Review: Tess Gerritsen – The shape of night

Posted December 19, 2019 by Laurie in Reviews / 1 Comment

Back in 2013, I accidentally discovered the Rizzoli & Isles series by Tess Gerritsen. I really liked these books, which led to me finishing and catching up on the entire series within a year. Besides, I read some other books by this author, with different experiences however. So when I got the chance to get a review copy of The shape of night, I immediately jumped on it out of curiosity.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Tess Gerritsen – The shape of nightThe shape of night by Tess Gerritsen
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 268
Genres: Thriller
Published by Ballantine Books on October 1, 2019
ISBN: 9781984820952
Also by this author: Ik weet een geheim (Rizzoli & Isles, #12)

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.

I went into The shape of night without many expectations. I saw some reviews, though I only checked the star ratings of those. All were 2 or 3 stars, so I decided to have no expectations. However, I expected this book to be a thriller with much suspense and a murder mystery. Well, I was so wrong.

The shape of night was nothing like a thriller. There is the aspect of the ghost who is torturing Ava, which is original and well excecuted. However, that’s the only thing that’s well excecuted in this entire book. The plot was quite fine, however very cliche and predictable. The writing style is good too, it was easy to read The shape of night.

However, the biggest shortcomings of this book were both the characters and the thriller aspect. First of all, the characters lacked all personality. Ava drunk way and way too much and furthermore, we didn’t get to see any of her motives or passions. Why did she drink too much? Why is she so passionate about writing cookbooks? What happened that she wanted to leave everything behind and therefore flees to Maine? Admittedly, that’s the only thing that kept me curious about this book. When that story was finally revealed, it felt rushed. I think Gerritsen could have done a better job by putting some more flashbacks into the story, maybe just a few chapters instead of a few paragraphs.

The other characters were shallow as well. The doctor was just the doctor, the workmen just the workmen. Donna, the state agent, was really rude and seemed uninterested in the trouble hounting Brodie’s Watch. No, the characters were the weakest point of The shape of night. Even something that one of them did was kind of out of the blue. Why did they do what they did?

The shape of night is marketed as a thriller, but the book lacked all kinds of suspense. I digged some deeper into Gerritsen’s earlier work and she started out writing romantic thrillers. I only know her medical thrillers – which are of high quality – and am wondering why she went back to the romantic ones for this book. However, The shape of night is more of a paranormal romance which you can easily read in between and put aside easily as well. For me, Tess Gerritsen means high quality thrillers and therefore The shape of night is very very mediocre and disappointing. I considered rating it 2 stars, but I have read worse books so no.

Have you read any books by Tess Gerritsen?


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