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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
368 pages
May 2009


by Travis Thrasher

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


[Warning: some spoilers in this review.] Ghostwriter has an amazingly different twist when Dennis Shore, a horror writer, comes down with a case of writer’s block after his wife dies and his daughter goes to college. With his agent asking him about the new novel he’s supposed to be writing, Dennis makes the bad decision to plagiarize the work of an unknown writer named Cillian Reed. After being warned that his new novel cannot be published because it is actually the true story of a young girl who appears to have been raped, Shore’s life turns into pages from his own horror novels. In the end, pain is felt, but lessons are learned.

At times, the book goes into a flashback that shows the relationship Dennis had with his wife. They had a strong one, but she believed in heaven, hell, and Christ, and he didn’t. The flashbacks show the tug-of-war between the two and their beliefs. Shore and his daughter, Audrey, also have a close relationship, even though she has beliefs like her mom. Shore’s neighbors are mentioned, because they play a key role in this horror story. For instance, Bob, his neighbor’s son, has become Cillian’s friend, and shows Cillian how things are done by letting him tag along and even help in murdering people. This way, Cillian will know how to write about these grisly matters, because, as mentioned earlier, he is an aspiring horror novelist himself.

But, Cillian Reed, the man who has been turning Dennis Shore’s life into one horror novel after another, is supposedly dead. He was chopped to pieces one night after failing to murder a young woman he and Bob had brought home. Only in the middle of the book does Shore figure out that Cillian Reed is dead and the events taking place are from his horror novels. As he tries to figure out a way to stop Cillian (dead or alive), things escalate to where his daughter is in danger.

Shore is a man who wants to control everything. He wants to protect everyone and direct his and their lives. This is why he writes his horror novels. He can control what happens in the novels, when he can’t control the bad things that happen in his own life. Dennis struggles with his faith versus his wife’s faith. He struggles with what is real in the spirit world and what is real in the natural world. One Scripture reference that might have been portrayed in this story is Mark 9:24, which says, “…help me overcome my unbelief!” Dennis struggles with believing, and the struggle is all the more evident when he is in the midst of his troubles. His wife is caring, but she gets a little frustrated with him at times. The relationships of the other characters is that of coworkers and friends, but they come off as realistic, even if secondary to the main plot focus.

I thought the book was amazing. Once I started, I couldn’t stop turning page after page. In the end, I felt satisfied. The book came to a logical conclusion with nothing lacking. I would recommend this book for anyone above the age of 18, simply because of some of the graphic content. It is a great book that touches on the subject of the spirit world, using characters that seem real, and also on the subject of faith and belief. – Mindy T. Kreilein,

Book Jacket:

For years Dennis Shore has thrilled readers with his spooky bestselling novels. Now a widower, Dennis is finally alone in his house, his daughter attending college out of state. When he's stricken by a paralyzing case of writer's block and a looming deadline, Dennis becomes desperate. Against better judgment, he claims someone else's writing as his own, accepting undeserved accolades for the stolen work. He thinks he's gotten away with it . . . until he's greeted by a young man named Cillian Reed--the true author of the stolen manuscript.

What begins as a minor case of harassment quickly spirals out of control. As Cillian's threats escalate, Dennis finds himself on the brink of losing his career, his sanity, and even his life. The horror he's spent years writing about has arrived on his doorstep, and Dennis has nowhere to run.