I took this novel on holiday and ended up walking around the apartment with it, bumping into furniture. I put it down to sleep and to eat, and that's about it. I became horribly unsociable until I'd finished it. I then couldn't, in a home full of books, find one other I wanted to read. Because although I'd closed Ghostheart, the story and the characters hadn't left me.
Roger Ellory's talent in creating real humans, with all their loves, fears, complexities, cruelties and dark corners, is one of the joys of reading his work. I don't know who I'm going to meet next, and I start each one of his novels curious to get to know new people. I may loathe them, they may make me shudder, or I may even, as with this one, fall in love with them. I always remember them. Jack Sullivan, Annie's irascible, booze-soaked but golden-hearted neighbour who adores her, is a wonderful creation.
I found the character of Annie quite entrancing, I could identify with her loneliness and her searching, and I wanted her to find who she was looking for. Will it be the seductive but elusive David Quinn?
There are some teeth-rattling horrors in Ghostheart, which haven't left me either, starting at Auschwitz and moving forward into the brutal gangland world of America in the 50s and 60s. All of it has the raw stench of authenticity which made it both difficult, and compulsive, to read. I had to know what happened.
It all works beautifully together, and I loved it.