I had never read anything by R. J. Ellory before the day he came to speak with my creative writing class at university; before the day I became captivated by him. He spoke about his life and writing with such passion and I knew that I would enjoy anything he wrote. And since then, a number of his books have found their way into my personal library.


I selected Ghostheart from this collection as my holiday read for my recent trip to Cornwall and just fell in love with it. It was one of those books where I had to force myself to stop reading, so I didn’t finish it too soon, and have nothing else to read whilst I was away.

It is a beautifully written story about a young woman, Annie O’Neill, who owns a second-hand bookstore in Manhattan. She is an introverted character, a little lonely and bored with her life, but of course things change when a stranger comes into her store with information that alters everything. Ellory develops her character really well, and in a believable way.

The story is filled with emotion, and detailed imagery, making you feel like you are voyeuristically there with Annie, watching her every move, feeling her every sentiment. With every rush of happiness, or break of heart that Annie O’Neill felt, I found myself feeling the same thing, my mind and body reacting with every turn of the page. Ellory’s description of Annie’s first kiss with the character of David Quinn was so well-written that after reading it, I went and kissed my own boyfriend. Ellory’s words are just that emotive and moving.

The ending was brilliant, and somewhat intense. As you progress towards it, you can guess at what is coming but still lose none of the emotion as everything is revealed to Annie.

And if you want to know what it is that changes Annie O’Neill’s life, you will just have to read the book. It is everything you could possibly want from a book with elements of crime, romance, mystery and humour. So go and read it!

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