The Ghost Writer by John Harwood

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Synopsis

In this tantalizing tale of Victorian ghost stories and family secrets, timid, solitary librarian Gerard Freeman lives for just two things: his elusive pen pal Alice and a story he found hidden in his mother's drawer years ago. Written by his great-grandmother Viola, it hints at his mother's role in a sinister crime. As he discovers more of Viola's chilling tales, he realizes that they might hold the key to finding Alice and unveiling his family's mystery-or will they bring him the untimely death they seem to foretell?

Harwood's astonishing, assured debut shows us just how dangerous family skeletons-and stories-can be.


 

About John Harwood

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John Harwood is the author of two previous novels of Victorian Gothic suspense. Aside from fiction, his published work includes biography, poetry, political journalism and literary history. His acclaimed first novel, The Ghost Writer, won the International Horror Guild's First Novel Award. He lives in Hobart, Australia.
 
Published June 1, 2005 by Mariner Books. 386 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Ghost Writer

Kirkus Reviews

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British author Harwood’s touch in evoking the relation between the visual arts and inner states of mind is admirably sure, and Gerard does in fact untangle the family mysteries and find out the identity of his pen-pal Alice—but not before spirits and ghostlike voices have given him a number of pr...

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AV Club

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Gerard Freeman, the protagonist of John Harwood's novel The Ghost Writer, has three obsessions: his mother's stories about the family estate he's never visited, the gothic horror fiction of the great-grandmother he never knew, and his boyhood "penfriend" Alice, who signs her letters "your invisib...

Aug 02 2004 | Read Full Review of The Ghost Writer

Entertainment Weekly

With The Ghost Writer, his intricate and engrossing first novel, John Harwood raises the ghost of the Victorian ghost story, goosing the action with a modern spin.

Jun 30 2004 | Read Full Review of The Ghost Writer

Reviewing the Evidence

The book mixes elements of a memoir, an epistolary novel, a diary, a short story anthology, a character study, and a gothic Victorian novel inside Gerard's quest in learning the family secrets.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Winter Entertainment Weekly 3.5 of 5 Stars "With his intricate and engrossing first novel, Harwood raises the ghost of the Victorian ghost story, goosing the action with a modern spin.

Oct 08 2007 | Read Full Review of The Ghost Writer

ReviewingtheEvidence.com

The conundrum is intricate and the story at times nicely calculated to send shivers of terror rippling down one's spine The character of Gerard is completely convincing.

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Reader Rating for The Ghost Writer
65%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 214 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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