Originally published: 24 October 2019
Author: Jason Arnopp
Published by: Orbit
Length: 449 pages
Reading dates: 24-28 October 2019
Kate Collins, a paramedic meets her perfect man, Scott at a digital detox retreat. After a few months of dating, Scott asks Kate to move to Brighton to live in his cool flat complete with a sea view.
But in the days leading up to Kate’s move, she can’t get hold of Scott. He doesn’t answer her texts and she starts to feel uneasy. Having already committed to moving, and reasoning he could maybe have lost his phone and not have her number saved anywhere else, she arrives in Brighton. On going to his flat, she finds it empty – all his possessions have vanished except for his mobile phone abandoned on the balcony.
Kate reasons it is perfectly acceptable to look at his phone – to see what he has been up to on Tinder, Facebook and Twitter. But then spooky things start happening. She gets strange whispering phone calls from number she doesn’t recognise. Scratch marks on the front door she can’t explain. And an unmistakable feeling of being watched…
Kate is the main character in this book and the story is told from her point of view. She has given up her smart-phone after her colleague and best friend Izzy is injured and Kate blames herself, having been distracted by looking at her phone when she should have been working. I liked her as a character and her friendship with Izzy is great.
I can totally understand some people being addicted to mobile phones and apps (I look at my phone far more than I should) and it was an interesting study on how our lives are ruled by these devices and the apps on them – always looking for affirmation from our followers. I did feel Scott having a diary on his phone (for Kate to find and read) was maybe a little unrealistic and was a little bit too convenient for explaining his point of view and the plot.
Having not read any of Arnopp’s work before, I was surprised I found this so spooky! I certainly wasn’t expecting the supernatural direction the story took and I really enjoyed this element of the story. I also loved that it was set in Brighton which was my home town for a number of years. I really liked recognising pubs and restaurants I’d been too and I might have added one or two to my list of places I want to go.
Certainly a memorable read, it was both thrilling and eerily unpredictable. I really want to read The Last Days of Jack Sparks now!
Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me on the blog tour and to Orbit for sending me a copy! Be sure to checkout the other stops below:
About the author:
Jason Arnopp is the author of the brand new chiller-thriller novel Ghoster (2019) and The Last Days Of Jack Sparks (2016). He is also the co-author of Inside Black Mirror with Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.
Arnopp wrote the Lionsgate horror feature film Stormhouse, the New Line Cinema novel Friday The 13th: Hate-Kill-Repeat, various official Doctor Who works of fiction (including the BBC audiobook Doctor Who: The Gemini Contagion) and script-edited the 2012 Peter Mullan film The Man Inside.
Arnopp has also written 2012’s Beast In The Basement, a horror novella available at Amazon, and experimental ghost story A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home.
He is the author of non-fiction ebook How To Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne And Everyone Else. He is on Twitter here, and is represented by literary agent Oli Munson at The AM Heath Agency. He is also represented for film and TV by Lawrence Mattis at Circle Of Confusion.