Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling author of Fatherland
comes The Ghost
, an extraordinarily auspicious thriller of power, politics, corruption, and murder. Dashing, captivating Adam Lang was Britain's longest serving and most controversial prime minister of the last half century, whose career ended in tatters after he sided with America in an unpopular war on terror. Now, after stepping down in disgrace, Lang is hiding out in wintry Martha's Vineyard to finish his much sought-after, potentially explosive memoir, for which he accepted one of history's largest cash advances. But the project runs aground when his ghostwriter suddenly and mysteriously disappears and later washes up, dead, on the island's deserted shore.
Enter our hero Lang's new ghostwriter cynical, mercenary, and quick with a line of deadpan humor. Accustomed to working with fading rock stars and minor celebrities, he jumps at the chance to be the new ghost of Adam Lang's memoirs, especially as it means a big payday. At once he flies to Lang's remote location in America to finish the book in the seclusion of a luxurious estate, but it doesn't take him long to realize he has made a fatal error in judgment.
The state of affairs is grim enough when the ghost begins to unearth the bone-chilling circumstances of his predecessor's death. And before long, he discovers that the ex-prime minister is not just a charismatic politician who made a few mistakes. He's a dark, tortured man with haunting secrets in his past secrets with the power to alter world politics. Secrets with the power to kill.
Robert Harris isknown the world over as a master of his trade. The Ghost is yet another signature, brilliant tour de force that will compel, captivate, and excite readers to the very last shocking page.
"Displaying enviable versatility, Harris, who first achieved acclaim with his alternative history, Fatherland, and who more recently showed his mastery of the historical novel in Pompeii, hits one out of the park with this dark paranoid thriller. Former British prime minister Adam Lang (clearly modeled on Tony Blair) is up against a firm deadline to submit his memoirs to his publisher, and the project is dangerously derailed when his aide and collaborator, Michael McAra, perishes in a ferry accident off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. To salvage the book, a professional ghostwriter is hired to whip the manuscript into shape, but the unnamed writer soon finds that separating truth from fiction in Lang's recollections a challenge. The stakes rise when Lang is accused of war crimes for authorizing the abduction of suspected al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan, who then ended up in the CIA's merciless hands. As the new writer probes deeper, he uncovers evidence that his predecessor's death may have been a homicide. Harris nicely leavens his cynical tale with gallows humor, and even readers who anticipate the plot's final twist will admire the author's artistry in creating an intelligent page-turner that tackles serious issues." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Harris returns with an amusing, fast-paced thriller....Very slick, rather tense, sophisticated and amusing." Kirkus Reviews
"Harris scores again with this intriguing political thriller....As it turns out, there is more than one ghost, and the fast-paced narrative concludes with an unexpected twist. Expect considerable demand." Booklist
"Harris has managed to write a superior entertainment that is also an angry portrait of today's political reality. If you don't like the current war or the people who dreamed it up, you'll find nourishment in The Ghost." Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post Book World
"Even when he attacks extraordinary rendition and state-indulged torture, [Harris] maintains a taut, clear narrative line....Unusually for the genre, the novel is also nicely lubricated with humor." Jonathan Freedland, The New York Times Book Review
"[A] novel packed with seduction, power and manipulation....The Ghost is a stellar novel on many levels....Harris has written one of the most politically informed novels of the year." USA Today
"[T]he price of Mr. Harris's marketing wisdom is a trumped-up plot with a timely emphasis on terrorism....By the time The Ghost has introduced waterboarding, spies and a shadowy, Halliburton-like corporate entity, it has undergone a complete sea change from its promising early pages." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"[Harris is] a consummate pro of the slick beach read. But here he imbues what could have been a formulaic thriller with propulsive dialog, the gloomy presence of the Vineyard in winter, and a deft stirring of a cauldron of contemporary woes." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
From the bestselling author and literary mind behind Imperium, Pompeii, and Fatherland comes this compelling, modern political thriller ripped from todays headlines.
About the Author
Robert Harris is the author of Pompeii, Enigma, and Fatherland. He has been a television correspondent with the BBC and a newspaper columnist for the London Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph. His novels have sold more than ten million copies and been translated into thirty languages. He lives in Berkshire, England, with his wife and four children.