The Ghost reads like a book the writer had to write. For this reader, it was also a book the reader had to read to the end – despite the story it tells being harrowing at times. Dorian Cook had a childhood that didn’t lack love but was poor in material terms (though I never did fix the location – Manchester? Stoke? where?). As an adult he mostly presents to the world the appearance of a successful life – but buried in his past is an act of unspeakable barbarity committed by him and two other boys and it comes back to haunt and threaten him. The story effectively interweaves past and present and we get to know who and what Dorian is and how he became that person and to care what happens to him. The denouement is satisfying the way a good white burgundy you haven’t tasted in a while satisfies – you think, “Yes. Of course. That’s how it’s supposed to be” and I admired the way Andrew Lowe had given plenty of clues but still surprised me at the end. A first rate piece of writing by someone I hope we will hear more from.
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