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 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 . . .
Well what a roller coaster ride this turned out to be. Nothing like I expected, it had me utterly gripped, although only in the daylight hours. Reading this one at night didn’t work out too well for me!
At the start of the story we meet Kate, a paramedic in Leeds. After a whirl wind romance with Scott she agrees to move in with him in Brighton. The chapters move back and forward through the past and present, this is very easy to follow as each chapter heading has a date.
When Kate arrives in Brighton, she finds Scott’s flat completely empty, except for his phone. Opening that phone, however, to find out what happened, is not a simple thing for Kate. She has a serve social media addiction. Opening that phone leads to places she doesn’t want to go. Her best friend Izzy is severely injured because of Kate’s phone obsession.
Never has the phrase stuck between a rock and a hard place seem so accurately used.
Kate is obviously our main character and the book is told from her point of view. I did find her a difficult person to gel with. She’s very self-absorbed and her focus isn’t always in the right place. She’s also very down on herself, there is a lot of self-loathing there. There are things alluded to in Kates past, but we never really get a clear idea of what they are. This did bother me slightly, I felt like I was missing a piece of the puzzle.
Her best friend Izzy provides some much-needed light relief, she’s funny, think dark humor and balances out Kate’s character nicely. She doesn’t seem to hold a grudge over what happened and genuinely seems to have her friend’s best interests at heart.
Scott we only see from Kate’s point of view and the things we find out from his phone. There are things that ring alarm bells right from the beginning though. What was his motive? Why did he never introduce Kate to his friends and family? Love some instant intrigue in a book.
Things that go bump in the night
Okay so about a quarter of the way through this book takes a turn. If you are easily spooked this may not be for you. Jason has a skill at weaving the creepy into a book and I don’t mind saying this book kept me awake at night. It’s so well done it will have you doubting your own senses. Many times, I found myself thinking ‘what the hell just happened?!’
My imagination has been running wild after reading this book and I love it when a book can do that to you.
This book reminded me, in a way, of an Aesop’s fable, all be in a terrifying not to be read in the dark, kind of way. A lesson in social media and smart phone obsessions and what path that can lead us down.
This book is deliciously dark, utterly creepy and I couldn’t put it down even when I wanted to. If you like a thriller, a mystery, the paranormal you are going to love this. Just strap on your big girl/boy pants first! If you need me, I’ll be under the blankets recovering in the corner.
My thanks to Tracy for my spot on the blog tour and to the publishers for a copy of the book. As always my reviews are 100% honest.
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.
Praise for Ghoster
‘The best cross-genre thriller I’ve read in a long, long time.
Twisty, creepy and absolutely absorbing’
‘A helter-skelter collision of social media and the supernatural. Hugely enjoyable’ Chris Brookmyre
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 . . .