Reviews for The Ghost Writer
SuzannaR chapter 18 . 1/26/2009
Good chapter.

A few things puzzled me.

I guess Beth didn't hear the call from the bad guy because he was in the loft alone? But surely she should have heard the phone ring?

I was surprised that the neighbour Fluffy's mum would talk to him so easily about the fire in which Cora died. We don't really have all the details on that yet. It's strange that she would bring it up...I would expect that she'd skirt around it especially since she seems surprised that he's was dealing with it.

I like how this 4 02 thing still keeps coming up, and John/Juan. You're really good at keeping up the suspense/sense of the mysterious.

Also again this voice is like a magician! He must have been in the house no? He could see him. Unless he had a camera there or .

The last line was great too. I liked it-excellent end to the chapter.

I see a few grammar errors:

" I’m not hear to discuss high school."- here

"Your instincts been pretty good,” "- have been pretty good?

"Frustrated, I nearly throw my own ring on the ground as I try"-not a grammar error, but perhaps you should say "I nearly throw my one keys"...I know you meant keyring no? But when I read it first, I thought "why would he take his rings off?

"Given the inscription, I know exactly whose photo this once was"-not a grammar error again, and I figure you mean who the photograph once belonged to...the way it's written it sounds like whose photo this was, i.e. this is a photo of Hale, so it's Hale's photo. When I read it, it puzzled me for a sec, because you say in the first line that it's of Hale, and now you say you know whose photo it once was (it's Hale's photo but belonged to his sister).

lol Do you see what I mean?

s
SuzannaR chapter 17 . 1/23/2009
My goodness! This is the best chapter I've read so far. You can cut the suspense with a knife; it's so strong. And the little details, that Beethoven playing just like he wrote it in the book...that gave me goosebumps when I read that..I can just imagine it in a movie, it would be so creepy.

And the bit at the end: brilliant. Seriously, I can see that you must have done a TONNE of planning and so on for this story. It comes together beautifully.

A couple of things I wonder about:

- if the cops searched the place yesterday and only saw the "bats", shouldn't they have seen the numbers on the wall? And I suppose the numbers were 402? If the numbers were done after the cops then shouldn't he smell the spraypaint? It usually has quite the strong smell but Hale says it smells musty inside.

- Also the killer is being really strange...he tells him that there's 2 mins left but doesn't say what he wants him to do? Hmnn really if it wasn't for the fact that there is a sequel to this (so obviously Hale isn't in jail!)then I'd say that Hale is the killer ;p that would be interesting!

Hmnn but maybe it's Juan? Or Janet's husband?

Great job on keeping and weaving the suspense in this chapter! Excellent!

s
SuzannaR chapter 16 . 1/23/2009
I liked this chapter too.

It seemed a bit strange that he would say no to the killer and that the killer would just let him get away with it. I wonder where the killer wanted him to drive to? Home? Because he already had the directions on the computer for him to see, so he must have wanted him to go home. He seem to have let it go quite easily though when at the ending of the last chapter he said it like a command that wasn't to be disobeyed.

I like how Hale is sensing what the man's doing re the smoke and ciggy thing even though they're on the phone together and he can't see him.

Ah the bat! The killer must be a magician or something...he seems to be able to be in several places at once and also be able to sneak in under people's noses and steal things. I wonder now...is Nadiya in cahoots with the killer? Wow that makes perfect sense actually. So she brings the moth and takes the bat and kills poor fluffy...and she's not captured at all is she? Plus she knows him and knows Bailey and stuff. haha It's her, isn't it?

Good ending again...you're ending a lot of your chapters on cliffhangers...but I guess that's ok. This is a mystery/suspence story after all.

s
SuzannaR chapter 15 . 1/23/2009
Great chapter! The description of the car chase at the beginning was brilliant. I liked how he checked to see if it was God talking when the cops said to pull over! Nice bit of humour there.

I found the part where he loses the car and stops for the cop a bit sudden:

"I catch a glimpse of the Toyota as it goes against the flow of traffic to pass a semi.

My seat vibrates with the bumps of the road as I ride the bumper of a camper, until I can swerve into the opposing lane and pass. Fingers clenched on the steering wheel, I sweep back into the forward-moving traffic. The policeman behind me shows more skill, making the transition with flare and without leaving skid marks.

Glancing up, I see the police cruiser getting larger and larger in the rearview mirror. It’s going to be tough to explain all this, so I let my speed fall off gradually, coasting on to the gravel shoulder to give myself an extra second or two to think.

“License and registration.”

-you never really say that he gave up on the chase...and I hadn't realized he had stopped until just before the cop asked for his papers...

Ha the killer has Nadiya now eh? haha. Good. :-P

Also shouldn't he be more worried about his missing sister? I guess he was busy in this chapter but still.

Good ending again. I liked the last word "drive".

s
SuzannaR chapter 14 . 1/23/2009
Good chapter-seems a bit short though.

You handled the suspense re the package well, everything flows nicely too. You're building up a lot of suspense too-the photos, the campfire near his house. I was wondering why the person didn't just drop the envelope at his door or something, clever that he meant to have Hale go there.I didn't expect a bomb there. Nice twist.

I like how Hale bring in little details that seem meaningless at the time, how Hale remembers them and thinks that they mean something eg the antiques, the numbers, etc. It strengthens the idea that Hale is quirky, brilliant and a bit mad.

The only thing I found a bit strange in this chapter is: Why didn't Hale call the police in whichever state his sister is in? Surely, this is a threat now, especially with the photo of poor dead Fluffy at the end? Plus she has been missing for days...I would have called the cops or flew over to wherever she is.

All in all, I didn't find any other issues with this chapter.

S
SuzannaR chapter 13 . 1/23/2009
Good starting and ending points in this chapter.

Ugh-he steps on the moth? That's somewhat heartless no? It couldn't have hurt him. All he felt then is anger, but I'm not sure what he's angry about? Probably that he now thinks that someone came into the house and brought a moth? It seems to me that the anger came out of the blue...surely we would have a hint of when it started, especially since he's speaking in the first person. Plus I wish he hadn't killed the moth. There was no need.

Hmnn...the bit with him and Nadiya: I didn't like it. It felt strange. I knew that something like this was probably coming because really there is no other reason to have her in the story (and geez I find her annoying) but again, this felt like it had come out of the blue. I don't feel any chemistry between them, and seriously she's coming off like a cougar one moment and a shrinking violet the next. It doesn't make me like her at all.

I think that you have to add more emotion between the 2 of them, before this stuff happens. Little looks, touches stuff like that...like setting it up no?Plus we don't know really what the characters feel, like how does he feel about Nadiya? about the cop?

I found this line a bit strange: My reflection and Nadiya’s frame the insect’s. I think it has to do with the way it's written. It interrupts the flow.

Also I thought that the bit where Nadiya makes him sleep in her room (on the floor! haha) was strained. I mean it felt like a device you used to interject that interraction between him and her. Why on Earth would she think that she could protect him from anything when he has to check under the bed and she screams like a baby when she sees a moth? Arg. Now she sounds like a stupid "girl" who has to be protected whereas in the beginning she came across like a strong, aggressive even woman, now she's the type who doesn't know what she wants and who starts something and then backs away. Her character seems inconsistent. Perhaps that's why I really don't like her.

I like that you're making Hale quirky, what with the 4 corners thing and the way that he thought of his friend Juan with the butterflies. He's weird, quite a bit paranoid...lovely. I love a crazy man!Reminds me a bit of Fox Mulder no? Yep he's weird that way.

Liked the ending, another suspenseful moment.

s
SuzannaR chapter 12 . 1/19/2009
Good chapter! Liked the opening and closing, good points to start and end I thought.

I was a bit surprised about the detective flirting with him. I didn't get the impression before that she liked him. Wouldn't she have flirted with him a bit? It seemed to come out of the blue. I guess since the story's being told from his point of view, if nothing is mentioned it means that he didn't notice anything...so he's clueless like all men? In that case then, you should go on a bit about how surprised he is when she justs come straight out and asks him out. And that's kinda aggressive actually, especially since she's not sure if he's with Nadiya or not. Ohh now that I think about it,that's downright skanky of her!

Plus isn't that against the rules or something? He's probably as close to a suspect as they've got. I mean he knows things and they found his shovel at the place where the girl was, really!

Also isn't it unlikely that she would just show him official evidence and have him touch it and stuff?

Also I forgot to mention in the previous chapter review. What exactly did he tell the neighbour about Fluffy? Not that his EYES were found in his house? lol She would have gone ballistic! He does seem to have mentioned that Fluffy was dead though?

s
SuzannaR chapter 11 . 1/19/2009
I liked the start of the chapter, very interesting and pulls you in right away.

Wow another twist! Too bad about Fluffy though! I liked that cat.

Several things:

Why is Nadiya only distressed about the cat's eyes when she finds out it's Fluffy? It's not like she really knew him? And if it wasn't Fluffy it was some other cat no?

Plus she seems more upset about the cat than about the girl in the glass coffin.

Plus again, is she nuts? She obviously isn't sure that he wasn't the one that did it so why would she still want to stick around and stay in his house with him? It's not like they became the best of friends or anything. Really I don't sense any thing between them, that they haven't gotten closer or whatever. In fact she seems like a busybody to me (and stupid to boot) and I wish she'd leave (so there!)

I wonder why on earth he'd be worried about his sister -it seems that he's implying that his sister brought the gift! What?

I hope he didn't kill the cat and the girl too. It would be really interesting if he did ha! But I think he didn't because you've got a sequel to this story!

Also I wonder why the cops would have brought the coffin over to the area where Hale lives - shouldn;t it stay in the jurisdiction (sp?) where it was found. Cops are really picky about things like that.

S
SuzannaR chapter 10 . 1/19/2009
Exciting chapter! I liked it, especially the twists!

First thing I noticed in the first sentence where you said that the air wasn't like in california, it was 50 degrees. At that point I was thinking Wow! that's boiling! 50 degrees means 50 degrees celcius to me...which is way hot. So obviously you meant 50F, I guess a lot of people reading this are probably American so will understand the 50 without units but I think it's best that you put in the F, or even don't use an actual number. Even 50F I'm not sure if that's hot or cold, it's a high number so I would have said it's hot...sorry that's the first thing I thought when I read that line.

Good bit of detail at the beginning too, where he was playing with the ciggy, I could picture that.

I was a bit unclear about the coffin in the hole thing. He said that it was right under the tree so how could he not have seen it before climbing the tree? And does he tell Nadiya about the coffin? That bit's not mentioned but I thought that he didn't but she knows about it when the cops come.

Also both of them don't seem affected by this, a girl dead in a glass coffin. They are writers/editors not cops or something, this is an unusual thing, wouldn;t they be talking about it? All the time?

Plus he doesn't even look further when he finds the girl, he just jumps down and goes away. Even if it was a baby bird or something, you'd think that he'd have some kind of reaction...and her too.

And finally, I find that the attempts at flirting were not believable-they seem to come out of the blue to me..I really don't see a lot of sexual tension between them.

s
SuzannaR chapter 9 . 1/19/2009
I liked this chapter and thought that it was well done. I liked the parts where he was sort of in the head of the guy...that was interesting.

I wonder at a couple of things. Why on earth would she let him drive? He himself says that that it's kinda like watching tv in the background. If I were here I certainly would not want him driving me anywhere and she did not seem at all concerned for her safety. I know that I would be watching the road and so on, in case he missed something, but she just ignored it all and read his papers. I found that a bit strange.

Also why does he say "Animals" when he stops at the rest stop? At first I thought that perhaps he said it re some driver on the road, but I guess it has something to do with the name of the rest stop?

And there's this part: "I keep holding the chewed cigarette as I get out of the car. Rather than grab the gas pump and use a credit card, I walk to the Minimart to pay cash.".- So I'm confused here a bit. Does he buy gas? At first I thought that he was going to prepay for the gas with cash but you don't have him pumping the gas when he comes out?

I thought the ending was at a strange point. You didn't end at an exciting point or something like that...because all he's got after this ending point is more waiting...lol am I making sence? I would have probably tried to end it at a more natural ending?

s
SuzannaR chapter 8 . 1/12/2009
Review Game

I liked this chapter a lot better than the previous ones! I'm glad that the setting has changed...he has left his house and exciting things happened in this chapter!

The scene at the library is very well written; vivid. I've seen this scene in shows on tv or movies. Well done there.

I liked that he compared the bad guy to Fluffy the cat:P I knew that cat was important.

I found a few lines a bit ackward "As a reward for Nadiya’s flexibility, she now holds three pages drafted on the plane, my rough outline for the last chapter of the book she originally came for"...ok did he mean flexibility in terms of her body that she's able to hold a lot of things in her hands at once? That doesn't seem right, perhaps you meant flexibility in her schedule? It's unclear to me. Perhaps flexibility is not the right word?

"“I think we should drive.:"- seems a strange thing for him to say? Why we? If he meant go then he should say "I think we should go"..only one of them should drive and it really shouldn't be him since he's going to be remote viewing or feeling or whatever?

S
SuzannaR chapter 7 . 1/12/2009
Review Game

Again, I don't see anything exciting happening in this chapter. It's nicely written, no major grammar errors but your plot is advancing at a snail's pace. Perhaps I'm too impatient but I think that things are happening way too slow.

I bet the anonymous guy who called was the one who killed Janet.

I liked the bit about the cat which keeps a watch on him and stares at him with yellow eyes, I could see how that that would be freaky.

ALso I noticed that you didn't make a big deal about what Janet's writing was. I guess you will further on but it was strange since you deliberately didn't mention it in the previous chapter and here again.

Noticed this typo: she sacs her watch-cat on me. - you mean she sics no?

S
SuzannaR chapter 6 . 1/12/2009
Review

Nothing much happened in this chapter, as in the previous two. They are full of details about Hale and Nadiya which are good to establish them as characters but you've done this already. I would have liked to see some action. Perhaps you can think of combining some of the previous chapters with this one.

I thought that the part where Hale woke up and read the writing that he had done is his sleep was well done. I could see that happeninng in my head. The bit with Nadiya in the kitchen I found a bit confusing. Why was she staring? Because of the no shirt thing? But you didn't say that she blushed or whatever so I'm not sure if its because of that or was there something else?

I liked that you didn't tell what the message said right away...helps to build the suspence...now I've got to read the next chapter to see!

s

s
SuzannaR chapter 5 . 1/12/2009
Review Game

The opening of this chapter seems like a direct continuation of the ending of the last chapter, you probably could have continued on without ending the chapter.

I liked how you used the song to mirror or prompt some of the topics that they talked about. Eg when she asked him if he'd ever been in love (that's a flirty question if I'd ever heard one!). Now I see that they do have some kind of history like that. But she's right when she sees he's not serious."“You brought enough stuff to stay over. You’re practically moving in with me; I say we give it a go.” HA! Lovely. He couldn't possibly be serious!

Good ending to the chapter, it felt more like a closing than the previous one.

This sentence "I smile and snap my gum, chuckling" sounded a bit strange to me. I'm not sure what you mean. Did he break his gum stick in half?

S
SuzannaR chapter 4 . 1/12/2009
Review Game

I like this chapter. I'm really enjoying the psychic elements in this story; the remote hearing/seeing if you will.

The relationship between Nadiya and Hale seems to have changed a bit, before it struck me as editor/writer but now she seems more like a friend. She cares about how he's feeling and all that and not just about the writing which is why she's there. That strikes me as a bit off.

I think you're doing a really good job with Hale. He's totally believable...I can see him acting like how he is. Good Job there.

Also I find that the ending of this chapter was a bit abrupt?
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