Tuesday, January 24, 2012

THE GHOST SHIP - Blending history and fiction

A Review of:

The Ghost Ship
Author: Gerrie Ferris Finger
Reviewer: Paul Kendall - K3Book - U.K.

The ghost ship is The Carroll A Deering it was lost in 1921. What happened to her crew? Nobody knows. Woo, spooky, The wild Atlantic coast of the United States, North Carolina is where the ship went down and the book really does take you there.

You can hear the sea birds, you can smell sea air, you feel like you are walking down a wild wind swept beach, as the words of the kindle text to speech, appear in your head. This book is well written.

Ann Gavrion is the main character, At first, Ann seems to be a stereotypical superstitious type with a liking for gin and tonic. I thought hello, she has had a few too many (poor girl) and is seeing ghosts. we have all done it, (if we are honest), I used to see visions of Dolly Parton singing 9 to 5 at the end of my bed after a heavy nights drinking.

Anyway, then you the reader are captured by the story. Ann, as it turns out is just the opposite of what you first thought, she is not this irrational superstitious mystic, because she is not just "seeing things".

The ghost are usually in the head of the beholder, but not in this story. I don't know why, but this aspect of the book came as a bit of a surprise, a real punch in the kisser.

There is more than a hint of science in the book, the answer to the ghostly goings on? Well I am not sure about that, but may be… it's interesting. That's all I want to say, read the book to see what I mean.

If anyone asks me about the secret of this book, I grab ahold of their arm and say (in a dramatic fashion), "we don't like to talk about it round hear, OK".

The book is full of brilliant characters all very memorable. Mr and Mrs Sweeny were my favourites. But the author has also built a light house in our imagination, we see and feel the spirit of the wild Atlantic coast, the ghost ship, the bar, the guest house, the media following, Ann around like those storm chasers, it all works.

The book is a good read, it's gripping and very enjoyable. The whales beaching. (my theory is they don't want to drown, so they commit suicide by beaching themselves on land). May be desperate men in storms do the same ? The book is full of thought provoking events and encounters and theories. The history of that coast line, the storms, the names and places are all well researched. Take the place name Cape Fear for instance, (mentioned in the book), whoever named it cape fear was more than hinting at the legions of dead sailors who had encountered a horrific death there over the years. That's partly what the book is all about, lost souls that come back to haunt the living? Come back from where is the secret that I dare not tell you,, woo, spooky. Err well.. Yes it is actually.

The book has a lot of bread crumbs left around for the reader to follow, as I have said, some interesting historic references, some clues for the detectives to enjoy, some sex, some romance but not too much. Throw in the Bermuda triangle, whales, birds, a cat with six toes, the media, the ghost ship, small boats, a lighthouse and a cast of great characters, then you have it. So slug back a gin and tonic and enjoy. (Remember if you want to splice the main brace you will need some Rum for that). It's not just salty old sea dogs who will like this book (the 2 million people with boats in Europe, Australia and North America) I think the market for this book is of course much wider.

The book is highly recommended. 
Paul Kendall Leeds, UK

Print edition now available: http://amzn.to/v47bAo
Kindle ebook: http://amzn.to/r3imp5
Read and enjoy!
Gerrie Ferris Finger