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Book Review: Ghost Hampton by Ken McGorry

Lyle Hall, one of the most reviled men in Bridgehampton due to his anti-preservation legal antics and hard-core alcoholism, is involved in a tragic automobile accident that takes the life of one of the town’s older residents (she was on her way to her son’s 50th birthday party) and leaves him paralyzed from the waist down.  As a side effect of the coma caused by head injuries sustained in the accident, Lyle wakes up with a new sense of empathy for his fellow men and women – both the living and dead!

A chance detour then takes Lyle past the ‘Old Vic’, a turn of the century house (and rumored brothel), that has been uninhabited for years and scheduled for demolition by the town to make way for a new park.  Lyle sees a young girl standing on the porch dressed in Edwardian clothing and hears her begging him to help Jewel.  That same night he dreams he sees his daughter’s name on a headstone and the story takes off.

“Ghost Hampton” is a brilliant combination of ghost story, redemption story and police procedural story all neatly wrapped up into one complete package.  This sounds like a lot of ground to cover in one book and in a lesser author’s hands that might be the case.  McGorry, however, delivers on all three fronts and keeps his readers engaged as they quickly turn pages charging through the novel toward the resolutions.

The characters – Lyle, his daughter Georgie, the ghost Jewel, the beautiful ghost hunter Silk, an exorcist from Malta and the drug dealers that Georgie is tracking, are all completely fleshed out and are all believable characters.  In fact, there are very few characters in the book that are one-dimensional, which makes this story that much more engaging.  You will find yourself caring about these people and wondering about them long after you finish the last page

As Lyle, Georgie, Jewel, and Silk all race to solve their various mysteries and save the ‘Old Vic’ from the wrecking ball, the stories twist and turn around each other with each part bringing greater depth to the others.  McGorry’s prose is elegant and his dialog is snappy and carefully crafted to suit each of his characters.  I absolutely loved every word I read and every minute I spent reading this book.  If you like ghost stories, cop stories or just well-written stories with great characters, you will love this book.  I cannot wait for Ken McGorry to publish the second novel in this series.

“Ghost Hampton” is published by Permanent Record Books and available in paperback and Kindle versions at Amazon.com.

 

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