Dan Page is a police officer, whose wife suddenly disappears. He puts together some clues, and eventually follows her to a little town called Rostov, that is located in Texas. He has no idea why she left so quickly to this tiny dot on the map, or for what reason.
Dan eventually learns that she went to watch the “Rostov Lights”. She believes in them, refuses to return home, and cannot completely explain her attraction to them. Dan doesn’t understand why his wife seems obsessed with the “Rostov Lights”.
Things get extremely creepy from here. The “Rostov Lights”, Dan learns, are unexplained multicolored balls of light that appear in a nearby field at nighttime. They don’t come every night, and they don’t always stay for long.
No one knows what they are, where they come from, or what they mean. No one can explain why some people can see them, and other people cannot. Many people have set out to explore these lights, and readers get to hear details of all their stories. These “mini-stories” within the main story line are fascinating. Bad things seem to happen when a person goes too far into the field, searching for the lights.
When Dan first finds his wife, he tries his best to convince her to leave Rostov, and come back home with him. Out of nowhere, a man who came from a busload of people that were on a tour to see the Rostov Lights starts shooting into the crowd. A massacre happens, and it serves as the reader’s first example of how sometimes, the Rostov Lights make people go insane. You do eventually get the back story about the shooter, and it’s quite bizarre.
Rostov, Texas, is just a teeny little town, out in the middle of nowhere, but it is starting to gain attention because of this massacre. News crews arrive, to report on the shooting, the town, and the mysterious lights. Dan and his wife find themselves on the run from the press, who are hunting them because they want “the story” about their part in the shooting that happened.
All this attention is unwanted by the locals. It is also unwanted by the U.S. Military, who just so happen to have some local, and mysterious, bases set up near the unexplained Rostov Lights.
I can’t decide which is spookier, the idea of little balls of colored light that dance in a field and make people lose their minds, or the idea that the U.S. Military is somehow involved with the creepy little lights. Readers get to be inside the head of Dan, and several other characters, and in the process, get to “experience” many different points of view about these Rostov Lights.
What exactly are the “Rostov Lights”? Readers get to discover lots of things about them, but, by the end, you get to decide for yourself what you believe them to be. In the back of the book, after the story ends, there is a section called “Afterword”. Here, Morrell explains some of his inspiration for this book.
It seems there actually is a little town in Texas called Marfa, that has a history of having mysterious lights appear. They are called the Marfa Lights. Morrell created an extremely detailed, suspenseful, and creepy story out of a few newspaper clippings, and some speculation.
This book review of The Shimmer – by David Morrell is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.
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