The Shape of Night: A Novel

The Shape of Night: A Novel

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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 an 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?

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: 9781721368044
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 301,987
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen earned international acclaim for her first novel of suspense, Harvest. 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


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.


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 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 months 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 6 months 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 6 months 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.
tttknits 2 days ago
This book held me right until the end. It is the first book that I have ready by this author but I will definitely read more. I am not a normal reader of paranormal books but this one was very well done. The author combines a ghost story, romance, personal demons and a murder mystery into one great psychological thriller. A great page turner that leaves the reader wondering was there really a ghost? Thank you NetGalley and Ballentine books for an opportunity to review this book.
SandyVan 16 days ago
Author Ava Collette retreats to Tucker Cove, Maine hoping to ease her guilty conscience under the guise of researching her new book. During her stay, she rents Brodie’s Watch, a weathered old seaside estate, once the home of legendary sea captain Jeremiah Brodie. Captain Brodie is believed to have perished in a shipwreck over a century ago when his merchant ship, the Minotaur, was lost at sea. Although no one knows what happened on that fateful voyage, rumors abound in this tiny New England town. While the captain’s legend lives on outside the old manse, inside is another matter entirely, when Ava is visited by his ghostly, beguiling presence. But Brodie’s Watch is more than just haunted. Ava learns it also has a dark and sinister reputation she would be wise to escape before her deepest secret costs her life. Gerritsen conjures yet another fantastic tale of suspense, seasoned with an unexpected, mystical twist. Every chapter entices the reader forward into the next, and then the next, well into the night. The plot unfolds and details emerge with impeccable timing, right to the heart-stopping conclusion. Cover to cover wonderful.
MonicaA 19 days ago
This story was just not what I was expecting. I’ve read Tess Gerritsen in the past and remembered her novels as thrilling. This “ghost story” was far from it - the pace was very slow and I just wanted to get to the end. Unfortunately I do not recommend this one. There is some light BDSM to be aware of. Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced reader’s copy in exchange for my honest review.
Shoeguru 19 days ago
Ava ends up renting a home in a coastal village in Maine as she tries to run away from herself. She has a cook book to finish up that is way overdue and an agent breathing down her neck. From the time she enters the home, Brodie's Watch immediately fits her. She start having dreams about the captain who built the house and slowly finds herself pulled into the story in the belief that it will help her save herself in some way. She becomes acclimated to the people in the village and soon finds herself getting to know Dr Gordon. This book has the perfect blend of the supernatural tied into Ava's story. I struggled a bit with understanding Ava's relationship with Dr Gordon and found it to be forced a bit, however I did enjoy this book for what it was. Thanks for the ARC, Net Galley. This is the first book I have read from Tess Gerritsen, however I am definitely interested in reading more.
Shoeguru 19 days ago
Ava ends up renting a home in a coastal village in Maine as she tries to run away from herself. She has a cook book to finish up that is way overdue and an agent breathing down her neck. From the time she enters the home, Brodie's Watch immediately fits her. She start having dreams about the captain who built the house and slowly finds herself pulled into the story in the belief that it will help her save herself in some way. She becomes acclimated to the people in the village and soon finds herself getting to know Dr Gordon. This book has the perfect blend of the supernatural tied into Ava's story. I struggled a bit with understanding Ava's relationship with Dr Gordon and found it to be forced a bit, however I did enjoy this book for what it was. Thanks for the ARC, Net Galley. This is the first book I have read from Tess Gerritsen, however I am definitely interested in reading more.
3no7 21 days ago
“The Shape of Night” by Tess Gerritsen opens with a first-person narrative directed specifically to the reader, sharing feelings and apprehension, while shadowing things to come, “Even now I still dream about Brodie’s Watch, and the nightmare is always the same…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.” Readers learn a lot a about the narrator as she talks to herself and comments on events along the way. Gerritsen skillfully takes readers on a long strange visit to a wonderful house undergoing renovation but with a lovely huge kitchen just perfect for the narrator who is writing a cookbook. The opening tone is optimistic; after all, the house is the perfect place to write a book about “Traditional New England” cooking. However, as the days pass, readers feel the same apprehension, tension, and approaching panic as the narrator. Readers, along with the narrator, walk the line between reality and something else, then are hit with a strong dose of both, and begin to question what reality actually is. I received a review copy of “The Shape of Night” from Tess Gerritsen, Random House Publishing, and Ballantine Books. It was expertly designed to pull readers into the drama of the characters, the setting, and the house. The plot was intended to manipulate feelings and establish doubt. It was compelling from start to finish.
Fredreeca2001 3 months ago
Ava is running away. She tells herself she is just getting away to write her book. But deep down…she knows she is running from her past. She rents a home on the edge of the sea in Maine. The home is the historical house of the famous sea captain…Captain Brodie. Ava immediately knows something is off about the house. After a few days in this house she questions what actually made the previous tenant leave? This sends her on a quest and possible danger from her own rental property. See…her house is inhabited by Captain Brodie himself! This is not your typical Tess Gerritsen novel. So, if you are expecting her usual, prepared to be surprised. This is a ghost story and it is twisted. It is even very risqué in places. This has received some mixed reviews. But, I have not read a Tess Gerritsen book in a very long time. So, I had no prejudices. I went in with an open mind. And yes I figured most of it out. But the story is very entertaining and I was definitely on the edge of my seat. Not sure I would recommend reading this home alone on a dark night! I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
agnes-shap 3 months ago
I loved all the Rizzoli and Isles shows on TV, so when I got this from NetGalley I was thrilled. But this was no Rizzoli and Isles book. Very different, interesting and completely mesmerizing. When Ava goes to a remote village in Maine to write her book, she ends up at Brodie's Watch. A house with a history of its own. Some say it's haunted. Ava feels something in the house. Is it Captain Brodie? What about all the deaths that happened there? Is there a logical explanation? And what is Ava's secret that she took with her? We are thrown into the book trying to figure all this out and only at the end does it all come together. This book keeps you turning pages but does drag out a bit because we cover a lot of history surrounding Brodie's Watch. If you love ghost stories, then read this one. It will have you wondering if ghosts are real or not.
cyndecat1 3 months ago
I have enjoyed Tess Gerrittsen's writing many times before but I found this book to be personally disappointing. The plot was basically a "Ghost and Mrs. Muir " story (which is and old movie with Rex Harrison and later a TV show). A troubled young woman flees the city (Boston) to get away to a small seaside town to complete the cookbook she is writing. She rents a lonely house on a cliff just out of town because it is being remodelled and the rent is cheap. She finds that the house has quite a story, it was the home of a sea captain who is said to haunt it. Eventually she is seduced by the ghost . Then a body is found at sea and a murder mystery unfold. The suspense of the story and the atmospheric settings are perfect and the plotting as well . I truly wanted to finish the book to find out the ending and I did finish it. However I skipped over the seducing ghost scenes as it was closer to supernatural erotica. If you like that type of romance/mystery it is a brilliantly plotted book.
McGal 3 months ago
A paranormal romantic suspense. Ava Collette, a cookbook author escaping a tragic event, flees Boston to rent an old mansion in Maine in order to have peace and quiet to finish her latest book. There she experiences (and boy does she!) the ghost of Jeremiah Brodie, the dashing sea captain who built the house over a hundred years ago. Over the years, five women living in the house have died or disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Is Ava next? And is the ghost really a demon or just a figment of her guilty, drunken depression? A decent ghostly mystery.
Caljane 3 months ago
Ava, a cookbook author, flees from Boston and a dark secret to a house in Maine for the summer. There she meets the town doctor and a sexy ghost who is sharing the house with her. Tess Gerritsen went far from her usual genre (suspense thriller) into the world of paranormal, BDSM, and romantic suspense. While this was an interesting story idea, none of the protagonists could convince me as being real. The ghost was ever changing between nice and brutal, the doctor too good to be true, and the female protagonist (with the obligatory gay friend) not very likeable.
booklover- 3 months ago
Do you believe in ghosts? Ava Colletter does ... she's actually seen Captain Jeremiah Brodie who's been haunting Brody's Watch for more than a century. She's touched him, been touched by him, and talked with him. He looks and feels as real as anyone who is still among the living. He welcomes her with open arms. Ava has rented this mansion for the summer i order to write her next cookbook. And fleeing from a disaster, this is the perfect solution. Or is it? Before too long, Ava is questioning her own sanity. But he has become her addiction. But the house .... and the ghost ... come with a terrible secret.. one that could add her to the list of other women who have lived there before her. This is a haunting tale of suspense, obsession, and a dangerous passion... largely reminiscent of the old Gothic novels. There is plenty of action in this well crafted novel. A few twists kept me riveted from the very first to the surprising unpredictable ending. Many thanks to the author / Random House Publishing - Ballantine / Netgalley for the digital copy of this paranormal suspense. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
besu 4 months ago
This is an eerily spooky story. After a devastating tragedy, Ava, a food writer with a book deadline escapes to Maine to finish her book. She rents an old mansion whose previous tenant has left in a hurry and hasn’t been heard from since. The house Ava rents is called Brodie’s Watch and was built by a sea captain in the late 1800’s. The house feels sentient and it is rumored to be haunted. Ava has several encounters with Jeremiah Brody but is he a ghost or has Ava been drinking too much? After digging into the house’s history Ava finds out that all of the women who’ve lived there have died there. As Ava works through her demons she is falling in love with and is terrified by Captain Brody. The previous tenants body is discovered and it is determined she was murdered. Is the ghost killing the women who all look similar to Ava or is someone else in Tucker’s Cove responsable? I liked this story, it was creepy and spooky and just right for an October read. My one problem was with the dialogue. Ava was very short and rude when interacting with people in town. Most were very nice to her but I found her personality a bit abrasive. I know she was suffering from guilt but I think she could have been less abrupt. Overall, I liked this haunted house story and wanted to taste some of Ava’s dishes. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
MarionMS 4 months ago
I have always enjoyed Tess Gerritsen’s books, and this one is no exception. As a matter of fact, I believe I would have to rank The Shape of Night as one of my favorites. Ava Collette is trying to outrun her past. In an effort to accomplish this, she flees to a remote area in Maine and rents a very old and very large house—Brodie’s Watch. For some reason, this area and this house bring a peace to Ava that she has not experienced in quite some time, until something happens to steal that peace away. Do you believe in ghosts? This is a question that Ava is faced with in her temporary home away from home. Or is it temporary? Is it haunted? Not only is there a hint of the supernatural contained in this novel, there is mystery and romance as well. It is loaded with suspense and will keep you on your toes as you explore along with Ava, attempting to make sense of her life and the things that happen to her. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and hope that Ms. Gerritsen will venture along this path again. Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for the opportunity to review this book.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Very disappointing. Not of the same caliber as previous books. I kept reading in the hope that it would draw me in but it just drug on and on. Then the ending suddenly exposed all and left me wondering why I had bothered to keep reading. I love the Rissoli and Isles series and have read all Tess Gerritsen’s books. The paranormal romance in this completely turned me off.
TeacherMrsB 4 months ago
I received a complimentary copy of The Shape of Night from NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. This novel was extremely unique. Behavior from a spirit that was maybe more frightening than usual and a woman happy to believe in it contributed to a very unusual tale of strange murders. Good read! Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I could not put this book down. Reminded me of those old movies where the woman is along in an empty house and music is quietly playing in the background. You just know that something is going to happen. Highly recommend but don't read at night time.
TheHarleqiun 4 months ago
*Received at ARC from NetGalley for an honest review* First off this is my first book by this author, it is also my first book in this particular genre, however the blurb for this book really caught my interest as I'm a born and bred New Englander and who doesn't like a good ghost story. This story was very intriguing, and Tess Gerritsen rich descriptions can bring to life the movie like quality of the story in ones head. It was so amazingly easy to picture what was happening as I read it. The depth of the story telling was so rich because of the physical description of location, however it did lack a little when describing people, it fell a little flat. When it came to slowly revealing what Ava's personal struggle was, and how Gerritsen used the ghost story to bring it out, it felt a little too drawn out and I grew a little frustrated with the lag. Gerritsen did not lack in the suspense factor and knows how to keep a person on the edge of wondering what is really going on, and what the real scene is. The supernatural was just at added touch that was perfect. All in all, it was a good read.
Workerbee-Librarian 4 months ago
I've been a fan of Tess Gerritsen for years and the last thing I'd expect from her is a ghost story. I kept expecting a rational explanation for the sensual (long dead) sea captain who visits Ava's bedroom at night. Gerritsen does give us some alternate possibilities. Ava is in danger from someone who is very much alive and wants her out of the house. And since she does drink a lot in the evenings, she sometimes wonders if the Captain is a delusion born of loneliness and alcohol. Beyond the haunted house and the ghost, Ava is carrying a load of guilt over the death of her sister's fiance and is running away from everything that reminds her of that night, including the sister she has always been close to. The atmosphere of The Shape of Night reminds me of the old gothic romance novels I used to read. It has the feel of Daphne DuMurier with the solid plotting we expect from Tess Gerritsen.
Storibook 4 months ago
I have seen bits and pieces of the show Rizzoli & Isles but haven't delved into the series in book form yet. Rather I got pulled into this book by the description and felt like reading a paranormal gothic mystery. That, of course, led to me reading parts of other people's reviews because I have a bad habit of doing that and occasionally spoiling myself for things to come. The Shape of Night starts with our dear Ava running from something back home - we find out multiple times throughout the story that she was trying to run from herself which is impossible. Anyway, she decides to move to the story's local in good, old Maine because, ya know, nothing bad ever happens there. (Unless you're a character in something written by Stephen King - then, oh, watch out!) She begins to form relationships with people around town and finds items around her house that belong to the previous tenant. Being the great human being she is, she'd like to return those items and starts to unravel this big mystery as to why Charlotte (previous tenant) chose to leave as quickly as she did. We meet a doctor who isn't as up and up as he's portrayed to be, two handymen who are just going to eat our dear old Ava out of her house and home and a ghost who likes a little extra something in the bedroom. A ghost who honestly may not have even been real - I mean, ghosts aren't real so why am I having this debate with myself? But Ava questions it a few times and even if he wasn't real, she thought he was and she dealt with some inner turmoil through him and realized some things about herself along the way. I mean, I guess. I can't really complain about this book - beyond the fact that it made me slip unintentionally into a reading slump that meant I didn't really read much for two weeks. I liked the intrigue, I liked the mystery and honestly, the ghost and his proclivities didn't bother me. As a whole, it even made me want to check out other books from Tess Gerritsen. The story was intriguing even if I dragged my feet when it came to finding time to read. I had figured out a little early on who was to blame for the dead women but that's not always a bad thing to know early on who the creeps are.