Firstly I’d like to extend my thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on this Blog tour for Ghoster by Jason Arnopp, published by Orbit Books. It’s been a pleasure to read this spooky book, which I raced through.
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 flat. 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 texts, 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 door that she can’t explain.
And the growing feeling that she’s being watched . . .
Jason Arnopp – author of The Last Days of Jack Sparks, a Radio 2 Bookclub pick – returns with a razor-sharp thriller for a social-media obsessed world. Prepare to never look at your phone the same way again . . .
Jason Arnopp is the author of the new Orbit Books novel Ghoster, which Barnes & Noble’s SFF blog has said, “just might qualify as the first true horror novel of the 21st Century.” The Three author Sarah Lotz calls it, “a fiendishly smart exploration of obsession and social media addiction”, while Cross Her Heat author Sarah Pinborough reckons it’s, “twisty, creepy and utterly absorbing.”
Arnopp’s previous novel was The Last Days Of Jack Sparks (2016), which has been described as “a magnificent millennial nightmare” (Alan Moore), “scarier than watching The Exorcist in an abandoned asylum” (Sarah Lotz) and “The Omen for the social media age” (Christopher Brookmyre). Director Ron Howard (Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon, The Da Vinci Code) optioned the film rights shortly after the book’s 2016 release.
Arnopp co-wrote the official behind-the-scenes book Inside Black Mirror with Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.
Check out his four shorter-form fiction titles:
— Beast In The Basement, a suspenseful, mind-blowing thriller novella
— A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home, a chilling and groundbreaking short story set in YOUR home
— Auto Rewind, a dark, emotionally-charged thriller novelette
— American Hoarder, a supernatural creep-fest available only when you join the author’s free mailing list at JasonArnopp.com
Arnopp previously wrote and executive-produced the Lionsgate feature film Stormhouse and script-edited the Peter Mullan feature The Man Inside. He has also written for the worlds of Doctor Who (BBC), The Sarah Jane Adventures (BBC) and Friday The 13th (New Line Cinema).
When you sign up for Arnopp’s free newsletter at JasonArnopp.com, you can also download his short story American Hoarder for free. You might also want to check out his YouTube channel by searching for his name there. What a wonderful world.
This book is read from the point of view of Kate and Scott, who meet on a Digital Detox weekend on 1st June in Wales. But we dip into memories and times prior to when they met and why they were there.
It’s soon clear that Kate is there for reasons very different from Scott’s, she has had to get rid of her smartphone due to an incident with her friend Izzy and so has removed the ‘problem’ from her life. Scott on the other hand still has his phone and so Kates left wondering why hes there at all.
Kate and Scott’s relationship moves on and we get to when Kate’s sold her stuff, handed in her notice on her flat and job and is moving down to Brighton to live with Scott when all lines of contact go blank. Kate can only text and ring Scott, and now that she’s standing on his doorstep, with no key to get in the flat, what’s she to do? With her old Nokia phone, she has no other means of contact, no Whatsapp, messenger, nothing. She’s determined though and makes it inside, only to find the place stripped bare. No furniture and no sign of Scott.
But she’s given up everything – her old life, she had a new life with Scott in Brighton planned – a new job – as a paramedic starting, which she decides she must go and do and try and track Scott down. She gets in touch with Izzy, who with her smartphone can see Scott’s still on Facebook and Twitter but seems not to want to respond to Kate at all.
It turns out Scott has a twin brother Ray and he seems to know more than he’s letting on, does he know Scott’s whereabouts?
The situation gets weirder when Kate finds Scott’s phone and starts piecing together his life in Brighton before she moved, before they met even and none of it makes any sense, he’s been hooking up on Tinder with women and then finds out he’s in debt, old photos and videos make her think she didn’t know Scott at all. Until she starts finding old diary entries Scott had written. Phone calls from people warning her to not use the phone and there’s wood scrapped from the door.
What’s going on?
As much as Kate does want to know, she’s scared of what she’ll find out. And though she knows the dangers that led her to not having a mobile phone – shes gone back to being unable to stop using Scott’s phone, even when a near accident happens and by that time, it’s too late, she’s in too deep, she can’t stop herself.
Its a great way of getting people to see how much screen time they use and that the way of the world in such now that we can’t help ourselves, we are addicted to technology and people’s lives are affected by it, relationships, friendships, and family life can all suffer. Even sending a simple text now isn’t that simple as people read them the wrong way, people don’t know how to interact anymore or flirt as its all done via dating apps, it’s sad, but at the same time, makes life more efficient.
The premiss for this glades along nicely and is totally compelling in the storyline. I really enjoyed Ghoster – its a Fantasy Thriller with a message, to those willing to listen.
To Purchase, Ghoster click the link here: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Jason-Arnopp/Ghoster/24011989
@JasonArnopp @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #Ghoster