“The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit”, by Graham Joyce is a spooky, ephemeral look and a pivotal summer in one young man’s life. David Barwise is a college student who takes a summer job at a resort in a small beach town on the North Sea. He was drawn to the town by a photo he found amongst his mother’s things, depicting him there with his father at the age of three.
It is 1976 and the hottest summer on record and a bizarre plague of ladybugs descends on the town. His work at the resort involves running entertainment and games for the guests. His co-workers provide for hilarious hijinks and sometimes frightening situations. He becomes involved with Terri, whose husband is a scary thug in the National Party and Nikki, a refreshing young woman.
Throughout the story David keeps seeing a small boy with a man in a blue suit that almost looks electric. As the figures fade into the mist he realizes that what he is seeing is not real. But what is the significance of the figures?
This was an intriguing novel. Part coming of age story, part supernatural exploration. Joyce’s writing was beautiful and the story flowed. The characters were amusing and well-developed. I will definitely be looking for more of his novels to read.