her past is drawn to a quiet coastal town in Maine–and to a string of unsolved murders–in this haunting tale of romantic suspense from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.
Ava Collette is punishing herself for an unspeakable tragedy. So she flees Boston and rents an old home named Brodie’s Watch on a remote coastal peninsula of Maine, hoping to work on a cookbook inspired by New England cuisine that she’s been trying to finish for months. She immediately feels at peace in the isolated house–until she starts to hear strange noises.
Rumor has it that a sea captain named Brodie has haunted the house for decades. Then, one night, Ava is awakened to find herself face to face with an apparition who looks–and feels–all too real. Meanwhile, there’s been a series of accidental deaths nearby that don’t add up. And as Ava starts to check into the previous renter’s mysterious disappearance, she starts to realize that there’s a disturbing secret some in town are desperate to keep hidden.
Soon all of Ava’s waking hours are consumed by her investigation, and her nights are ignited by Captain Brodie’s ghostly visits. But even as she questions her own sanity, she knows she must uncover the truth before a killer strikes again.
The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen has some beautiful writing! The book starts off with a seriously creepy vibe. If I were Ava, I would NOT have entered Brodie’s Watch. Nope, nope, nope. Throughout the story I was saying things like “Dumb white girl move” and “Are you kidding me-get the hell out! Don’t go investigate”!
Not gonna lie, the story takes a WEIRD turn. Think Ghost, but not a loved one. Ava has experienced a recent trauma and that is what led her to this creepy old house. But, this has also led her to drinking entire bottles of alcohol a night. So the ghostly visits could be real or imagined during a drunken stupor. But when Ava has bruises from her nightly visitor, she knows something is up. Ava is difficult to like as a protagonist. She did a terrible thing and she is dealing with it poorly. However, I think the story does a very unique way of making her atone. Honestly, I did NOT see it coming. As I was reading I was making mental connections to the characters in Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn-I didn’t like any of them either and felt they all got EXACTLY what they deserved.
During the day, when Ava isn’t visited by her supernatural host, girls are turning up dead. Ava has become obsessed with learning all she can about the town and Brodie. This gives the story a sort of parallel vibe-the daylight events and the nighttime events. While the daytime events are more your typical murder mystery plot, the nighttime events are more supernatural/psychological plot lines. It was a very interesting parallel because they were so different, and I appreciated it, but it was just weird at times. The Shape of Night is certainly one of the most interesting and unique books I’ve read. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Perhaps thats the sign of a good book-one that leaves you wondering what the heck just happened?
JD Robb, Gillian Flynn, Sandra Brown…then you will probably like The Shape of Night!