Wednesday, July 3, 2013

John A. Karr - Ghostly Summons - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Lars Kelsen doesn’t believe in psychic phenomenon. To him, visions of murder victims are a form of mental illness. Once they begin, options are limited; he can try to ignore them or deal with them by exposing a killer. Only the latter provides any semblance of peace. Temporarily, anyway. Five years into his new life as a programmer, Kelsen—ex-crime beat reporter with a penance he can never fully satisfy—sees a victim.

In person. Upright. Staring.

Typical of such past "Visits" as he calls them, he doesn’t welcome this one. The nude form of a beautiful millionairess in his cubicle means murder has come to the vacation haven known as North Carolina’s Outer Banks. It means he’ll have to go places he'd rather avoid. See things he'll wish he hadn’t. Do things that don't come naturally, like in-your-face confrontation and bending the law. Actually, breaking the law ... but with good intent. It also means dealing with one very attractive county coroner, who pushes his buttons in a not entirely unwelcome way.

So begins Kelsen's return to investigative reporting—complete with attempts on his life, fights, deception, and all the technological tricks, such as GPS and computer hacking, at his disposal. And maybe even finding a new love interest.

My Review

Why did I want to read this book? Because it was set in the OBX. Otherwise known as the Outer Banks, quite possibly the best stretch of beach on the entire East Coast. And why am I so prejudiced? Yep, it's because I've been there numerous times, and reading John's novel was like revisiting my favorite vacation destination via my Kindle.

The main character Lars Kelsen lives in Kill Devil Hills the site of the Wright brothers' historic flight. He attends "The Lost Colony" play, a live theater presentation about the fate of the first English settlers at Fort Raleigh and the indigenous Native American tribe known as the Croatans. He drives by the world renown Hatteras Lighthouse. He scopes out the wildlife refuge on Pea Island. He mentions Blackbeard's sunken pirate ship, the "Queen Anne's Revenge."

But it's not just the well known locations he gets right. It's the little details that nail the authenticity of the book's setting. The thin strip of land that is Highway 12 with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Pamlico Sound on the other. The bridges that are raised in the middle to allow tall boats to pass underneath. The naturalistic, untouched beaches surrounded by sand dunes. The laid back atmosphere where crime is virtually non-existant. Well, except in this story.

I give Karr five out of five stars for beautifully capturing one of my favorite places on earth. It was like being there all over again reading the pages of his book, and I love when an author can do that for me.


Ghostly Summons can be purchased at:
Kindle, Nook, Kobo

Prices/Formats: $3.99 ebook, paperback
Pages: 312
Publisher: Dark Continents Publishing
Release: March 14, 2013
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

John A. Karr believes fiction writing each day helps keep the demons at bay. Ghostly Summons is his first full-length novel for Dark Continents Publishing. DCP has also published his Weird West novella, Ujahwek. He is the author of a handful of other novels: Death Clause, Hippocrates Shattered (scheduled for reprint by World Castle Publications as Shattered), Rhone, and Van Gogh, Encore. His short stories have appeared on webzines Allegory, The Absent Willow Review, and Danse Macabre. More works are in progress and in the marketing queue.

Karr is an ardent believer in the quote by Carl Van Doren (1885-1950), U.S. man of letters: Yes, it's hard to write, but it's harder not to.

Links to connect with John:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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