The Shape of Night

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

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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I've always been a huge fan of Tess Gerritsen's fast paced medical thrillers and have even read some of her standalones. She's one of the reasons for my obsession over thriller novels! So you can probably imagine my anticipation when I picked to read her latest standalone paranormal thriller. I'd be lying if I say this was exactly what I looked for in the book, but it's definitely a different genre by an author who writes about serious stuff. I think The Shape of Night is a beach read that you can probably finish in a day or two. It's not very deep or dark but it is very entertaining. Go ahead, read the plot and my thoughts. Do let me know what you think! Happy reading :)

Ava Collette is a food writer from Bolton who wants to flee home to somewhere secluded so that she could finish her long time pending book. Something terrible has happened back at home, and she can never face her sister ever again. Whatever the tragedy was, it makes Ava crave for punishment and isolation. So when she reaches Maine and finds this secluded, large, old house on the cliff top for a rent she could just afford, she immediately takes it. The Brodie's Watch is named after Captain Jeremiah Brodie who was master of large ships that sailed in the 80s and the house was built by him so that he could stay close to the sea. Now years later, it still stands tall and gorgeous and Ava soon feels welcome into the very large, old house.

Soon she encounters weird things happening at night, especially when her huge attacker cat hunts mice and eats weirdly. She also starts to feel a presence that's watching her every move and knows her darkest secrets. As much as Ava is immersed and mesmerized with the house, she also feels the need to research more about the house and the people who lived in the house before her. As she starts digging into the past, she finds herself in the midst of several layers of history that's buried deep into the house and in doing so, she finds herself coming out of the guilt she's carrying with her for so long.

I finished this book in a single day as I've ever done with Tess Gerritsen's books and definitely enjoyed it. As a resident of Maine herself, she shows us the best locales of the town and some mouth watering food and wine. There's also the paranormal aspect to the book that is both new and exhilarating. Expect all the best features of a Tess Gerritsen if you're her fan - rocket pace, short chapters with twist at the end, meticulous descriptions and an Un-put-down-able storyline. This was an interesting, exciting read for me and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a light, beach read to binge over a day or two!
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ARC kindly received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I tried to keep going with this one, but I had to DNF around 23%. Not for me. Which is disappointing because I love the Rizzoli and Isles series, and a few of the other books by Tess Gerritsen that I have read.

The reason I chose to DNF this was because of the interactions with the ghost character. I find them unbelievable, and not something that interests me to read about. I'm sure this book will be fine for others as Gerristsens writing is great, it's just not my cup of tea.

Thanks to the publisher and NG for the chance to read.
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I’m a big Tess Gerritsen fan, having read most of her Rizzoli & Isles series, and her medical thrillers, so when this appeared on NetGalley I requested it without even reading the summary or any reviews. She has taken a risk here with a switch of genre, which I respect, but by mixing up paranormal, erotica and cosy mystery, then darkening it into a Girl on the train-ish psychological suspense, I fear she will leave most fan disappointed. She has written (bad) romantic suspense before, but this isn’t even really that, although it is advertised as such.

Ava, a single cookbook writer from Boston, runs away from the wreck of her life to a small coastal town with her massive Maine Coon cat, (named after a serial killer) and moves into a beautiful old mansion, called Brodie’s Rest, that the owner rents out cheap because it’s reputation has deterred any buyers. Her plan is to finish a book about old New England seafarer recipes, which is already a year overdue, but her out of control drinking and guilt over past events keep getting in the way. When the sinister ghostly figure of Captain Jeremiah Brodie starts to visit her at night, she willingly submits to the carnal punishments he tells her she deserves, but after discovering how many previous residents of the house have died there, must decide if she can risk being next...

Gerritsen is a great writer, and I did find myself drawn into the story, although rolled my eyes at the Mummy-porn nocturnal bondage scenes and daytime romance with the handsome town doctor. I’m not that into ghost stories but do feel she sustained the mystery of whether there truly was something supernatural going on, or whether it was all in Ava’s mind, to be well done.
The characters are rather two-dimensional and small-town stereotypes abound.

Unfortunately it’s written in horrible first person present (I wish NetGalley had a warning system for this) so that did prejudice me against it, and I find the all too frequent combination of self-pity and self-loathing in a heroine deeply tedious. Ava is weak, selfish and self-indulgent, so I really didn’t enjoy being inside her head. Her big secret was obvious from the start, and neither was the reveal of the mystery much of a surprise. On the plus side, nothing bad happens to the cat!

I think readers who like ghost stories and light erotica will enjoy this, whereas if you’re after her usual dark serial killer thrillers I would look elsewhere. My thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this arc. The Shape of Night is available now.
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I just Love Tess Gerritsen's book so when "The Shape of Night" came out I had to find a quiet corner and open my kindle and sit and venture in her new book.......WoW I just Loved it. Her new book it did not disappoint! This book once I read a few pages it was very hard to put down......(Dinner can wait!!! for my hubby)

Ava Collette is the main character in The Shape of Night and she is punishing herself for a terrible tragedy. She flees from Boston and moves to a remote coastal called Peninsula of Maine. Ava rents an old place called Brodie's Watch. Ava needs something to do so she try's to finish her cookbook she started a few months ago on New England Cuisine. Ava feels at home in her new remote house until she starts to see strange shadows and hear strange noises coming from the house! She feels like she is being watched!

Who is watching her?

What are the strange sounds she can hear throughout the day and night! Its not the old plumbing within the house!!!

There's an old rumour that the sea captain named Brodie has haunted this house for decades!!!!! OMG Scary!!!!!

One night while Ava was sleeping peacefully she is woken up and finds herself face to face with an apparition that looks and feels too real to be true!!!

A strange series of accidental deaths that are nearby her, happen and they don't add up. Ava starts to investigate, only to finds out theres disturbing secrets people who live in this peaceful lovely town are hiding from her! and they need it to be kept hidden.

What are they hiding from her?

Is Ava safe? 

A great ghost story full of suspense that had me hooked from the beginning till the end. I loved it.

Big Thank You to Netgalley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and the author Tess Gerristen for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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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.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: 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.

MY THOUGHTS: 12% onto this 5 star read I wrote: "There is something in the cadence of Gerritsen's writing, the atmosphere she has created, that is reminiscent of Du Maurier's Rebecca. This is delicious. It sends tingles down my spine." After finishing The Shape of Night and mulling it over for a couple of days, I would not change one word of my comment.

This is a delicious book set in a house of secrets, in a town with secrets. But Ava has secrets too. And guilt. A terrible, crippling guilt that threatens to smother her and causes her to cut herself off from those she loves most.

Gerritsen introduces a paranormal aspect to her book, something she does not normally do, and something I am not normally attracted by. But this works, and works superbly. I almost fell in love with Captain Brodie myself. There are also several sex scenes in the text, not graphic, but tastefully done with more left to the imagination than not. They are not gratuitous, but a wonderful part of this story.

This is a real departure for Gerritsen, but one I enthusiastically applaud, and I would like to see more in this vein from her. Two comments, and neither a criticism.....each page should come with a bold reminder to 'KEEP BREATHING', because many times during this read I found myself holding my breath with anticipation and/or suspense. And the second....I wish she had included some of the lovely recipes.

One of my favorite passages from The Shape of Night: Brodie's Watch was where I found inspiration, and it's true. Here is where I tested and perfected my recipes, where I learned there is no finer condiment than the scent of sea air. It's where I learned that wine does not cure grief, and when you dine with guilt, even the most tenderly prepared meal is tasteless.

Five brightly shining stars from me :)

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

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Bantam Press vis Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page, or the about page on

This book review is also published on Twitter, Amazon and my webpage
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Fabulous page turner that I couldn't put down. Tess Gerritsen does it again. So many twists and turns, so much depth. I really felt I was in Tucker Cove and could imagine everything really well. So haunting but so gripping I just binge read the whole book. Tess you never fail to surpass my expectations and keep writing the most amazing books I've ever read, so much passion and suspense it makes you shudder and tingle when engrossed in this fabulous novel.
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Read all of Tess Gerritsen books, so didn't know really what to expect from this book
Was looking forward some different style of writing, which it was
I don't think the book was badly written, 
but it kept reminding me of the old black and white film The ghost and Mrs Muir
just with different twists to it.

Thank you netgalley, Tess Gerritsen and Random House
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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”. #50SofC
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Ava Collette is a writer working on a cookbook, she has rented out a property in Maine as she is escaping from her past and a terrible tragedy that has left her feeling guilty.

The property is called Brodie’s Watch, it was owned by  captain Jeremiah Brodie who died when his ship sank 100 years ago. The last person to rent the house mysteriously packed up and left in a hurry, leaving several personal possessions behind. 

Ava is not impressed at the house, she finds it dark and imposing but it feels welcoming. The tranquil seaside property will be the perfect place for her to relax and focus on her book. Well that might be true!!but she has an unexpected visitor ..... Captain Brodie’s ghost visits her in the night and he looks and feels real, let’s just say she starts to look forward to his passionate visits!!!

I do not normally read ghost stories but I was strangely drawn to this book, and loved how the vivid descriptions bought the house and the captain to life. From the beginning you have a sense of foreboding that Jeremiah is not all he seems. I liked that I really did not know how this was going to end.

Would I recommend this book. Definitely, it’s unbelievable but fun 
and raunchy at times!!!

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
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I, like most assumed that this would be another Rizzoli and isles book - and was slightly disappointed when I realised it was not. I confess I didn’t even read the blurb such a fan I am! However I am not a massive fan of spooky ghostly tales, and probably was the wrong audience for this! I prefer a good old serial killer if I am honest. 
I also was unsure about the kinky ghost sex - which put me off 
Still it was well written, chilling in parts  and I think if this is your bag you will love it! I had to sleep with a light on (just in case I was sexually harassed by Casper!)
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Hi, guys.

Today I have a review for one very surprising book. This read is probably my biggest surprise this year. It comes from the writing pen of one of my favourite authors, Tess Gerritsen. I must confess that I was expecting another Rizzoli & Isles book and was very excited about it, and could not even imagine reading a book about ghosts. However, my favourite author is very good at what she does, and no matter what she writes, it turns out to be a very good book, even if the writing style is very different than usual.

Ava Collette is a cookbook writer who tries to finish her latest book. She did something in the past, feels very quilty about it and tries to escape in the small coastal town. The house of Captain Brodie seems like the perfect choice. But from the very first moment she and cat enter the house, strange things start to happen. Ava starts to feel and see things that simply can't be explained. Even the cat is scared. But, what she is scared the most is the shape in the window she sees at night.

Ava does some research about the house. It turns out that the previous tenant left in hurry leaving personal things behind and no one knows where she is. Some twenty years ago, a teenage girl died in an accident in this house. Women who owned this house died in suspicious circumstances.

Something very suspicious is going on here.

Ava does see something. She feels something in the house. But is it her guilt about her past, is her own mind playing with her? Or something very real is lurking her? Maybe someone very real, very human.

As I mentioned previously, this book is the biggest surprise for me this year. The gender, the writing style, everything is very different from what I know that comes from the writing pen of Tess Gerritsen. I was even asking myself, did I start the right book on my kindle? But even if it is different, I liked it. I know that Halloween is right around the corner and this paranormal thriller is right on time. I liked the story, I liked how the ending turned out, I liked the mystery and spookiness surrounding the house. Not my usual reading genre, but I had a good time with this book. So, if you are looking for a spooky read for Halloween, don't look any further. Just don't expect Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles to come and save you. Enjoy reading!
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Written by Tess Gerritsen — She’s an author best known for her Rizzoli and Isles series, but when we interviewed Tess Gerritsen in 2017, she hinted that “a standalone thriller that’s like nothing I’ve ever written before” was on its way. Well, it’s arrived. And boy, is she right!

I’m so trusting of this author and her skills that I didn’t bother to read the blurb for The Shape of Night. So it came as a bit of a shock when I realised I was slap bang in the middle of a ghost story. Yes, you read that right – a ghost story! Gone are the sharply analytical skills of homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Jane Isles; instead, meet Ava Collette, a cookery book author who has writer’s block and a big, bad secret.

Her cure for both is to leave her home in Boston and travel to Tucker Cove in Maine with her cat Hannibal, to rent a house and get her darn book finished. Her home for the next few months is to be Brodie’s Watch, which sits on a hilltop overlooking the sea.

It’s a slightly forbidding place and on first acquaintance Ava begins to regret her decision to rent. But then Brodie’s Watch begins to works its magic on her, she finds inspiration and begins to write chapters for her long-overdue cookbook.

So Ava’s days are busy, but her nights? Well, the more we learn about this character, the more it becomes apparent that she’s running away from something pretty awful. And in order to forget, she drinks… far too much. So when she’s visited by the ghost of Captain Jeremiah Brodie, it’s the alcohol-fuelled nightmare of a woman who is spending too much time in the company of a wine bottle… isn’t it? But as the visitations become more regular, and more erotic, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate reality from the imaginary.

The Shape of Night is quite a departure for an author who usually sticks to a more believable story arc. Here, there’s a spooky sense of unease lurking in every turn of the page – an unsettling sensation that’s in keeping with the book’s storyline.

As to the crime element? Early on, a woman’s body is pulled from the ocean that borders Tucker Cove. Her body is in a mess and it’s hard to identify her, but the discovery plays in Ava’s mind and as she digs deeper into the history of the property she is calling home for the summer, she begins to realise that there could be a connection between the death and Brodie’s Watch. I think most readers would be ahead of her at this point, and perhaps, like me, they may begin to piece it all together.

This is the most un-Tess Gerritsen Tess Gerritsen book I’ve ever read. It has touches of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and SJI Holliday’s The Lingering, but little of the incisive, snappy Gerritsen style that we’re used to. Instead, prepare for an atmospheric if slightly meandering read, where ghosts take precedence and the crime comes as something of an afterthought. I enjoyed the setting, which is lovingly rendered, and the palpable, almost cloying claustrophobia that is often part and parcel of a small town. There are some fine characterisations too, although a few dip over into the cliche department.

The Shape of Night is probably not a book for the Rizzoli and Isle brigade, but if modern gothic is more your style, then step right along! And I’d advise that you always read the blurb before committing to your next read…

For another crime novel with a difference, try Providence by Caroline Kepnes. Our guide to John Connolly’s Charlie Parker novels is also worth exploring.

Bantam Press

CFL Rating: 3 Stars
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This is a different style of book from Tess Gerritsen, it has a supernatural and gothic feel.  I'm a firm fan of the Rizzoli and Isles series so I expected great writing and that's what I got. Ava Colette is a cookbook writer who ostensibly rents a beautiful old house on the Maine coast to finish her latest book. It transpires that she has other reasons as well to escape her every day life in Boston.  The house, Brodies Watch has a mysterious history which intrigues Ava.  It's not long before she's hearing noises in the night and sees a ghost, but can that really be true or is she losing her sanity?  An interesting read from a great writer.
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