The Summer Man by S.D. Perry

He’s Here.  Amanda Young doesn’t know who? or how? or why? She only knows that evil has come to Port Isley, the picturesque seaside village she calls home. It arrives on the wings of summer, in the guise of a sinister, nameless man crowded among the tourists from Seattle. He’s there when Amanda has a premonition of a classmate’s murder and when the girl’s mutilated body is discovered hours 17046613later. He’s lurking nearby when the neighbors she’s known forever inexplicably begin to change. There when their suddenly raging emotions transform them into lustful, violent shadows of themselves. Only a select few see the dark signs: Amanda, the town psychiatrist, and the local newspaper publisher. Together, they set out to discover exactly what’s happening in Port Isley and whether or not anyone has a prayer of getting out of the town alive. – Goodreads.com

I’ll start with what I liked about this book.  I loved the setting.  It’s a small seaside town in the Pacific Northwest and I’m a sucker for just about any seaside town.  I enjoyed the vibrant characters – some were a little quirky, which is always enjoyable, and it was easy to become vested in their lives and care about the large variety of characters.  The dialogue was genuine and believable.  The first couple of chapters held my interest, but then the book seemed to slow a little; however, the action picked up again somewhere around the middle and I was anxious to see where the story was going.

As for things I didn’t really like, the first was a character dump.  Near the beginning of the novel, I felt like far too many characters were introduced in just a few pages and it was easy to confuse them.  There was also some word repetition – the same word may be used to describe something 2-3 times in a paragraph.  As I mentioned before, the pace of the novel seemed to slow in places and some of the narrative probably could have been shortened.  Near the end of the book, it seemed as if one of the characters figured out what was going on rather suddenly, the explanation being flimsy and unclear about the path to that conclusion.  The completion of one character’s story was very ambiguous, with no logical explanation given, leaving me disappointed.

Despite my dislikes, I still enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it if you like dark thrillers.

This review is based on a digital copy from the publisher and provided by Net Galley.

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