Author: Jason Arnopp
Publication Date: October 22nd 2019
Publisher: Orbit Books
Jason Arnopp – author of acclaimed cult hit The Last Days of Jack Sparks – returns with a razor-sharp thriller for a social-media obsessed world. Prepare to never look at your phone the same way again . . .
Kate Collins has been ghosted.
She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty apartment. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared.
Except for his mobile phone.
Kate knows she shouldn’t hack into Scott’s phone. She shouldn’t look at his Tinder, his calls, his social media. But she can’t quite help herself.
That’s when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn’t recognise. Scratch marks on the walls that she can’t explain. And the growing feeling that she’s being watched.
Kate refuses to leave the apartment – she’s not going anywhere until she’s discovered what happened to Scott. But the deeper she dives into Scott’s digital history the more Kate realises just how little she really knows about the man she loves.
Thanks to Tracey @ Compulsive Readers and the publisher for my spot on the blog tour and a copy of the book. My review is unbiased an honest. I’ve been lucky enough recently to be on some pretty amazing blog tours and the books have mostly been 4 or 5 star reads, and Ghoster is no different, another 5-star read. Ghoster brings to the table an original plot, well executed characters and the opening chapter leaves you gasping for more. I knew this was going to be a great read, but I wasn’t prepared just how much this book was going to have crapping myself. This book reminds so very much of the eerie suspense master Alfred Hitchcock.
Have you ever found yourself ghosted? Luckily for me I think I belong to the last generation that grew up without the level of technology that is available to children and young adults as there are now. If we wanted to communicate with someone you would need to use the landline phone…yeah old school. I think now it’s just far too easy to just go incommunicado. This is the first time that I have read about ghosting in a novel and this one especially was unique. Instead of just moving on after being ghosted, the whole scenario turns into the main characters worst nightmare. This book is definitely competing for my top book of the year. I loved every single twisty moment of Ghoster.
“Of course, here I am, positioned smack-bang in the middle of all the other limbo ladies. Schrodinger’s twat.”
These are the types of lines you’ll get in this novel; the dark comedy makes you laugh even though you know you shouldn’t. The novel is told in Kate Collins perspective. Kate is a young paramedic who falls for the enigmatic Scott, an IT guy. We have the excitement of being asked to move in with after a whirlwind four months. It develops very quickly into the cold reality that Scott has left her high and dry. The main theme tackled in this book is addiction to social media and porn. It really highlights the toxicity of the impact these play on our lives. How many hours do we waste just mindlessly scrolling through our online friend’s life updates? Minutes turn into hours and then you don’t know how long has passed. Surely, we could be spending our time far more productively. The author examines just how social media and the internet can destroy lives, its greyness there for all to see.
Sarah is devastated when she faces the reality of being ghosted. Scott’s flat has been emptied, all but a ghoulish drawing on the window, and his phone. Sarah is hesitant to pry into his phone, she has detoxed from her dependence on social media and knows it would be a slippery slope. She’s angry, she’s hurt, and she needs the evidence of him being a lousy human in order to move on. She hacks into his phone.
I love Kates character. I think she resembles a bit about all of us. Who can actually say these days that they don’t spend excessive amounts of time being transfixed to the internet. She knows her faults and she owns them. She takes decisive action to remedy her mistakes and the guilt she feels is insurmountable. She’s about to come across some extremely hard truths in her journey for the truth. Is Kate going to be able to escape that truth when she does finally get it?
The other theme in the book is a supernatural element, which I loved. Now the way in which the author introduced this had me seriously crapping myself. The narrative build up was so quietly suffocating I found myself putting on the big light in the lounge, no way would I read this in the dark. I found myself looking over my shoulder. It had my heart beating at an erratic crescendo, I found the sweat beading at my neck more, I was gripping the book in my hand harder and I was willing everything to be alright. The writer is a master of suspense. He had my flight or fight response kicking into the fastest gear.
Kate investigates Scott’s phone…there are worrisome signs. Some seriously disturbing looking porn videos, hundreds of photos of women and men, tinder and WhatsApp messages and the scariest of them all a double encrypted diary app that has some concerning titles. Can Kate the evidence she needs to put her feelings to rest for Scott, or is she opening up a whole new can of worms? This book is addictive, the storyline, the characters, the atmosphere. I couldn’t take my eyes off it for even a moment. The author is a blatant escapism artist. I literally felt like I was living between the pages.
As the book progressed you came to realise that something very wrong this scenario. Disappearances that don’t make any sense, videos that creep you right out and a presence that makes you doubt all you know about existence. Each clue leads Kate down a deeper and darker path that she’s not sure she can escape. The story becomes claustrophic in nature as it gets ready to suck the life from you. The writing was truly exceptional with the feelings that he teased from you, the mind games he had you partaking in and the general feeling of unease than was skulking around every corner.
Twisted, ruthless and without remorse. Ghoster will have you craving more. All thriller lovers need to make this their next read.
I’m the writer of the terrifying Orbit Books novel Ghoster, out October 2019. Before that, I wrote The Last Days Of Jack Sparks, the Lionsgate feature film Stormhouse, various Doctor Who things, a Friday The 13th novel and script-edited the 2012 Peter Mullan film The Man Inside.
2018 saw me co-author the book Inside Black Mirror with Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.