☆☆➹⁀☆ 4.5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
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…
Guest Reviewer Tom’s Thoughts:
Mikel Santiago deserves high praise for his debut Novel The Last Night at Tremore Beach. Set on the coast of Ireland, Santiago masterfully puts the reader in his exact location with exquisite description of both the charm and challenge of coastal seclusion. Characters are well developed with a level of intimacy that surely must develop between two neighboring households on a secluded stretch of beach. We live this growing friendship between our hero, musician/composer Peter Harper, and his retired neighbors, Leo and Marie.
Peter rents the house next to Leo and Marie to find himself and his art after suffering a surprise divorce that seems to hasten a compositional drought and a loss of his musical creative spark.
Beach seclusion, good neighbors, a new love interest, and a visit from his young children seem like just the right tonic to put Peter on a positive path, but his musical recovery is interrupted by his being struck by lightening in a vicious storm.
The setback results in headaches and lucid dreams that allow Peter (already prone to premonitions, to see the tragedy lurking in his future and all of those around him.
Santiago brings the novel to riveting life as Peter fights to determine if his premonitions are real or just hallucinations brought on by the residual effects of the lightening strike. The tension is spikes and the fear is omnipresent as Peter lives with the helpless feeling of suspecting the worst: his neighbors, his kids, and girlfriend are all at risk.
Santiago builds the tension to an amazing crescendo as Peter figures things out in a harrowing race against time….all on yet another dangerously stormy night at Tremore Beach.
In the end, Santiago delivers a satisfying finish, although it is here I have my one criticism: for me, the resolution of what precipitated the danger was a bit of a stretch. Even so, the novel survives on Santiago’s great writing talent. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way! Expect more good things from this author.