Review: Ghostly Summons – John A. Karr
For as long as he can remember, Lars Kelsen has been haunted by visions. Mind you, they’re not your everyday visions. He sees dead people. They come to him in the hopes of his helping the authorities to find their bodies, and put their memories to rest. They need closure, and he’s the one to give them just that.
In Lars’ mind, his ‘visions’ are not psychic related. He’s convinced himself that what he sees are figments of his imagination, that the visitors do not truly exist. Yet deep inside, he knows better. The visitors do exist. They do their damnedest to make that fact known, even if they don’t speak or move in doing so. At times, he wishes he could be rid of the uncanny gift he bears, yet its become an ingrained part of him that it’s now hard to let go.
When his latest visitor turns up, Lars isn’t sure as to what to make of it. He’s spent so much time denying his abilities that the woman he now sees makes him question his sanity further. Still, he knows she needs help, and he’s determined to get to the bottom of things, once and for all. In his mind, it’ll help him to lay all of his ghosts to rest. Unfortunately, nothing ever works out as planned, most especially when his sanity comes into to question with every turn he takes.
This was honestly a good story. I enjoyed the premise of it, and do think that John did a good job in setting the stage for the story itself. Lars’ insecurities and indecisions are certainly believable. As he delves deeper into his bouts of despair, we witness his descent into madness. So much so, that the character starts to question whether everything he sees and does is truly real.
I did have a hard time in getting into certain parts of the book. I think this is because some of the statements felt as if they were broken thoughts. It was as if they weren’t fully formed phrases. There were a couple spots were the editing could be tightened up a little. Overall, the premise of the story is a good one. It’s one of those stories that make you question things as you go along, and leave you a tad mind-boggled when you get to the very end.
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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.
About The Author:
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, HippocratesShattered (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.
Connect With Him Online:
Ghostly Summons Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17733941-ghostly-summons
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