Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ghostheart by R. J. Ellory .

Meet Annie O'Neill, she is 30 years old, single and runs a bookstore in Manhattan. A stranger walks into her shop and claims to know her father, who has been dead for 20 years. That is how Ghostheart starts and then the story unfolds. Ghostheart is a very clever story that has small pieces of information that taunt the reader. The story builds steadily and gives you suspicions as to the outcome. Ghostheart is very well thought out and it's beauty is that the details fit like clockwork. There are no loose ends in this novel and it's structure is quite mathematical, almost like a spreadsheet. You discover as you read through this book the mystery behind Annie's father. The joy of this book is how it draws you in and it is impossible not to think about what will happen next. Ghostheart is not a book to wash over you, it turns you into a spotter.

R. J. Ellory writes a colourful and observational tale of how people mix with each other in our cities. Other than the basic story surrounding the life of Annie's father, Ghostheart explores really well the loneliness of city life. How people can live in a densely packed area, yet lack the human contact of those strangers that they pass. However, there can be those lovely special moments when strangers cross paths, nothing happens but they wonder what might have happened had they not walked away, never to meet again. Could that glance shared with a stranger be something special, that could have turned into meeting your soul-mate in that vast sea of humanity? Ghostheart gives a very good observation of city life and the plight of single, lonely people.

The mystery surrounding the life of Annie's father, brings the reader into contact with the darker, criminal side of life, the underbelly of our cities. On page 379 I felt very sad for Annie as there is a very emotional scene, that really pulled at my heart strings. I felt great sadness for Annie as this appeared to be almost the end of this novel. I thought that the end of this novel would be really sad but there was one detail that had yet to be resolved. This detail had been known to the reader from very early on in this novel and it's explanation brought a lift to the end of this dramatic story.

I really enjoyed reading Ghostheart and I shall vote it the maximum score of 5 stars on book army . I can really recommend this mystery thriller that has 390 pages and was written in 2004. It was published in paperback in 2005 and reissued in 2008 - a good move by the publisher because this book is so good and some people may have missed it, earlier in the shops.
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