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Ghostheart Paperback – Jan 17 2005

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I think he is terrific, an author well worth watching and recommending.―Sarah Broadhurst

About the Author

R.J. Ellory is the critically acclaimed author of several novels including the bestselling A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS, which was a Richard & Judy Book Club selection and won the NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR CRIME FICTION PRIZE. Ellory's novels have been translated into 23 languages, and he has won the USA EXCELLENT AWARD FOR BEST MYSTERY, the STRAND MAGAZINE BEST THRILLER 2009, the THEAKSTONS OLD PECULIER CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR for A SIMPLE ACT OF VIOLENCE and the QUEBEC LAUREAT. He has been shortlisted for a further 13 awards including four Daggers from the UK Crime Writers' Association. Despite the American setting of his novels, Ellory is British and currently lives in England with his wife and son. To find out more visit

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A great story - A damn good read July 18 2008
By JT - Published on
Format: Paperback
When you read the accolades on the back page of any novel they're going to be complimentary. When you read the synopsis of the story contained within the outer sleeve, it'll sound interesting and worth a read. In a lot of cases, the resultant purchase of the book turns out to be a disappointment and you feel you've wasted both money and time on that book.

Not so in the case of Ghostheart. The accolades and synopsis are well desverved and accurate. This is a really great storyline which has a few catch-you-out moments just to keep you guessing who is really who that little bit longer.

As with other Ellory books that I've read, the fleshed out characters become so real that you get involved in their "lives" and just want to keep reading their story till you've got right to the last page.

This is my third RJ Ellory novel and I am left wanting to read the remaining books in his catalogue. His stories are just so interesting, well paced and filled with such believable characters that you can become lost in the fantasy american lives he's describing.

A great story and a damn good read.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Full Of Vengeance and Betrayal Aug. 3 2008
By Big Bertha - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Loved it! This is the first book I read by this author and from start to finish I was enthralled.

Annie O'Neill is a single person who owns a used bookstore in New York City. Her father died when she was young and her mother when she was 17. Her life is pretty uneventful until an elderly man, Robert Franklin Forrester, appears at the store with a chapter from a manuscript for her along with letters from her father to her mother that her mother had never received.

The main book is set in the present with another storyline running alongside spanning the years from Auschwitz to America in the sixties. The past and the present are both equally gripping.

A book full of vengence and betrayal - if you haven't read it yet, believe me it's worth reading!
R.J. Ellory sets off a chain reaction at the end of the book that is still merrily exploding as the reader reaches the last page June 9 2015
By Bookreporter - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Two things immediately become obvious after reading the first few pages of GHOSTHEART. The first is that it is beautifully, even exquisitely, written. Those who have experienced the depth of the quality of R.J. Ellory’s literary work will not find this surprising. The second is that Ellory proceeds at his own pace when he proceeds at all.

GHOSTHEART was initially published in 2004 and is being released in hardcover in the United States for the first time. I would guess that it was written a good three or four years before that, given that the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers is not even afforded a mention during the narrative. eBooks are also the stuff of science fiction, more or less. As a result, the story seems older than it really is, which, in the instant case, is a good thing.

The opening passages introduce an attractive and literate but lonely 30-year-old woman named Annie O’Neill, who lives in New York and owns a bookstore called The Reader’s Rest on the Upper West Side. Originally owned by Annie’s long-absent father, The Reader’s Rest is the type of bookstore that anyone who enjoys reading would love to have around the corner from them, a jumble of unorganized used hardcovers and paperbacks that demand browsing and an open-mindedness that eschews genre-shopping. Annie has a couple of older male friends who are a bit odd but loyal and harmless.

Lest one thinks that they have stumbled into Howards End, things pick up when an elderly, enigmatic gentleman named Robert Franklin Forrester enters the store and introduces himself as a friend of Annie’s father. He offers Annie pieces of her past, doled out weekly in the form of letters from her father to her more recently deceased mother, as well as a manuscript. The latter, chapter by chapter, is an account of a man who took three different names over the course of his lifetime and went from a concentration camp survivor during World War II to a New York crime lord in the 1950s and ’60s. This book within a book is not for the faint-hearted, especially in its opening chapter, which is unrelentingly cringe-inducing in its descriptions of inhumanity. Still, it provides a counterpoint to the steady, monotonous hum of Annie’s existence, which threatens to quietly drown her in its own ennui.

However, that frozen lake is broken with the appearance of another customer, a man named David Quinn, who upends Annie’s passive social life and shows her things she has never seen before. Forrester, meanwhile, makes his weekly appearances, with more chapters of the manuscript and occasional letters, all the while seemingly putting Annie off when she raises the subject of her father. There is much to be revealed, and, as Annie soon learns, there are some things better left unlearned. Or is there such a thing? The book, in its way, provides the answer.

GHOSTHEART is definitely climax-driven. Ellory sets off a chain reaction at the end of the book that is still merrily exploding as the reader reaches the last page. While not representative of Ellory’s other work, it is beautifully written. I’m not entirely in agreement with its classification as a thriller --- certainly it is a domestic drama, with a twist or five --- but, like The Reader’s Rest, it is probably best not to quibble over genres. This is not a book I would reflexively give to someone as an introduction to Ellory, but those, like myself, who insist on reading everything he writes ultimately will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Two Stories, One Heart Nov. 17 2010
By PaleolithNick - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What is the nature of loneliness? What is the nature of nostalgia? Faith and trust?

How about vengeance?

Ghostheart explores this questions through rich, believable characters in a story of slow-building psychological suspense unlike many you'll read. At the center of the story is Annie O'Neill's quest to understand her father, her own human condition, and a mysterious book that links her lonely present to her father's shadowy past. Conveyed through a primary narrative and the reproduced text of the book, Annie's quest takes her through love, lust, danger, and turmoil.

As always, RJ Ellory captures voice and heart like few crime writers. The characters will move into the corners of your mind, and they will not move out. This is a thriller with a literary touch and a wonderful human spirit.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An Amazing Book! April 5 2011
By Holly Pop - Published on
Format: Paperback
I thought the character Annie in this book was really believeable, the plot was excellent and I couldn't put the book down. I had to konw what happened to the character Annie as I was desperate for her to have a happy ending. I wont say what happens so as not to spoil the book for others but the ending was very satisfying. This isn't the first R.J. Ellory book that I have read and all have been brilliant. I intend to read all of his books. Great stories by a great writer.

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