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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ghosts of Belfast - Stuart Neville

Released July 2012

Stuart Neville
Soho Crime

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Ghosts of Belfast is a book I wholeheartedly recommend. It's not quite a mystery, not quite horror/paranormal, kind of a mix of the two. It keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering who is next.

Gerry Fegan, a retired hit man for the Irish Republic Army, never expected his "retirement" to go so off course. He's followed by the ghosts of the people he killed. Their spirits won't rest until he kills the people behind their deaths. He'll keep seeing them and hearing their screams until he does their bidding, but that means committing crimes he swore he'd never commit again.

I never would have imagined finding Gerry to be such a likeable character, but he really was. The ghosts that haunt him play an important part in the story, and you learn more about them as the story progresses. That's where the mystery comes into play. You don't know who is next or why they ordered the hit until it's their time.

The ghosts themselves aren't really horrific, but the horror of knowing what they want is pretty creepy. I'd like to think some of the serial killers on death row are haunted by those they killed, but who knows. It's an intriguing premise though.

Originally published in Ireland as The Twelve, Ghosts of Belfast certainly dished up the wow factor I was craving. Part of me would love to see it turned into a movie, but the other part of me knows that Hollywood has a way of turning an excellent book into a dud of a movie, so I do have those mixed feelings.

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