Gerritsen's ghost story out Oct. 1

Sep 27, 2019
Photo by: Daniel Dunkle Tess Gerritsen

CAMDEN — Author Tess Gerritsen is typically known for medical thrillers, stories about detectives hunting down killers, and tales of romantic suspense, but her new novel coming out Oct. 1 explores new ground for her.

"The Shape of Night" has many of the thriller trappings, including unexplained murders on the coast of Maine, but it is also a ghost story.

"I've never done paranormal before," she said. "I've never written horror as a genre, because my feet are so firmly on the ground."

In the story, food writer Ava Collette flees to a remote village in Maine after an unspeakable tragedy in Boston, where she rents an old house named Brodie’s Watch.

In that isolated seaside mansion, Ava finally feels at peace… until she glimpses the long-dead sea captain who still resides there.

Rumor has it that Captain Jeremiah Brodie has haunted the house for more than a century. One night, Ava confronts the apparition, who feels all too real, and who welcomes her into his world — and into his arms. Even as Ava questions her own sanity, she eagerly looks forward to the captain’s ghostly visits. But she soon learns that the house she loves comes with a terrible secret, a secret that those in the village don’t want to reveal: Every woman who has ever lived in Brodie’s Watch has also died there. Is the ghost of Captain Brodie responsible, or is a flesh-and-blood killer at work? A killer who is even now circling closer to Ava?

"This woman has done something she's so incredibly ashamed of, and how does this seep into the rest of her life; how does this change how she sleeps and how she wakes and what she sees," Gerritsen said. "Shame is worse when you don't talk about it. It gets its power from secrecy."

The book is a standalone story, and is told in the first person to provide a stronger sense of intimacy and allow for an unreliable narrator.

Gerritsen is the author of nearly 30 novels, many of them bestselling thrillers. She has also written movie scripts, including the horror film "Island Zero," directed by her son, Josh Gerritsen, of Lincolnville. She and Josh are currently collaborating on a documentary called "Pig," and planning their next horror movie, "The Change."

She lives in Camden with her husband, Jacob.

This piece contains excerpts from articles written by Daniel Dunkle for Maine Seniors magazine and The Camden Herald.

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