AWRW Book Review: The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit, by Graham Joyce

18665088Critically acclaimed author Graham Joyce returns with a sexy, suspenseful,and slightly supernatural novel set 1976 England during the hottest summer in living memory, in a seaside resort where the past still haunts the present.

David, a college student, takes a summer job at a run-down family resort in a dying English resort town. This is against the wishes of his family…because it was at this resort where David’s biological father disappeared fifteen years earlier. But something undeniable has called David there.

A deeper otherworldliness lies beneath the surface of what we see. The characters have a suspicious edge to them…David is haunted by eerie visions of a mysterious man carrying a rope, walking hand-in-hand with a small child…and the resort is under siege by a plague of ladybugs. Something different is happening in this town.

When David gets embroiled in a fiercely torrid love triangle, the stakes turn more and more menacing. And through it all, David feels as though he is getting closer to the secrets of his own past.

This is a darkly magic and sexy book that has a strong suspense line running through it. It’s destined to continue to pull in a wider circle of readers for the exceptionally talented Graham Joyce.

Book Details:

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by Doubleday (first published June 20th 2013)
Original Title:
The Year of the Ladybird
Paranormal, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Suspense
The Ghost in The Electric Blue Suit is going to stick with me for a very long time. It is hauntingly beautiful, sometimes poetic, and anything but predictable. The characters are a hoot, each of them contributing equally to the story. In the end, there were absolutely no loose plot strings… everything was tied together nicely, and I got the answers I wanted.
Graham Joyce will keep you guessing. The suspense mounts, with each page that is turned! Nearly impossibly to put down, Joyce has a masterful way of weaving together fantasy with the paranormal!
MadisonandTheGhostCollege student David has no desire to work with his step-father this summer during break, so instead he seeks a job at a holiday resort in the town of Skegness.
Skegness has a way of pulling him in, much like the tides of the beach. An old photo of his biological father he keeps near and dear to his heart, and on the back it reads “Skegness”. Wanting to learn more about this place, he happily accepts a job as a greencoat.
While he is being shown the ropes, he notices a strange man on the beach wearing a suit that appears to glow electric. This man has a little boy with him, but something is off about them… very off.
Now David is seeing them often, and before his mind can register who or WHAT they are, they vanish. He begins to have nightmares, suffers from insomnia, and there is a ghastly plague of ladybugs making everything all the weirder!
“I could still taste the saltwater from her lips. And the honey. And the fire.”
As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, he begins an affair with a married woman who has an abusive husband… and they all work together! Foolishly seeing himself as her rescuer, his world begins to spin out of control…
“I was moving in a world where I didn’t know what people were capable of.”
Isolated, in a fragile condition and further falling apart, David visits a psychic, Madame Rosa, in hopes of getting answers. However, the answers are already inside of him, so dark he hides them even from himself…
I would like to thank DoubleDay Books for providing me with The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit, in exchange for a thoughtful, fair, and honest review.
About the Author:
Graham JoyceGraham Joyce is an English writer of speculative fiction and the recipient of numerous awards for both his novels and short stories.

After receiving a B.Ed. from Bishop Lonsdale College in 1977 and a M.A. from the University of Leicester in 1980. Joyce worked as a youth officer for the National Association of Youth Clubs until 1988. He subsequently quit his position and moved to the Greek islands of Lesbos and Crete to write his first novel, Dreamside. After selling Dreamside to Pan Books in 1991, Joyce moved back to England to pursue a career as a full-time writer.

Sadly, Graham Joyce lost his battle to cancer this month. You can read more about this here.
Purchase The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit here.

7 thoughts on “AWRW Book Review: The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit, by Graham Joyce

  1. I’ve been looking forward to this one! I picked up a copy with the UK title (The Year of the Ladybird), but haven’t started it yet. I really love his writing (especially The Silent Land), and was so sorry to hear of his passing this month.


  2. Great review April. I just put this one on my list of books to read. I have heard of Graham Joyce but haven’t read his work before. This looks like a good book start with and it sounds like it is full of conflict and the supernatural. I was surprised about the infestation of ladybugs. Ladybugs seem to always bring me luck whenever I encounter them — when one lands on me or nearby where I am, something good always happens not long afterwards. Now, you’ve piqued my curiosity about their role in this book.


  3. Excellent review, and what a great title (not the first time I’ve said that about one of your chosen reviews). I wonder did the title pull you in? How sad to hear that the author has passed away :-(.


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