cover image Ghostheart


R.J. Ellory. Overlook, $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4683-1126-6

First published in the U.K. in 2004, this less than plausible thriller from Ellory (Saints of New York) offers little action, most of which occurs in the story within a story—the chapters of an unpublished manuscript that Manhattan bookstore proprietor Annie O’Neill receives from a mysterious stranger, who claims to have been a friend of the father who disappeared from her life when she was seven. The sheltered, single 30-year-old Annie is fascinated by the bloody adventures in the manuscript of career criminal Harry Rose and his partner, Johnnie Redbird, whom Harry will one day betray. And she uncharacteristically starts to live a little more dangerously herself (unless you already count residing in what must be the only apartment building without a front-door lock in Morningside Heights), plunging into a steamy affair with a man she barely knows. Anyone less naive than Annie should have little trouble anticipating the major plot revelations, if not the final twist. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (June)