The Ghost by Robert Harris

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Synopsis

From the bestselling author of Fatherland and Imperium comes The Ghost, an extraordinarily auspicious thriller of power, politics, corruption, and murder. Dashing, captivating Adam Lang was Britain's longest serving -- and most controversial -- prime minister of the last half century, whose career ended in tatters after he sided with America in an unpopular war on terror. Now, after stepping down in disgrace, Lang is hiding out in wintry Martha's Vineyard to finish his much sought-after, potentially explosive memoir, for which he accepted one of history's largest cash advances. But the project runs aground when his ghostwriter suddenly and mysteriously disappears and later washes up, dead, on the island's deserted shore.

Enter our hero -- Lang's new ghostwriter -- cynical, mercenary, and quick with a line of deadpan humor. Accustomed to working with fading rock stars and minor celebrities, he jumps at the chance to be the new ghost of Adam Lang's memoirs, especially as it means a big payday. At once he flies to Lang's remote location in America to finish the book in the seclusion of a luxurious estate, but it doesn't take him long to realize he has made a fatal error in judgment.

The state of affairs is grim enough when the ghost begins to unearth the bone-chilling circumstances of his predecessor's death. And before long, he discovers that the ex-prime minister is not just a charismatic politician who made a few mistakes. He's a dark, tortured man with haunting secrets in his past -- secrets with the power to alter world politics. Secrets with the power to kill.

Robert Harris is known the world over as a master of his trade. The Ghost is yet another signature, brilliant tour de force that will compel, captivate, and excite readers to the very last shocking page.
 

About Robert Harris

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Robert Harris is the author of Pompeii, Enigma, and Fatherland. He has been a television correspondent with the BBC and a newspaper columnist for the London Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph. His novels have sold more than ten million copies and been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Berkshire, England, with his wife and four children.
 
Published October 23, 2007 by Simon & Schuster. 356 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Horror, Crime. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Lang’s longtime political assistant wrote the wretched draft after much research, but either flung himself or was flung from the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, where the ex-PM is holed up with wife and staff in the publisher’s cottage until the book is fixed.

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The New York Times

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In Robert Harris’s amusingly acerbic new novel, a scribe for hire follows a ghost named Michael James McAra to Martha’s Vineyard.

Oct 25 2007 | Read Full Review of The Ghost

The New York Times

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Though in recent interviews he has protested that “The Ghost” is just a novel, Harris has also described it as a “record of disillusion.” He, along with the folks behind “Called to Account” and “The Trial of Tony Blair,” is part of the large section of British liberal opinion that once had such h...

Nov 04 2007 | Read Full Review of The Ghost

The Guardian

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Roman Polanski's latest movie happens to be about a public figure, once hugely admired, now disgraced, fearing extradition and prosecution and confined to virtual house arrest in a vacation spot for rich people.

Feb 12 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ghost

The Guardian

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The Ghost is Roman Polanski's best film since Tess 30 years ago, and as immaculately crafted a thriller as we're likely to see this year.

Apr 18 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ghost

The Guardian

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The Ghost by Robert Harris 310pp, Hutchinson, £18.99 "Power brings a man many luxuries," wrote Robert Harris in the opening pages of his most recent novel Imperium, "but a clean pair of hands is seldom among them."

Oct 13 2007 | Read Full Review of The Ghost

The Guardian

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The Ghost Robert by Harris Hutchinson £18.99, pp310 If you believe the hype for this book - that the novelist Robert Harris, sometime friend of Tony Blair, has interrupted his Roman trilogy to dash off a thinly veiled, possibly vengeful, novel about the former Prime Minister - then you also have...

Sep 30 2007 | Read Full Review of The Ghost

Publishers Weekly

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Simon & Schuster , $26 (352p) ISBN 978-1416551812Displaying enviable versatility, Harris, who first achieved acclaim with his alternative history, Fatherland , and who more recently showed his mastery of the historical novel in Pompeii , hits one out of the park with this dark paranoid thriller.

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BC Books

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Robert Harris’s new thriller The Ghost begins with the traditional disclaimer: “Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.” If you believe that, well, I’ve got this great bridge down the road that you might want to think about buying… In form ...

Oct 19 2007 | Read Full Review of The Ghost

Book Reporter

Former British Prime Minister Adam Lang is in temporary exile in Martha’s Vineyard and in the process of turning his memoirs into a bestseller.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Ghost

Christian Science Monitor

[This review from the Monitor's archives originally ran on Oct. 19, 2007.] The recipe for The Ghost, Robert Harris's latest thriller, about a recently retired British prime minister and his wife, goes like this: Take a pinch of Bill Clinton, a sprig of Tony Blair, add a dollop of Ronald Reagan, a...

Apr 18 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ghost

London Review of Books

Xavier March, a Sturmbannführer in the Kriminalpolizei – in his early forties, divorced, a bit of an outsider, superficially cynical but inclined to do the right thing when it comes to the crunch (you know the type) – is assigned to the case.

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The New Yorker

(Her Ruth is so angular and hard-edged that she actually seems to belong in this place, where it’s impossible to hide.) Williams’s gaze could sear the fat off a lamb shank, and her line delivery is withering, yet Ruth is badly wounded, and Williams makes her sympathetic—she’s one of the rare actr...

Mar 08 2010 | Read Full Review of The Ghost

Time Out New York

Roman Polanski’s last two films, ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘The Pianist’ were solemn affairs, which is unsurprising, considering their stories.

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Reviews in History

Pompeii is the quintessential ghost story, frequently told by archaeological and literary scribes working together in symbiosis, not always for the good.

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The Caribbean Review of Books (CRB)

A curious resemblance that tells us of distances we have travelled in one shape or another to reach where we are.” Swap Giacometti’s spindly female with the fleshier femmes of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and the ghost seems to be making common cause with Chinua Achebe, who famously argued, in a 19...

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Reader Rating for The Ghost
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