cover image The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater

The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater

Jaime Jo Wright. Bethany House, $17.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-7642-4144-4

A mysterious theater’s past and present collide in this atmospheric if disappointing supernatural thriller from Wright (The Vanishing at Castle Moreau). In 1915 Wisconsin, Greta Mercy is attending a performance at the Barlowe Theater when she sees a baby fall from the balcony. Greta, whose brother recently died in the theater’s construction, is convinced the Barlowe is cursed, but later that night, a police officer informs her that the accident didn’t happen: there was no one in the box seats the baby supposedly fell from. In the present day, Kit Boyd and her best friend Madison Farrington have signed the theater up for an appearance on a popular ghost-hunting TV show, but Madison disappears during filming. As Kit is inundated with cryptic, anonymous phone calls, she teams up with the show’s skeptical cohost, Evan Fischer, to unravel the Barlowe’s spooky history and find her friend. Despite a promising premise and an appealingly creepy setting, the story fails to come together—characters go underdeveloped, the pacing lags, and asides on faith feel shoehorned in (“You trust Him, you step out in faith that others will care for you in His strength and grace,” Evan advises Kit during their quest). Despite some bright moments, this fails to deliver. (Oct.)