Last Updated on December 23, 2022 by ThoughtsStained
Fuck me sideways.
That was my initial reaction, after I finished reading Ghoster by Jason Arnopp; a book that normally isn’t my cup of tea. I don’t read contemporaries and horror novels are not good for my own sanity (or my ability to sleep), so in all sense, this novel shouldn’t have been one I requested from Orbit, when it showed up on my monthly list. But, a) it’s from Orbit. If there is ever a publishing company that will make me want to read a book I didn’t think was normally in my wheelhouse, it’s them. But b) was the fact that it was about a woman who’d been ghosted and she was going to learn the truth behind the “why” this happened through his phone, yet it wasn’t at all what it seemed.
Not going to lie: I asked for this book because a few years ago, I was ghosted and it absolutely, positively sucked and I wanted to see how Kate handled it and if she ever got a chance to tell the fucker exactly how she felt about that experience.
Honestly, that was it.
That is what drew me in.
So, um, then I read it?
And holy shit.
An ARC copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Publisher: Orbit Books | Release Date: October 2019 | Pages: 496
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Horror | Format: Paperback | Source: ARC
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.
On the Page
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- It wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Not only because it was a wonderfully-written page turner, but how expertly it was crafted to present the facts in one way, yet then suddenly twist and show me another side of it that completely changes the light of how I see everything. That, honestly, blew my away.
- I was also surprised (and slightly ashamed) with how I connected with Kate. In a lot of ways, we’re polar opposites. But how she interacted with her phone? How she couldn’t give up on something and just had to know? How she fixated on the what she thought she knew, thought she saw and create a thread of truths she believed down into her core, only to be completely and totally wrong when the facts presented themselves after she saw them clearly? That, to some degree, I understood. I’m not as attached to social media and my phone as Kate is, but it’s definitely something I’ve wanted to use less and find myself struggling to do so. So seeing the consequences of what happens with it in this book was…eye-opening, to say the least.
- The ending? What actually was going on, the explanations that she discovered? Totally blew me away, didn’t see it coming. I’m still reeling from it and it’s been weeks since I read that novel–in one 24 hour time frame, I might add. I couldn’t put it down. I had to know what happened next. Also, I didn’t expect my heart to break, but there was one specific reveal when it did and man, did it just left me completely gutted.
Ghoster wasn’t at all what I was assuming I’d signed up for (a dating-revenge story), but in so many ways, it was so much more, and I truly, truly enjoyed it; enough that it…almost makes me want to read more thriller novels, like when I used to devour Lahane’s works by the paperback in my braver, younger days.
I mean, my nightmare levels and sleep schedule say differently, but hey: you never know.