Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ghosts Know by Ramsey Campbell

Standalone
288p.
Publisher: Tor Books
Available Now
Source: From publisher for review
Ramsey Campbell's Ghosts Know is a fascinating exploration of the twists and turns of reality-media personalities, the line between the dead and the living… and how the truth can be twisted to serve all manner of reality. 
Graham Wilde is a contentious, bombastic host of the talk radio program Wilde Card. His job, as he sees it, is to stir the pot, and he is quite good at it, provoking many a heated call with his eccentric and often irrational audience. He invites Frank Jasper, a purported psychic, to come on the program. He firmly believes that the man is a charlatan, albeit a talented one. When Jasper appears on his show, Wilde draws upon personal knowledge about the man to embarrass him on air, using patter similar to that which Jasper utilizes in his act. 
Wilde's attack on Jasper earns him the enmity of his guest and some of the members of his audience. He next encounters Jasper when the psychic is hired by the family of a missing adolescent girl to help them find her. Wilde is stunned and then horrified when Jasper seems to suggest that he might be behind the girl's disappearance. 
Thus begins a nightmarish journey as circumstantial evidence against Wilde begins to mount, alienating his listeners, the radio station, and eventually, his lover. As Wilde descends into a pit of despair, reality and fantasy begin to blur in a kaleidoscope of terror…
My thoughts:
The author writes horror, but for me this book was more a thriller mystery book. I could see how it is labeled horror as you did feel like you were on the edge of your seat trying to figure out what was going on. The main character, Graham Wilde is an arrogant radio show host who is trying to please everyone for a job he hates. He is quick to anger, but has not shown any real aggression... or has he? Unfortunately I did not like his character until the end. Still, I was drawn to what was happening and wanted to solve the murder mystery he found himself surrounded.

I didn't like Graham because he was arrogant, too quick to anger and he kept pulling stupid stunts and getting himself integrated into the murder mystery. He just couldn't see what he was doing to himself because he was too busy pointing the finger at others. However, it was a very clever way by the author to get him involved in a murder he wouldn't have any real association with otherwise.

I also admit that I was a bit lost at the beginning. Not sure why or if it was me or the book, but I just couldn't keep who was who straight in my head until about 1/2 the book. It wasn't crucial to the mystery, just confusing. This also wasn't a big character driven book for me, but it drove me in it's plot. I really became involved in who did what and why.

I give this book 3 stars. I personally like a more character driven plot but I will say that the mystery itself really drew me in. I do like the twists and turns this book took and I didn't guess who did it in the end. So for those that like a book that keeps you guessing, this may be your book!

24 comments:

  1. Well it's intriguing, I really like the cover and I love to have a good mystery. Well too bad for the the little problems...

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    1. It was little things so I did end up liking it for the mystery. :)

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  2. I really love the cover of this one, but I feel like I'd have the same issues with characterization and pacing that you did. I also enjoy mysteries, though, so I'll probably read this at some point, maybe just not soon. Thanks for such a helpful review, Melissa!

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    1. The mystery was interesting. It might really capture you.

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  3. I hate when I get confused about characters and who's who. About half the time, it's my fault & half the time, it's the book. *sigh*

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  4. I got this one for my library because I loved the sound of the mystery in this book but it's a bummer that the characterization is a bit weak. I, too, love a character driven mystery. I'll put this one on my maybe to read list when I'm looking for something to read.

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    1. You might end up enjoying the characters more than I did... it just wasn't there for me.

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  5. I have found that thrillers don't always have great characters. It does sound like the mystery was strong!!!!!!!

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  6. Grant definitely sounds frustrating with his attitude and the stunts he pulls, but I'm glad the plot was a highlight for you Melissa! Twists and turns are always a good thing, especially if the characters don't necessarily stand out:) Fabulous review!

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    1. Plus, it is good when you can't figure out the who done it in the end. :)

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  7. Sounds good, but maybe not the mystery for me

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  8. On the edge of my seat I can cope with having to sleep with the lights on scary I can't so this sounds ideal for me. Plus I love the cover.

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    1. Yea, I haven't purposefully read one of those yet. :D

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  9. Fab review! Mysteries are something I can always get into. And if it puts me on the edge of my seat then yes, I want to read it.

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    1. Oh I would love to know what you think of this one.

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  10. i love a good mystery with lots of suspense and twists. This sounds like a good pick even if it was a bit confusing at the beginning, I would be willing to give it a try.

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  11. Oh this sounded good and I love thriller/horror. It's sad that you felt lost, and didn't like some of the characters, it makes it hard to engage. Wonderful review Melissa!

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  12. I'm always up for a mystery/thrilles myself, only I don't think this would work for me since I'm not overly fond of unlikeable main characters. So an arrogant MC would probably ruin things for me.
    Fabulous review, Melissa.

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  13. I love when a mystery can keep me guessing, but I also prefer more character driven stories. Still this sounds interesting, so maybe I can overlook his arrogance. Great review!

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  14. I like books that have more character focus too, but when it comes to a mystery, sometimes all it needs is to keep you guessing. Sounds like a good one; I hadn't heard of it, so thanks for the review.

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  15. I do like thriller mysteries more than horror. I'm just not so sure about this main character, he's not sounding too appealing to me.

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