As the weather has begun to finally cool off, I have been in a serious mood for fall. Snickerdoodles, pumpkin cream cold brew and, of course, spooky reads. I immediately chose The Summoning by J.P Smith and it was exactly what my mood ordered.
The concept of the novel drew me right in: Kit, an out of work actress turned con woman, who uses the obituaries to fuel her business as a medium. However, something begins to change, and Kit starts to feel unsettled as her seances begin to feel more real. As the tagline for the novel states, when it comes to contacting the dead, it’s easy to go a step too far.
I am usually hesitant with any type of paranormal thriller since it is very easy for the plot to become a.) too convoluted b.) too far-fetched and hokey or c.) a quick start with a disappointing ending. I was pleased to find out that this novel had none of those issues.
Smith chooses to lay out the story with a multi-perspective narration that was really was a treat. Between Kit’s inner workings of her business and her panic as things begin to unravel, and the police who are zoning in and then surprised to find themselves wrapped up in something paranormal, I was completely engaged. The novel is definitely more of a slower burn at the beginning and, to be honest, I didn’t find Kit very likeable initially; however, this characterization is exactly what made me want to keep reading. I am always in awe at authors who can create characters that make me feel conflicted, and I absolutely had a strong reaction to Kit. For such a short read (coming in at around 300 pages), I was expecting the story to be fairly straightforward. However, I was wrong. I was pleased with Smith’s ability to keep me guessing and was genuinely shocked by the ending.
This read just felt like fall and, to me, that is one of the highest compliments. I’d absolutely recommend this one.