I generally enjoy dual timeline stories and this was no exception. The characters were dynamic and Greta was amazing. I loved everyone and every moment.
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. All opinions expressed are my own.
The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater is the first book by Jamie Jo Wright that I have read, and it will not be the last. Wright crafts an atmospheric dual timeline mystery surrounding a local theater. The characters and story drew me in from the beginning and kept me reading to determine if I had solved the mystery correctly. The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater will appeal to readers who enjoy suspenseful mysteries with a faith filled message. Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater by Jaime Jo Wright is a wholly engrossing work of dual historical fiction. The research that this author puts into her novels is truly outstanding and it shows it what feels like effortless settings and characters throughout this book. I love this author’s ability to tell captivating stories with realistic characters. And she never fails to terrify me at times! Based on real historical places and legends, this is Jaime Jo’s storytelling at its best. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.
Another thriller and chiller from the master of dual time mysteries! I don't know how JJW keeps coming up with these stories but I'm glad she does! Always a thrill ride!
Synopsis: In this dual timeline novel, Greta Mercy is disturbed by haunting appearances in a theater in 1915. Unable to shake the memories, Greta is believed to be on the brink of insanity. So when her brother disappears in the theater, Greta’s story is held in question. As best friend of a modern day ghost hunter, Kit Boyd is equally as disturbed when her friend disappears inside the theater on a filming mission. In an attempt to find her friend, Kit embarks on a journey that takes her through the past to discover the truth of the present.
Analysis: Jaime Jo Wright is a new to me author, and with this book, I won’t be able to get enough! Every page kept me wanting more. Phantom of the Opera meets Scooby Doo in The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater. It’s the perfect blend of spooky and mystery that also dives into serious human topics such as the unsaid caste system and helping the poor. Jaime Jo provides a unique Christian perspective on a world often left untouched.
This might just be Jaime Jo Wright’s best book yet. I tend to say this about the last several of her books, but she does get better with each novel!
In 1915, Barlowe Theater was under construction and takes the life of Greta Mercy’s oldest brother. Greta has been left in charge of her siblings after the death of her parents. Now her youngest brother has gone missing after he and friends break into Barlowe theater and Greta must work with the local police to find the secrets of the theater.
Decades later Kit Boyd is now dealing with her own problems with Barlowe Theater when her best friend disappears while they are filming an episode of a ghost-hunters show. Evan Fisher is the skeptic that tries to disprove the ghost-hunter and he joins in with Kit to help solve the secrets of Barlowe Theater and they quickly become close as they try to solve the mysteries that have plagued her hometown.
Man, just when I think Jaime Jo Wright can’t get any better, she comes out with another hit that is hard to put down and gives me chills long into the night. The back-and-forth mystery and the way it all came together at the end gave me goosebumps. Wright has become a favorite of mine with her time-slip novels and the spooky stories that are free of gore or any foul language. It is so rare to find a book that is clean and not filled with anything questionable, especially when dealing with ghosts and things of that nature. I would recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a spooky mystery that is clean and without any material that is unsavory. One of the few books I wish I could give more than 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.
The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater is a very atmospheric book, Jaime Jo Wright does such a great job writing atmosphere. I love it when authors can do that. I was more partial to the historical timeline in this book, the present day timeline had more of an insta-love scenario that I'm not usually a fan of.
WOW!! What an absolutely THRILLING tale! Jaime Jo Wright has such a talent for crafting spooky stories with plenty of mystery and intrigue perfectly balanced with touching faith elements and light romance.
“The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater” is a story that will stick with me for a long time. The two timelines we follow span the course of a century, and both FMCs touched my heart in a super special way❤️ In the 1800s we follow Greta Mercy, an impoverished young woman charged with the care of her younger brothers after the deaths of her parents a few years prior. When the local haunted theater takes yet another one of her brothers, Greta is tasked with uncovering the mysteries behind this spooky theater to bring her brother home!!
In present day we follow Kit Boyd, a young woman with a fondness for insects & a passion for helping those less fortunate. When Kit’s altruistic friend, Madison, tries to save a local historic theater from being demolished by her money-minded grandfather, Kit hesitantly agrees to help her friend by starring in a “Ghost Hunters”-esque TV show. Hoping to draw more attention to the theater’s historic value, Madison & Kit venture deep into the basement of the theater to investigate the myths surrounding the haunted building. Local legends start proving to be true when Madison suddenly disappears within the halls of Barlowe theater… Will Kit ever find out the truth behind her friend’s disappearance??😱
Overall, I HIGHLY enjoyed this eerie mystery! It’s perfect for fall & spooky season!! The narrators on the audiobook were superb!
Read if you enjoy…
❤️ Dual timelines
❤️ Ghost stories
❤️ Historical settings
❤️ Faith elements
❤️ Adoption representation
🚨CW: clean historical fiction with no language & just kisses
Wow, I had a really hard time putting this book down and stayed up way too late two nights in a row to finish it! Once again, this talented author takes you on a journey where you find yourself questioning if ghosts are real or what the answer to the supernatural events will be! I loved the suspense in the novel and was truly surprised at the twists and turns. I also love how this author tackles some very real and raw themes and is not afraid to be vulnerable in her writing. She writes about adoption and acceptance with great depth that made it easy for me to feel the emotions of the characters in her writing. I really liked how the spiritual truths were just part of the characters development and did not feel forceful or preachy in nature. Her writing is truly a gift! This is the type of book where characters and themes sit with you for months after finishing because the novel is so well written. I could go on and on about what I loved about this novel but suffice it to say it is well worth the read and highly recommended! I cannot wait to read her next book!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater is just what I would expect from Jaime Jo Wright's novels. It was fabulous and I highly recommend it. Five stars.
As someone who typically gravitates towards a different genre, I approached "The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater" with an open mind, intrigued by the promise of a gripping mystery set against the backdrop of a haunted theater. While the book undoubtedly delivered on its suspenseful premise, I feel my personal taste impacted my overall enjoyment.
The narrative, split between two timelines, weaves a complex web of ghostly secrets, disappearances, and a looming evil that haunts the Barlowe Theater. The author adeptly captures the eerie atmosphere and builds tension throughout, making it a compelling read for enthusiasts of supernatural mysteries.
The main characters, Greta Mercy and Kit Boyd, are well-developed and relatable, each driven by their own motivations to uncover the mysteries surrounding the theater. The unlikely partnership between Kit and the skeptical ghost-hunting host, Evan Fisher, adds an interesting dynamic to the story. I found myself enjoying Greta's story more than Kit's, as I so longed for her to find Leo, her missing brother. The ending for Kit was disappointing as she discovered that sometimes the ones you trust the most will take advantage of your friendship.
My 3.5 star rating stems from my personal preference for genres outside the supernatural thriller domain. While the story kept me engaged, I found myself less invested in the paranormal aspects and somewhat annoyed that a psychic was part of the story. This is more a matter of personal taste rather than a flaw in the storytelling itself. With that said, Jaime Jo Wright is a fabulous story teller and kept me guessing all the way to the end, and I do plan to read more of her books because of her ability to craft a story which I could not put down.
In conclusion, "The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater" is a well-crafted thriller. Fans of ghostly mysteries will likely find it to be a captivating and chilling read, even if, as in my case, it's not your usual cup of tea.
Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book w/ no expectations/requests for a positive review.
Barlowe Theater stole Greta Mercy’s eldest brother during its construction. So when her younger brother vanishes within its walls after the final hammer has been silenced, Greta vows not to let the place rip another loved one from her life. With the help of a local police officer and some friends, Greta will descend to the very depths of Barlowe Theater to unravel its ghostly secrets.
Decades have passed, but ghouls still haunt the theater’s darkened tunnels. Any doubts of this fact evaporate when Kit Boyd’s best friend goes missing while leading a tour for a ghost-hunting television show. Desperate that her friend’s disappearance not become another on a long list of unexplainable occurrences, Kit has no alternative but to join forces with the show’s co-host and skeptic Evan Fischer.
Ghostly appearances and mind-bending happenings weave an eerie tale within the pages of The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater. Known for her Scooby-Doo-like resolutions, this is one story that will have readers questioning if Jaime Jo Wright has crafted a mystery even she can’t explain.
After ten books, several of which I’ve read numerous times, one would think I could figure out the villains by now. If nothing else, I should at least know how the author’s brain works, right? Wrong! Sure, I uncover a twist here and there, a potential motive, even a culprit or two but without fail, she shocks me. For that reason, when I read The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater, I suspected EVERY. SINGLE. CHARACTER. Okay, every single character … except one. I’m sure you know where this is going. Despite knowing better, I never doubted him/her for a second. It didn’t even cross my mind to doubt him/her. You can imagine the very real, very loud gasp that erupted from my throat when his/her true nature came to light.
I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy rich storyworlds, deep characterization, and eerie mysteries. New and old fans alike won’t be disappointed.
Addicting! I could not put it down. Sometimes I actually dread starting what might be a book outside of my comfort zone, but you guys, this is SO good. Jamie Jo Wright is masterful with both timelines in this story. I LOVED it, and could not stop turning pages.
The mystery in both timelines was excellent! In the 1915 timeline, poverty and powerlessness plays a big part in the story. In the Present Day timeline, we learn about how children who have been adopted even in loving homes, can suffer from insecurity. Both timelines have have questions, trials, and injustices, while working towards resolutions and peace. "The flames would come, and they would test you. There was no getting around a trial."
"Someone who saw value and precious worth in the people society too easily ignored. The human family was diverse, with broken people in every category . . . People were what mattered most. Not buildings. Not even history. The here. The now. The souls whom God let cross Kit's path to be impacted today so that in the future, their legacy would speak of healing and not brokenness. Of God and not a world alienated from its Creator, who wildly loved all people."
I HIGHLY recommend The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater, it's SO good!
Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to read an ebook. I hope to add this to my keeper shelf someday!
The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater
by Jaime Jo Wright
Pub Date 10 Oct 2023
Bethany House,Bethany House Publishers
Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley have provided me with a copy of The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater for review:
Rather than bringing beauty, it steals life. Do the ghosts of Barlowe Theater intend to ensnare them all?
During the construction of Barlowe Theater, Greta Mercy's eldest brother was killed. In 1915, the completed theater appears every bit as deadly as it did then. After Greta's younger brother goes missing after breaking into the theater, she seeks out the assistance of a local police officer in order to uncover the theater's ghostly secrets. In order to save her family, Greta decides she must uncover the evil that haunts the theater in order to end its threat.
During a ghost walk at the Barlowe Theater, Kit Boyd's best friend disappears, and old stories of mysterious disappearances and ghoulish happenings are revived. Evan Fisher, a television ghost-hunting host and skeptic, joins Kit in his quest to uncover the truth about the theater's history. Kit reluctantly agrees to work with him in order to locate her missing friend. Kit is determined to end the curse that has marked the theater and their hometown for the last century as the theater's curse unravels her life.
I give The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater five out of five stars!
Jaime Jo Wright is a master at a dual timeline suspense! From the construction of the Barlowe theatre in 1915 to present day, the author takes you on a suspenseful journey inside the depths of the theatre. The theatre has a history of tragedy and individuals that mysteriously disappear. From a sister who searches for her lost younger brother to a present-day disappearance during a ghost walk, the author leads you through the mysterious maze that is part of the dark side of the historical theatre.
The author has written nine other books and I have read and thoroughly enjoyed each and every one. I highly recommend any of her novels and they are all completely stand alone. One thing I really appreciate about the author is the fact that she is very clear about which timeline you are reading about and you are never left puzzling about which era you are reading about.
I purchased a copy of this book from Baker Book House and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
This is a mystery with a ghost story feel.
Set in dual timelines (1915 and present day), the Barlowe Theater has a history of tragic/strange events occurring within its walls…from deaths, disappearances and possible ghostly visitations.
Kit Boyd is trying to save her missing best friend and separate fact from fiction by examining events surrounding the 1915 disappearances of 3 young boys in the theater.
This was suspenseful, and the spooky theater atmosphere was very well done. However, there was an out-of-the-blue plot/character twist toward the end that was a bit jarring and for me not as developed as maybe it should have been. I also became frustrated at times with Kit. I felt her insecurities and trust issues were somewhat overdone.
However, I did like how the element of faith was included in the story. Well-written and good balance/info from both timelines.
My thanks to NetGalley and Bethany House for providing the free early arc of The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater for review. The opinions are strictly my own.
The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater is the perfect fall read!
Read if you love:
- Spooky books with a tangible explanation at the end
- Dual timeline
- Atmospheric writing
- Suspense and mystery
- Romance (as a sub-plot but so good)
- Gothic fiction
Jaime is such a fantastic writer. I love that she explored class issues and difficult feelings associated with adoption alongside a well-constructed mystery.
I highly recommend this one, and it’s the perfect read for fall!
Thank you to Bethany House Fiction for a gifted copy. All thoughts are my own.
The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater is written by Jaime Jo Wright. I’m a huge fan of this author and this might be my favorite book of hers. This is a dual time line thriller. This book kept me up reading late at night.
Greta Mercy has been dealt a rough hand in life. She lost both of her parents. Her brother was killed during the construction of the Barlowe Theater and they were on the verge of losing everything. When she accompanies her childhood friend Eleanor to a show she sees a woman in white throw an infant from box seats. However Mr. Barlowe tells everyone Greta isn’t a well woman.
Present day Kit is helping her friend Madison preserve the historical Barlowe theater. Madison thinks it’s a great idea to bring in a television crew. Then she goes missing. Evan the skeptic on the show and Kit start digging deeper into the theater history. She finds secrets that the town would rather keep buried. Someone will stop at nothing to make sure of it.
This book took me on a journey. The author throws in many twists and turns that I wasn’t prepared for. Evan and Kit make a great team while searching for answers.
This story goes back and forth between 1915 and decades later. In 1915 Greta is trying to keep her family out of the poor house. Her oldest brother fell to his death while working on the construction of the Barlowe Theater. Now her next oldest brother has disappeared while in the theater. Years later Kit's best friend disappears in the same theater. The stories parallel each other with the strange happenings at the Barlowe Theater. As the story progresses, the mystery of the theater gets deeper and deeper.
I'm not a fan of stories that go back and forth in time. But this was a good book.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.
The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater delivered everything I enjoy in Jaime Jo Wright’s novels: excitement, thrilling mystery, danger and an exhilarating story with a hint of romance. Some of this author’s novels get very dark in terms of the subjects and material which they touch on, this one doesn’t so much. It does go into attitudes towards the urban poor and disadvantaged and how these can perpetuate the cycle of poverty and crime.
Although I did enjoy this one, and I would certainly give it a re-read along with some of my other Jaime Jo Wright novels I didn’t feel there was very much new about it. I don’t know, except for the setting in a theatre, there was a lot that reminded me of the author’s previous books. Maybe that’s a good thing, as it gives the reader a sense of familiarity and so we know what to expect, I don’t know.
Also, I found the modern heroine a bit vapid. She’s like a lot of other female protagonists in mystery novels with little to make her stand out.
Thanks to Bethany House for approving my request for this title via Netgalley. This didn’t influence my opinions in any way and all opinions expressed are my own.