The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater by Jaime Jo Wright hooks you from its opening passage:
“Sometimes death came quietly. A phantom swooping in and siphoning the last remnant of a soul from one’s body, leaving behind a shell of a person who once was and would never be again. Other times, death decided that dramatics coupled with terror were its preferred method of delivery. Tonight, that was the chosen form death took.” – The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater
The Barlowe Theater, in Kipper’s Grove, Wisconsin, features as another character in this dual timeline novel. In 1915, we meet Greta Mercy, a young woman with more than her fair share of difficulties, left raising her younger brothers in the wake of her parents’ and older brother’s death. One of Greta’s closest friends is Eleanor Boyd, the wealthy and sheltered daughter of a prominent family.
Greta’s mother worked in the Boyd’s household, and the girls became fast friends. One night, while attending a show at the Barlowe theater as a guest of Eleanor and her brother Oscar, Greta sees a woman on the balcony throw her baby into the crowd below. Or did she? In the aftermath of the pandemonium that ensues from Greta’s scream of horror, no one can locate the baby or the woman.
Rufus Barlowe, the theater’s owner, demands restitution from Greta for damaging the theater’s reputation.
The second storyline takes place in 2015 and features Kit Boyd, dragged by her friend Madison, into the filming of an episode of the TV show Psychic and the Skeptic. Madison is obsessed with rescuing the historic theater from her grandfather, who wants to tear it down; she is convinced that the show will energize the community to rally around its preservation. During the filming, Madison mysteriously disappears. One minute, they are all together in the theater; the next, Madison has vanished.
In both storylines, the central question is whether the theater is haunted or if there is a more logical and sinister explanation.
It is important to note that this is a novel infused with Christian beliefs and values, which may be off-putting to some readers and appealing to others. While the Christian ideals put forth cannot be ignored, the story holds together as a good old-fashioned spooky mystery with a dash of romance, perfect for this time of year.
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What others are saying about The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater:
I will never stop recommending all of Jaime Jo’s books, but I think this might be one of my favorites. – Jordan Millsaps, Read. Eat. Repeat.
The story takes readers on a twisty thrill ride that keeps the goosebumps high as it races toward a solid finish. One where all the pieces fit into place even as you think there’s no way they can. Nobody writes Gothic thrillers like Jaime Jo Wright, and this latest novel is a prime example! – @MeezCarrie, Reading Is My Superpower
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