Sumner Island by Michael Cormier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Ghost-Hunting at the Smythe, a luxury hotel/resort located on Sumner Island, off the coast of Maine. The very same Smythe where Maria Boudreau, "America's Princess" in the last century's Golden Age, met an untimely and violent end in 1924....eighty years before this story takes place. Mitchell Lambert, history professor at Fowler College, made his literary mark with a popular biography of Miss Boudreau. Mr Lambert is a tad obsessed with our Maria...some would call it LOVE. The ghost hunt is the result of several sightings of Boudreaus's ghost..by people not in love with her. Psychics, bystanders,and a cranky, psychotic spirit plus a Wise Old Man with a personal stake in the story's outcome...all make for a fine cast of characters.
Paranormal Romance is not my genre of choice but I did enjoy this book. Mr Cormier is a crackerjack story teller, and a decent stylist. the prose had "flow" and only hit a few bumps toward the end, when all the paranormal "Bells & Whistles" flew thick and fast...a bit much, in my opinion. All the "massed spirits of the long dead", the phenomenal thunder storm with attendant lightning strikes/fires..and the sudden lack of oxygen...left me a little breathless..and impatient for the story's end. The malevolent spirit was so, indeed..then came across as a petulant frat boy with a murderous streak.. Mitch Lambert was a bit "soft" as a character..too moony by half, but maybe Academics are like that now. In my day, they just drank too much and tried to charm the pants off college girls..Oh well. Small complaints, when all is said and done. the ending was..well...paranormal. Love does endure through the ages...
I liked the book,in spite of the "flaws" which are not such...just my quibbles. This is a good summer read if you like your novels not-too-heavy..but not floating off into the air. The period detail was good..be it present day or late-Victorian past. This is not Paranormal of the Heaving Bosom variety, rather it's more cerebral....unto the slightly obsessive. The Passion here is of the hopeful sort. Good food-for-thought that won't give you a headache, or set you to yawning.
This is a review of an ARC.