A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Shape of Night by Tess Gerristen- Feature and Review


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



The Shape of NightThe Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen is a 2019 Ballantine Publication.

A creepy paranormal mystery with a Gothic undertone? Count me in!

An isolated old mansion, a fragile house guest, an unsolved mystery, a few erotic encounters and an unusual ghost/entity in residence, and you have all the makings of a spellbinding paranormal thriller!!

Ava Collette, a food writer, has rented ‘Brodie’s Watch’, an old mansion located on a small peninsula of Maine. Having fled Boston after a tragedy that has left her haunted and riddled with guilt, Ava hopes the peace and quiet help her regain her focus, as she begins work on a new cookbook. As she begins cooking up her new recipes, she soon realizes she isn’t alone in the house. Apparently, the house is haunted by Captain Brodie, the original owner of the house, and her encounters with him become very… intimate.

Meanwhile, a couple of accidental deaths, coupled with the disappearance of the home’s previous tenant, have Ava spending more time investigating the troubling rumors surrounding her new abode. Before long, it becomes obvious that the surrounding community is harboring a few very dark secrets and the ghosts of Brodie’s Watch may be the least of her concerns…

I’ve never read the popular and well-respected Rizzoli and Isles series, but I know enough about it to realize this stand-alone book is not cut from the same cloth. No offense to anyone, but if you aren’t a fan of Paranormal books, or expect Rizzoli and Isles, only with different names and places, then you’ll want to approach this one with more of an open mind. Just as you might not wish to read one author, one series, or one genre, I’m sure authors like a change of pace, from time to time, as well.

As for me- I love Gothic tones, ghosts, and cold-case mysteries- so this book was right up my alley. The story is very atmospheric, with a strong, sinister sense of foreboding. The emotions are also palpable, as Ava’s immense sadness and overwhelming guilt threatens to overcome her. But, all the paranormal instances center around a death that took place at Brodie’s Watch, years back, which was ruled an accident. This mystery is very compelling, and I fear it might be a little overshadowed by the heavy emphasis placed on the sensuality and ghostly occurrences.

While, this may be too much of a departure for some of Gerritsen’s readers, for those of us who like these types of stories, this is a welcome addition to her library of work.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I hope Gerritsen will step outside her series writing more often to publish more stand -alone novels like this one!



Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, "Adrift", which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.

Tess's first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), and The Bone Garden (2007). Her books have been translated into 31 languages, and more than 15 million copies have been sold around the world.

As well as being a New York Times bestselling author, she has also been a #1 bestseller in both Germany and the UK. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon.) Critics around the world have praised her novels as "Pulse-pounding fun" (Philadelphia Inquirer), "Scary and brilliant" (Toronto Globe and Mail), and "Polished, riveting prose" (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the "medical suspense queen".

Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.


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