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Ghosts Know Hardcover – October 1, 2013
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"Campbell is in top form, cleverly pulling readers’ strings at every turn."―Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
(I bought the original PS Publishing version of this novel.)
Well—Graham Wilde is a confrontational radio talk show host who thinks a psychic, Frank Jasper, who has been called in for help on the murder of a local girl, is a fake. Wilde knows Jasper from childhood and embarrasses Jasper when he has him appear on the radio show. Then Jasper has a vision regarding the murdered girl that implicates Wilde in the murder. So far, so good. Looked like the plot would be Wilde and Jasper backstabbing each other. But, no, the intriguing Jasper antagonist simply drops out of the story at that point, and Wilde proceeds, in bumbling fashion, to try and expose the real killer to clear his name. He does expose the real killer—a character with which Wilde had no prior conflict—by getting the real killer to confess on the air.
Only he doesn’t. I read through the salient parts several times to make sure I hadn’t missed something. There was no logical reason at all for Wilde to suspect this person was the real killer, and in the on-air exchange, the real killer said nothing remotely approaching a confession. The killer didn’t even mention the crime. How this “mystery” was solved was the only real mystery, along with why the book was called Ghosts Know, since there was no ghost or other supernatural element whatsoever.
If your main character has an enemy, then that is who or what your main character should ultimately confront. And if the story is about solving a crime, then the crime should be solved in a way that makes some kind of sense.
Graham Wilde is fascinating. His struggles with rage could easily have become overbearing or clichéd, but they did not, primarily because he never loses the struggle, never lets his rage take over, making this reader wonder if his anger was transferred, originally targeted at himself for being a coward and then redirected at everyone else. Wilde is not a coward, reacting to danger in the same way most anyone would, but I wonder if he sees himself subconsciously as cowardly. Psychologically, he is complex.
The story is a murder mystery, and Wilde is the primary murder suspect. He could be an unreliable narrator. It's a fascinating story. And the despair he sinks into is profound. But as I read the jacket cover, which promises a "kaleidoscope of terror", I wonder if I missed something. I didn't feel that I had while reading. Perhaps it's a book that reads better the second time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really drawn out, difficult to read, boring characters. Not pleased with this book at all, though I typically like Ramsey Campbell.Published 1 month ago by Jodi Michael
I got this around Halloween, expecting to read a ghost story. In fact, it's neither a ghost story nor a horror story--unless you consider the reader's horror when s/he realizes... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Viga Glum
What an incredibly frustrating, dull novel. Ostensibly some sort of psychological thriller, what I'll remember most from "Ghosts Know" isn't the suspense, but the completely... Read morePublished on January 5, 2014 by Violet K
It's pretty rare that I don't finish a book, but I could only get about two-thirds of the way through this one. It is just not a very good story and it has many flaws. Read morePublished on December 11, 2013 by Constant Reader