Monday, July 15, 2013

Ghostly Summons by John A Karr (4 stars)


About Ghostly Summons

Lars Kelsen doesn’t believe in psychic phenomenon. To him, visions of murder victims are a form of mental illness. Once they begin, options are limited; he can try to ignore them or deal with them by exposing a killer. Only the latter provides any semblance of peace. Temporarily, anyway. Five years into his new life as a programmer, Kelsen—ex-crime beat reporter with a penance he can never fully satisfy—sees a victim.

In person. Upright. Staring.

Typical of such past "Visits" as he calls them, he doesn’t welcome this one. The nude form of a beautiful millionairess in his cubicle means murder has come to the vacation haven known as North Carolina’s Outer Banks. It means he’ll have to go places he'd rather avoid. See things he'll wish he hadn’t. Do things that don't come naturally, like in-your-face confrontation and bending the law. Actually, breaking the law ... but with good intent. It also means dealing with one very attractive county coroner, who pushes his buttons in a not entirely unwelcome way.

So begins Kelsen's return to investigative reporting—complete with attempts on his life, fights, deception, and all the technological tricks, such as GPS and computer hacking, at his disposal. And maybe even finding a new love interest.

eBook Price: $3.99
Pages: 326
Publisher: Dark Continents
Release: March 14, 2013

Review

Can you imagine life with dead people following you around?

For Lars Kelsen, it's a way of life. As much as he tries to convince himself he's mentally falling apart or as hard as he tries to run from his own life, he feels compelled to help the dead victims who appear before him--visitors as he calls them.

Trying to reinvent himself in North Carolina's Outer Banks, Lars is drawn into the murder of a millionaire's wife. His search for answers puts his own life in jeopardy, as the murderer (or murderers) is determined to shut him up. Can Lars survive, or will he become a visitor himself?

Intrigue and suspense pull the reader from page to page, but Ghostly Summons offers more than that. Lars is a character readers can care about--he's equal parts strength and vulnerability. He has suffered many losses thanks to his ability to see dead murder victims.

But most readers will be hooked by the twists and turns of the who-done-it. I was left guessing until the last few pages and on the edge of my seat until all was finally revealed. My only complaint... there was a bit of lull right around the middle. Once I got past that, it was a captivating thrill ride.

Rating: 4 stars

About John A Karr

John A. Karr believes fiction writing each day helps keep the demons at bay. Ghostly Summons is his first full-length novel for Dark Continents Publishing. DCP has also published his Weird West novella, Ujahwek. He is the author of a handful of other novels: Death Clause, Hippocrates Shattered (scheduled for reprint by World Castle Publications as Shattered), Rhone, and Van Gogh, Encore. His short stories have appeared on webzines Allegory, The Absent Willow Review, and Danse Macabre. More works are in progress and in the marketing queue.

Karr is an ardent believer in the quote by Carl Van Doren (1885-1950), U.S. man of letters: Yes, it's hard to write, but it's harder not to.


For more information, please visit his website, his blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

Buy Ghostly Summons

Note: I received a complimentary copy from Tribute Books for review purposes. No other compensation was received. A positive review was not guaranteed or requested; the views expressed are my own.

For more information on Tribute Books, please visit their website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

3 comments:

Tribute Books said...

Tia, I agree. You can't help rooting for Lars. He really is a great character. Thanks for the review :)

P.S. I love the pics on our Facebook page of your cross country trip!

John A. Karr said...

Tia, thanks for reading and reviewing Ghostly Summons!

John

Tia Bach said...

Nicole - Thanks for including me on the tour and the comment about my trip--it's been an adventure.

John - Funny aside. My parents live in Chocowinity, NC. Crazy to see it in a book. Nobody knows where it is. ;-)