cover image Ghosts Know

Ghosts Know

Ramsey Campbell. Tor, $25.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3633-0

Campbell’s latest novel is intelligently crafted and flawlessly paced, with carefully delineated characters and an uncanny ability to confound readers’ expectations. Though the venerable Campbell (Midnight Sun) is known for horror, this is more a tale of psychological suspense set against a wittily constructed backdrop of conglomerate-controlled media. British radio host Graham Wilde enjoys his role as the smartest guy in the room, infuriating his most irrational listeners while entertaining an ever-increasing audience. Then Wilde picks the wrong target. His on-air deconstruction of the methods of theatrical psychic Frank Jasper, who has joined the search for missing 15-year-old Kylie Goodchild, provokes retaliation from Wilde’s listeners, his bosses, and the police. As Jasper vindictively forges links between Wilde and the crime, Campbell mines the suspense through deliberately ambiguous dialogue and Wilde’s own frustrating intractability. In an increasingly oppressive atmosphere, Wilde’s detached skepticism blossoms into a paranoid rage, and doubt is artfully cast as to whether he is wrongly accused or just cornered. Campbell is in top form, cleverly pulling readers’ strings at every turn. (Oct.)