Kate Collins has been ghosted.
She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty apartment. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared.
Except for his mobile phone.
Kate knows she shouldn’t hack into Scott’s phone. She shouldn’t look at his Tinder, his calls, his social media. But she can’t quite help herself.
That’s when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn’t recognize. Scratch marks on the walls that she can’t explain. And the growing feeling that she’s being watched.
Kate refuses to leave the apartment – she’s not going anywhere until she’s discovered what happened to Scott. But the deeper she dives into Scott’s digital history the more Kate realizes just how little she really knows about the man she loves. Much like he did with The Last Days of Jack Sparks, Jason Arnopp again delivers an insanely readable & unique horror novel, with modern technology at the heart of it.
Ghoster tells the story of Kate Collins, a paramedic living in Leeds. One night, she “Super Likes” a guy named Scott on Tinder. She feels like he’s out of her league, and doesn’t expect much to come from it. So the whirlwind romance that follows comes as a bit of a shock to her. As does Scott’s asking her to move in with him.
But the biggest shock of all is, after not hearing from Scott for the entire day before she is planning to move in, she arrives at his apartment to find it empty. No Scott. No furniture. Nothing except his cell phone.
Which is problematic for Kate in more ways than one. Not only is the phone password protected, but Kate isn’t sure she should open it even if she can. Because Kate is a recovering smartphone addict. She carries one of those old school & seemingly indestructible Nokias. No internet. No Twitter. No constantly hitting refresh, refresh, refresh, chasing those tiny hits of dopamine. No funny memes & cat videos. So in a weird way, even though she’s very much in love with Scott, there’s a whole side of him that she doesn’t know. She can’t see what he posts to social media, and given that he’s disappeared, that might be helpful.
I’ve probably posted about this before, but when it comes to horror movies, I scare very easily. Like, I’m full-on bringing a blanket up just under my eyes & jumping out of my fucking skin. But books? It’s just more rare for me…certainly I’ve read plenty of things that were disturbing or upsetting, but being genuinely scared by a book is not that common for me.
This is the second time I’ve been completely terrified reading a Jason Arnopp novel.
He really puts you in the moment with Kate…standing in that empty apartment, wrestling with two horrible ideas: that Scott has either ghosted her, or that something truly terrible has happened to him. There’s so much in this book about insecurity, about low self-esteem, about self-loathing. Kate is someone I found myself relating to in many ways…and Scott, too.
I’ve only read two books by Jason Arnopp, and both quite recently. I flew though each of them in just a couple days, and was completely absorbed in the story. The Last Days of Jack Sparks and Ghoster are unquestionably horror novels, but they are both so totally unique…it’s like Arnopp is a genre unto himself! Ghoster is scary as hell, funny, & frantic. This is a book that asks a lot more questions than it answers, and feels deeply socially relevant. I absolutely fucking loved this!
Massive thanks to Orbit for sending me a copy! Ghoster releases on October 22nd!