Glen Duncan is the master of writing the nitty gritty of those thoughts which most of us are embarrassed to think, or even verbalise. This book puts us directly into the heads of every one of its characters (bar one, whom we never actually meet, but who casts a shadow into the story). It tells the story of Nathan, who is a ghost at his own funeral, dipping into and out of the minds of the attendees, his family, and into and out of their memories. There is a door with a scary attraction, and two mysterious strangers.
Duncan is at his best when writing the secret thoughts and memories of people. If the human mind really thinks of sex once every 7 minutes, then his is probably slightly ahead of the curve - and yet it feels entirely authentic, the way thoughts meander casually into and out of little flashes of sexuality. He is a magnificent writer, and this book is entirely convincing, compelling and captivating throughout.
The reason it only gets 4 stars, rather than 5, is that for me, the mystery of the death was overplayed at the start, and resolved without the climactic sense of catastrophe I'd been expecting. A lot of anticipation, then never quite paid off. Perhaps that was the point, in some ways, but I could not help feeling slightly disappointed.
Still, I'd highly recommend this as perhaps Duncan's least sinister novel I've read so far...