Ghostwriter Review
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For years, best-selling author Dennis Shore has been scaring his readers with chilling stories about ghosts and demons and other things that go bump in the night. But he’s never believed in any of that stuff—ghosts, demons, heaven, hell—until now.

For the last year—ever since his beloved wife, Lucy, died—Dennis hasn’t been able to write. So, months ago, with a deadline looming, he decided to submit a manuscript that he didn’t write. Now that the book is a critical success, though, the real author, an obsessive young fan named Cillian Reed, has started harassing Dennis—and threatening to make his life even more miserable than it already is.

Then again, Cillian Reed is more than just another crazed fan. He’s dangerous. Still, when Dennis’s own stories start coming to life before his tired, disbelieving eyes, he begins to wonder whether he’s just losing his mind.

Ghostwriter is an unusual kind of story: a Christian-based horror novel, filled with all kinds of unpleasant characters—both living and dead. It’s certainly an intriguing concept, but it also makes for a pretty tough sell—because readers who are looking for an overtly Christian novel might find some of the scenes to be too gruesome, while readers who are looking for a chilling horror novel might find it to be too sentimental.

On one hand, this is pretty creepy, suspenseful stuff. Its horrors (both natural and supernatural) are sure to turn your stomach and haunt your dreams. On the other hand, though, Thrasher often devotes several pages at a time to Dennis’s tearful recollections of his late wife, which tends to make the story drag.

The uneven style, however, is only the beginning. Ghostwriter also suffers from a somewhat convoluted and underdeveloped plot. Chronologically, it bounces back and forth, from Dennis’s present-day story to Cillian’s story over the past several years…and then back to Dennis again. Yet Thrasher fails to give readers a solid understanding of the story’s most intriguing character: Cillian. We never really find out who he is…or why he’s doing what he’s doing. And when the story comes to an end, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The pieces just don’t come together in a satisfying way. And although the conclusion of Dennis’s story is an appropriate one, I still can’t say that I completely understand what happened or why.

Ghostwriter was built on a great concept—one that I’d love to try reading again. But although Ghostwriter does have some truly suspenseful and haunting moments, Thrasher tried to incorporate a few too many horrors into the story, and the result is simply too busy and complicated to make it a satisfying read.

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