Ghoster: Jason Arnopp
Reviewed By Fiona Dodwell
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Orbit (24 Oct. 2019)
I have been reading horror since I was a child, when I discovered the Point Horror series at the age of nine. Since then, my book-addicted life has been a journey to find the next creepy novel. I admit it’s hard to find a book that actually scares you – especially when you have become almost “immune” to the fear factor because of constant exposure to the genre. When I read The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp back in 2016, I knew I’d found an author who was a game-changer. Arnopp knew how to deliver a solidly creepy, unsettling and tense story. It was unlike anything I’d read before.
Counting down to his next fictional horror novel, I was excited to see it was up for release in October 2019. Provided with a review copy of the novel from publisher Orbit, I was beyond happy when I finally got my paws on the book.
Ghoster follows our lead character, Kate Collins, as she gets into a new relationship with the handsome Scott. Happy and in love, the pair decide to move in together in Scott’s Brighton apartment. The only thing is, as moving day approaches, Scott has gone missing. How, why and where to? As Kate becomes obsessed with finding out what has happened to the man she loves, she spirals into a dark web of addiction, lies, and supernatural horrors.
Let me start by saying this: Jason Arnopp has written a masterful novel here. Of course, I had high expectations of it – because of how much I’d enjoyed Jack Sparks – and I was ever so slightly nervous that his follow-up wouldn’t quite hit the same spot. I needn’t have worried – Ghoster has it all. A solid and twisted story, frequent scares, creepy chapters and lots of mystery. Yet surprisingly, this seems even more than just a “scary story” to feed to the horror fans… there is a heavy depth to the novel, a reflection of society’s obsession with mobile phones, and how damaging this can be to the human psyche. The novel leaves you feeling reflective about how much we have all come to rely on technology, and how much this dependency has erased true connections to other people in the world around us. Ghoster opens the reader’s eyes to the horror of our modern-day gadget addiction and does for mobile phones what Blair Witch has done for camping: it almost puts you off for life!
Jason Arnopp’s central character, Kate Collins, is a wonderfully in-depth figure. Of course, men write female characters all the time (and vice versa) but it occurred to me a few times that for a male writer to create a female character so very authentically really takes some serious insight, research and sensitivity. Arnopp nailed his character. Kate Collins feels so very real, and I loved following her journey.
All in all, I feel confident in saying that anyone who enjoyed Jack Sparks will enjoy Ghoster. The stories are entirely different, yet they contain the same level of horror, unease and atmosphere. I personally love the way that Arnopp uses our everyday reliance on technology and pulls back the door to reveal the possible horrors that lurk behind such addictions. Oh, and the ending of the novel? Don’t get me started…. the concluding chapters are insanely dark yet stunningly perfect.
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 . . .
Fiona Dodwell is a published horror author and freelance writer for several websites and magazines. She has had articles published with Haunted Magazine, Made in Shoreditch Magazine and many more. She has studied Theology, Film Studies and psychology.
Fiona runs a blog which features author/actor interviews, as well as reviews over on Fiona-Dodwell
Follow Fiona on Twitter @Angel_Devil982
Madison Walter thought she had everything.
A good job. A perfect husband. A baby on the way.
When a terrible tragedy turns her life upside down, Madison knows things will never be the same again.
Intent on saving her marriage, she joins her husband on a luxury trip abroad. However, a week in the sun turns into an abyss of despair and horror.
Can Madison save her life, her sanity and her family before it’s too late?