Cover Image: The Shape of Night

The Shape of Night

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Member Reviews

Not for me, unfortunately. I’m usually a big fan of Tess Gerritsen and her detective novels but this is a real change of pace and is more of a supernatural romance. Others may well enjoy it and I don’t want to speak ill of an author who’s given me hours of entertainment with Rizzoli and Isles so I’ll diplomatically leave it here and look forward to their return. 

I received a ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair review.
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I absolutely love the Rizzoli and Isles series (not finished though - no spoilers please) and while this book was good, it's not like that series... There's a real mixed bag of themes here and up to press I'm still undecided how much I enjoyed it. I think as a standalone, I'd have given 4 stars. In the shadow of the Rizzoli and Isles series, I'd give it 3. I tried so hard not to compare it but it just wasn't as good. A paranormal element was interesting though. I'm very conflicted, can you tell? 3.5, rounded down.
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I like Tess Gerritsen. Over the years I have re read her books. This book is no different I have read it twice. I throughly enjoyed this a must read.
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Having loved Rizzoli & Isles and Playing With Fire, I jumped at the chance to read her latest book The Shape of Night when Anne Cater of Random Things Tours asked me to be on the blogtour. In fact I didn’t even look at the description or blurb of the book – just said yes and added it to my list of books to read for October.

It was only whilst attending a book festival and chatting to other bloggers that I found out The Shape of Night is quite different to her usual books and I was told to keep “an open mind” which is probably the best advice I can give to any reader.

This books starts off in the normal thriller way – our narrator is Ava. An author of cook books and someone who is trying to escape her life and start again due to something that happened to her several months ago. She is racked with guilt and is relying on alcohol to dull her feelings and emotions and it’s no spoiler to say that her dependence for the bottle is out of control.

To escape her past and concentrate on her future, in particular to finish her next book for her publishers which is a year overdue she decides to rent a house near the sea and that’s where Brodies Watch comes in. A magnificent old, isolated mansion overlooking the sea and currently going through some renovations, Brodies Watch is so well described and atmospheric that you actually begin to see the house as a character in the story.

Once Ava moves into Brodies Watch things take an unexpected turn and I probably should warn you that if you are a prude you might not enjoy or expect what happens next! Ava develops a fascination into the history of the house and especially Captain Jeremiah Brodie, the rugged (and randy) sea captain who built the house and died 150 years ago at sea. Ava’s fascination with Captain Brodie obviously comes from her guilt and the amount of alcohol she consumes every day, but from this point on everything changes.

This book crosses many genres and I don’t want to give anything away – so be prepared for ghosts, murders, small town secrets, a narrator with an alcohol problem and severe feelings of guilt, some very, very steamy sex and quite a few mouth watering recipes! Several other reviewers have compared it to a paranormal 50 Shades and all I can say is that it gives a new meaning to “things that go bump in the night”.
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I quite like Tess Gerritsen and I don’t mind a paranormal, these two didn’t feel like an obvious match for me but the book was easy to read and I worked ,y way through fairly quickly. 
Ava is the main character who drinks too much, has a tragic past and is escaping to a creepy and spooky house that is beautiful. And then weird things start to happen and the previous tenant turns up dead.
It’s not the typical book I would choose and certainly wouldn’t jump to recommend it especially to specific Gerritsen fans....they’d be a little disappointed I’d expect.
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Not the book for me. I enjoy tess gerristen series but this new direction is not one I had enjoyed. It was a shame because she is a very good writer and I was looking forward to this new novel.
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I've read several books by Tess Gerritsen, Rizzoli & Isles as well as a medical thriller and a historical (medical) thriller. All were really good. Something I sadly cannot say about "The Shape of Night". 

After the first few chapters I was reminded of "Remember Me" by Mary Higgins Clark, a book I enjoyed very much, even though it contains supernatural stuff. But then Gerritsen throws in "Fifty Shades of Grey" as well, and that is so not my cup of tea of all. I couldn't relate to the main character Ava, so I didn't care for her very much. And lastly, the author doesn't make enough out of the turn the story takes towards the ending.
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The Shape of the Night is the fifteenth stand-alone novel by award-winning American author, Tess Gerritsen. Desperate to escape Boston and the events of her year so far, and facing an overdue deadline for her book, food writer Ava Collette is grateful to find an old seaside rental in Maine for the summer. It’s cheap because the owner still has renovations going on; it’s available because the last tenant unexpectedly left early; and inside, Brodie’s Watch turns out to be wonderfully welcoming despite the initially forbidding exterior.

The house is perfect for her book on New England Traditional food, and the carpenters make excellent guinea pigs for her recipes. But when they aren’t there, she notices a presence. She’s not afraid; rather she is enthralled (lustfully so) with what she perceives to be the ghost of the strikingly handsome sea captain who built the house over one hundred and fifty years earlier.

Jeremiah Brodie makes her feel safe. He seems to know exactly what Ava feels, her massive guilt and her need for punishment. But could Ava’s copious consumption of alcohol be altering her perception? Or might the infection resulting from scratches from her large, mean, Maine coon cat be affecting her brain function?

Ava contacts a specialist in the paranormal: “I wanted to know that what I saw and felt in Brodie’s Watch was real. No, I’m not afraid of Captain Brodie’s ghost. What terrifies me is the possibility that he doesn’t exist and I’m going insane”. But Maeve Cerridwyn uncovers some disturbing facts about Brodie’s Watch, and is convinced that Ava is in danger. The body pulled from the water not long after Ava arrives is also a mystery, as are some earlier deaths classified as accidental.

Fans of her work will quickly realise that this is not what they are used to from Tess Gerritsen: this murder mystery has strong elements of the paranormal as well as scenes of BDSM erotica. However, it allows an ambiguity that acts somewhat as a red herring, along with a few more conventional distractions to keep the reader guessing. While the back-cover blurb is a little misleading this one is intriguingly different.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK
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I really wanted to enjoy this as I've loved Tess Gerritsen's other books but this was not for me. I found it a really slow start that was not even a slow burn opening but a trying to find a match to light this opening. The main character seemed interesting but the writing just did not hold me in the slightest. I would pick up another book by this author though as i feel like this was just a fluke book.
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I’ve read quite a lot of Tess Gerritsen. She is famous for her Rizzoli & Isles (R&I) series – a detective and a medical examiner who solve all the crimes. As one came out, it was  downloaded to Kindle (by my husband and me) and then devoured at a cracking pace. In between, I went on the hunt, and found her older, romantic suspense novels, which I also enjoyed. And lately, I loved Playing With Fire, which was a standalone, and far better than her recent R&I, Die Again, where I wondered if Tess was not perhaps a teensy bit bored.

Cue The Shape of Night – another standalone. This is not your average “mystery thriller”, as it claims on the blurb. Ava escapes Boston, where some shit went down and heads for the coastal village of Maine – Brodie’s Watch, specifically. This is a rental house – old, haunted, wuthering, creaky and squeaky. But it’s all good – she has her cat Hannibal to help her uncover the legends and the sightings of Captain James Brodie, the captain who built and lived in the house. She’s come because she needs to complete a cook book, and there are some mouth watering descriptions of the food, eerie evenings in the house,  some strange stories of past visitors and even stranger appearances of visitors and strangers. Who do you trust? Ava didn’t expect to have to confront all her demons and then some more in sleepy Maine.

All good. The part that requires some suspension of belief is the interaction with the paranormal sojourners. While I wouldn’t describe it as “ghost porn”, as some of my fellow reviewers have, it’s certainly raunchy, and more than a little weird. Not sure about this part, but the book does work. And with Tess, you know you’re in good hands, she sets a great pace, and most of the sexy scenes with “suspicious” characters are forgivable. I still think she was veree bored when she wrote this though.

Not a yawn, but maybe a miss if you’re not into paranormal thrillers.
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I love Tess Gerritsen's mysteries so was very pleased to score an ARC from NetGalley. Many thanks to the publisher.

But, I feel really ambivalent about this book. Ava is a cookbook author who decamps to a small town in Maine due to a personal tragedy. She and her, very excellent, cat Hannibal, move into Brodie's Watch, a recently renovated clifftop mansion. And weird stuff happens.

I couldn't quite work out what this book wanted to be. Was it a romance? Mystery? Thriller? 50 Shades knockoff? Not super sure. However, the setting was quite glorious. Gerritsen's description of the house, the beach, and the town was lovely.
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Sorry, but this was not what I was expecting having read previous books by Tess Gerritsen. Afraid I didn't finish it. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read it, however.
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As a long time fan of Tess Gerritsen, I have to admit I was a little surprised by this story. It’s not that I’m not happy she’s doing something different but this felt like one of those romantic suspense (with the emphasis on romance) books she wrote way back at the start of her career. I didn’t particularly mind this as I’ve loved pretty much everything she’s written but I suspect fans of her more recent thrillers may be a little disappointed.

It does have the quality of writing regular readers have come to expect from Gerritsen and I can’t deny it made for addictive reading, I read the whole thing in a day, but I’m not sure the combination of ghost story, murder mystery and romance really comes together. It feels like the romance takes centre stage and considering this is a Fifty Shades style relationship it makes for slightly disturbing reading.

I did find Ava to be a very intriguing character and for the most part likeable. She’s in Maine for the summer ostensibly to finish the cookbook she’s writing but in reality she’s running away from something terrible she’s done. She’s plagued by guilty feelings and has developed a bit of a drinking problem which makes you wonder just how reliable she is when she starts to question the disappearance of the previous resident in the house she’s renting and even more so when a ghostly apparition appears to her. I will admit I found it hard to accept how obsessive she became about the captain but I did like how different she was as a character and how she develops over the course of the story.

Where I struggled was the romance, I’m afraid it just stretched the bounds of credibility for me and there were elements that were problematic. I understand why the author went down that route but it feels abusive and unhealthy a lot of the time, and I’m saying this as someone who enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey. There were a couple of scenes that I found disturbing to read and I suspect I won’t be the only one.

There are however other things to enjoy about this story. I loved the setting of a small town in Maine, the wonderful cast of secondary characters and all of the references to food. It made it very easy to imagine yourself there. I also liked the murder mystery even though I guessed pretty early on who the killer was. I just wish there had been a little more focus on this side of the story and a little less on the “romance”.

Overall therefore, my feelings are decidedly mixed. I did enjoy it for the most part, the speed I read it certainly supports that, I’m just struggling to get past the issues I had with the romance. Don’t let my feelings put you off though, if you’re curious it’s worth a read.
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I love Tess Gerritsen's books but this was very different to her usual style. I enjoyed it and and am glad I read it but I prefer her usual genre. 
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me read this book in exchange for a review. I have put this review on Amazon.
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Story goes thus, Ava had rented a property, to escape her past, and was haunted by the owner of the property, Capt. Brodie. His visits turned passionate. And she started to investigate the disturbing secret of the town.

My first book by this author, I expected more of spook and mystery. I was not fond of the romance, neither did I like the characters. The mystery was well done and descriptions were detailed and smooth, quite vivid.
Overall a good read.
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I don't really want to name-and-shame the authors who endorsed this novel...but did we read the same book? No, this is not the author "at her best" - I remember enjoying her medical thrillers a lot more than this. My three-star rating here might even be overgenerous.

I grew up on V.C. Andrews novels, so I'm not opposed to Gothic tales. This one just didn't work for me. Ava's "shame" was easy to guess early on.

The whole ghost thing was just...weird. I understood the concept, but the execution was dodgy. It tried to push the boundaries, but wasn't willing to fully commit.

(Oh, and if you were wondering about the cat on the cover - he doesn't die. Briefly goes missing, but returns unharmed.)
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Tess is an author I've loved for years.  However for me this title is quite a departure from her usual fair as this is a wonderful ghost story that gives the reader a tale that will have you believing in love and forgiveness, self contempt to redemption.  

As you'd expect from Tess, the principle characters come across wonderfully, rounded and believable with thier foibles as well as strengths which when backed with solid dialogue give you a cast that you care about.  The twists within give you a wonderful ride and when added to her top notch understanding of pace all round leave you wondering not only where the time went but wanting more.

All round I was more than enthused with this tale from Tess and at the end of the day, I think that this one will be a good introduction to new readers without them having to buy in to established characters in multi-title series but also gives them a great chance to try her and fall for the writing that has won her fans the world over.  Magic

Review goes live on 11, November
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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?

This is a standalone novel from this author so is different from the usual series of Rizzoli and Isles.
The plot and story line is so well written and engaging.
I have seen other reviews that were not favorable and I disagree with them. I found this very enjoyable read.
The characters were very well fleshed out and believable.
Some twists and turns with a bit of suspense and touch of the paranormal.
Really enjoyed.

Big Thank You to Netgalley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and the author Tess Gerristen for my ARC. I read a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.
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A standalone from the author best known for her Rizzoli & Isles crime series. This is a welcome return to her romantic thriller roots with a spooky twist. Cookery writer Ava seeks refuge renting a haunted property in a small Maine seaside town called Brodie's Watch. The previous tenant left unexpectantly and as Ava digs deeper the twists and turns in this tale begin. Expect 50 shades of sauce and I'm don't mean the recipes ;)
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I found this book different to those that I've previously enjoyed by the author. I love the characters of the Rizzoli and Isles series so my expectations were that this book would be similar so was a little disappointed when it wasn't. I found it a little too far fetched at times. The whole 'ghost of a dead sailor' thing was not for me but the mystery surrounding the house and the lives of the characters was intriguing and kept me reading.
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