Book Title: The Last Night at Tremore Beach
Author: Mikel Santiago
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Horror, Psychological Suspense, Paranormal, Fiction
Date Read: 02/19/17
Pub Date: 02/14/17
What starts out as an idyllic summer holiday on the Irish coast soon becomes a living nightmare with unpredictable consequences for a world-renowned composer and his family in this chilling psychological thriller.
Recently divorced and in the middle of a creative crisis, Peter Harper decides to take shelter on Ireland’s scenic and isolated Tremore Beach. But after he is struck by lightning one stormy night, he begins experiencing terrible headaches and strange dreams. As the line between his dreams and reality begins to blur, Peter realizes that his bizarre dreams may be a warning of horror still to come…
This was a highly entertaining read, full of twists and turns of the natural and supernatural alike. I wavered on whether I’d read this initially as it sounded like many other thrillers I’ve read in recent years, but the paranormal aspect, along with book bestie Laura recommending it due to “it’s likeness to early Stephen King fiction” caused me to pick it up and I’m really glad I did. I’ve come to realize that I like knowing beforehand if a book is going to contain elements of the paranormal, as it sets my expectations in the right mode and helps me to lay aside pre-conceived notions of how the book should go. The reason I really enjoyed this more than other thrillers that have recently been published is the fact that the twist isn’t dependent on the supernatural theme; you know pretty much going into it what to expect there, but what you don’t expect is how it is crafted over the course of the book to produce that precise AHA moment that we’ve all come to love.
I’ve enjoyed many translations over the years, but this is definitely one of the better ones. I truly didn’t feel that anything was left out or missing from one end to the next. The author has a beautiful way with words that continues throughout and the pacing starts a little slowly then really ramps up along the halfway point until the last page. Our main character Peter is actually quite unlikable in the beginning; he is whiny and moping and has just been through some major life changes that have put him in a funk. I really enjoyed watching him develop over the course of the book; somewhere along the way he picks himself up by the bootstraps and grows a pair, and that’s the Peter that caught my attention to the point I read the final half of this book in one sitting. The quality of character development is what caused me to bump this up to a full 4 star review.
Overall there is so much to like about this book; the cover is quite stunning and is what initially put this story on my radar, the story has many unique qualities, and the writing is very well done. The only thing that could have pushed this into 5 star territory for me would have been for the first half’s pacing to have matched the last half. There were a few spots I stalled out a bit, but overall a really fine read that many readers will enjoy. If you enjoy thrillers with a supernatural take included, give this a go; it was a fairly short read at just over 300 pages that was easy to consume quickly. I’d honestly be interested in a companion novel, something that explores some of the more minor characters in further detail in the future.
Many thanks to Atria Books for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide an honest review of my thoughts.