Title: Wight Mischief
Author: J.L. Merrow
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 1, 2018
Genre(s): Mystery / Suspense
Page Count: 216
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5
A ghost of a chance at love.
Personal trainer Will Golding has been looking forward to a getaway with his best friend, Baz, a journalist researching a book on ghosts. But on the first day of their camping trip on the Isle of Wight, Will takes a walk on a secluded beach and spies a beautiful young man skinny-dipping by moonlight. Ethereally pale, he’s too perfect to be real—or is he?
Lonely author Marcus Devereux is just as entranced by the tall athlete he encounters on the beach, but he’s spent the years since his parents’ violent death building a wall around his heart, and the thought of letting Will scale it is terrifying. Marcus’s albinism gives him his otherworldly appearance and leaves him reluctant to go out in daylight, his reclusiveness encouraged by his guardian—who warns him to stay away from Will and Baz.
The attraction between Will and Marcus can’t be denied—but neither can the danger of the secrets haunting Marcus’s past, as one “accident” after another strikes Will and Baz. If they don’t watch their step, they could end up added to the island’s ghostly population.
First Edition published by Samhain Publishing Ltd., November 2011.
The Isle of Wight, an island of about 140,000 in the English Channel, is said to be the most haunted in the world, sometimes referred to as “Ghost Island” (thanks, Wikipedia!). Will and his best mate Baz are on a camping holiday on the Isle, where journalist Baz is doing research for his book about the hauntings. But their first night out, Will wanders onto a beach where he encounters perhaps Wight’s biggest mystery – reclusive novelist Marcus Devereux swimming in the moonlight. Marcus’ alabaster skin (due to his albinism) makes Will wonder if he is seeing one of Wight’s ghosts.
Will is a nice guy, with an amazing physique due to his job as a physical trainer, but perhaps not the best judge of character. His mate Baz comes off as a manipulative jerk and user, and I dearly wanted to knock some sense into Will, but on the other hand, Will’s accepting and kind nature work their way into Marcus’ lonely heart. IMHO, Will and Marcus’s relationship feels light on the romance without a lot of chemistry between the two.
There is a murder mystery here, but the villain is so obvious and cartoonish and the mystery is not so much solved as shuffled aside after the reveal of the killer, with little explained about the nature of Marcus’ emotional dependence.
I finished this book being fascinated with the Isle of Wight and its rich history of ghosts and hauntings, but the murder/mystery was too one-dimensional and romantic elements felt undeveloped. 3 stars.
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