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Forest Ghost: A Novel of Horror and Suicide in America and Poland

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Modern-day America. Fifteen Boy Scouts and their seven adult leaders are found to have committed suicide in the forest of a scout reservation. One of the dead boys is a friend of Sparky Wallace, whose father Jack runs a Polish restaurant in Chicago. Drawn into investigating the suicides, Jack discovers a connection with his own grandfather, who killed himself in the Kampin Modern-day America. Fifteen Boy Scouts and their seven adult leaders are found to have committed suicide in the forest of a scout reservation. One of the dead boys is a friend of Sparky Wallace, whose father Jack runs a Polish restaurant in Chicago. Drawn into investigating the suicides, Jack discovers a connection with his own grandfather, who killed himself in the Kampinos Forest in Poland when he was fighting the Nazis in World War II. Together, Jack and Sparky travel to Poland to unlock the terrifying mystery of what really makes people panic in the forest. But before they can do so, they have to experience panic for themselves, and reach the very brink of madness.


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Modern-day America. Fifteen Boy Scouts and their seven adult leaders are found to have committed suicide in the forest of a scout reservation. One of the dead boys is a friend of Sparky Wallace, whose father Jack runs a Polish restaurant in Chicago. Drawn into investigating the suicides, Jack discovers a connection with his own grandfather, who killed himself in the Kampin Modern-day America. Fifteen Boy Scouts and their seven adult leaders are found to have committed suicide in the forest of a scout reservation. One of the dead boys is a friend of Sparky Wallace, whose father Jack runs a Polish restaurant in Chicago. Drawn into investigating the suicides, Jack discovers a connection with his own grandfather, who killed himself in the Kampinos Forest in Poland when he was fighting the Nazis in World War II. Together, Jack and Sparky travel to Poland to unlock the terrifying mystery of what really makes people panic in the forest. But before they can do so, they have to experience panic for themselves, and reach the very brink of madness.

30 review for Forest Ghost: A Novel of Horror and Suicide in America and Poland

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    Masterton has always been able to tell a good story, it's just an innate talent. Granted, his later work is almost never as strong as his glory days of the 80s and 90s, but it's still plenty of fun. And yes, he loves using Polish motives and Native American ones, so this novel is very much drawing on that and there is always a pretty decent backstory. The general plot is somewhat muddled because it seems to constantly be changing from something like a murder mystery to ancient mythology to spiri Masterton has always been able to tell a good story, it's just an innate talent. Granted, his later work is almost never as strong as his glory days of the 80s and 90s, but it's still plenty of fun. And yes, he loves using Polish motives and Native American ones, so this novel is very much drawing on that and there is always a pretty decent backstory. The general plot is somewhat muddled because it seems to constantly be changing from something like a murder mystery to ancient mythology to spirits to talking trees to extraterrestrial intelligence, but it does round up in the end, on a poignant note. Some interesting connections here...did you know that pants can communicate? Or that the word panic comes from Pan, remember your Greek mythology, Pan of wild, shepherd, flocks and so on, or for that matter to expand on the etymology Pan's name originates within the Ancient Greek language, from the word meaning to pasture. Ok, that last part wasn't in the book, but I'm a word nerd. Those sort of things are fun for me, the way Masterton always tries to give his stories something extra, genuine originality instead of just using old and tired genre clichés. I'd like why the publishers didn't think Masterton's name and reputation and the title alone were enough and had the need to write out exactly what it is. I really don't like that. Is it meant to be enticing or extra persuasive? Or save the potential buyers the precious minute or two it would take to read the plot summary and figure things out for themselves? Why not give the readers some credit instead of sticking the book with a clunky and tacky description? Anyway, the book was very decent, not great, but a pretty entertaining way to pass 3 hours. More of a plot driven than gore and guts reliant sort of thing. Genre fans should enjoy this one.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jon Recluse

    This was an ARC from NetGalley. A chilling supernatural thriller concerning an elemental force lurking in the world's forests, an entity that wields fear as a weapon, leaving madness and suicide in it's wake. Masterton mixes mythology and a touch of Machen into a potent cocktail that will keep you out of the woods permanently. Highly recommended. Publication Date: March 1st, 2014 This was an ARC from NetGalley. A chilling supernatural thriller concerning an elemental force lurking in the world's forests, an entity that wields fear as a weapon, leaving madness and suicide in it's wake. Masterton mixes mythology and a touch of Machen into a potent cocktail that will keep you out of the woods permanently. Highly recommended. Publication Date: March 1st, 2014

  3. 5 out of 5

    RM(Alwaysdaddygirl) Griffin (alwaysdaddyprincess)

    3 stars. It was okay. 🇺🇸

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    While I enjoyed the idea behind this book, I felt it was just "middle of the road" for the type of read I expect from Masterton. The characters were interesting enough, and I really enjoyed the thought behind this story; so I'd have to say it must have just been something in the execution of the novel. There were several parts that I just didn't feel "connected" to the story as a whole, and that it could have been more streamlined, without. Still, Masterton remains high on my list of "must read" While I enjoyed the idea behind this book, I felt it was just "middle of the road" for the type of read I expect from Masterton. The characters were interesting enough, and I really enjoyed the thought behind this story; so I'd have to say it must have just been something in the execution of the novel. There were several parts that I just didn't feel "connected" to the story as a whole, and that it could have been more streamlined, without. Still, Masterton remains high on my list of "must read" authors.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Plum-crazy

    Oh how I do love Graham Masterton, he has a wonderful way of not only pulling me straight into the action but making me feel that I already know & care about the characters that I've just been introduced to, who in this case are father & son, Jack & Sparky. I enjoy Masterton's work most when it involves spirits, demons....any sort of supernatural being really...that has its base in traditional folklore, superstition & myths, with the Polish nish-gites & the greek god Pan featuring here. In this c Oh how I do love Graham Masterton, he has a wonderful way of not only pulling me straight into the action but making me feel that I already know & care about the characters that I've just been introduced to, who in this case are father & son, Jack & Sparky. I enjoy Masterton's work most when it involves spirits, demons....any sort of supernatural being really...that has its base in traditional folklore, superstition & myths, with the Polish nish-gites & the greek god Pan featuring here. In this case the danger is lurking in a forest though I won't go into all the ins & outs of the story suffice to say it was pretty gruesome at times & I was pretty much gripped. As to the ending....well not what I was really expecting (struck me as a little sci-fi, reminded me of a film) but that said I guess it tied with the environmental aspect of the story. My only niggle overall was that despite Jack saying Sparky needed a lot of care, being a twelve-year-old with Aspergers, he wasn't half left on his own a lot! A great read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sistermagpie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book unfortunately really annoyed me. It starts out with an interesting premise, with boy scouts committing mass suicide for unknown reasons. Unfortunately, the mass suicides become repetitive--and when the reason is revealed the "forest ghosts" commit the ultimate sin of not just not being scary but being smug and annoying. They make pompous lectures about how this is all about how people are so terrible for not taking care of the environment, and we'll be sorry now because they're going t This book unfortunately really annoyed me. It starts out with an interesting premise, with boy scouts committing mass suicide for unknown reasons. Unfortunately, the mass suicides become repetitive--and when the reason is revealed the "forest ghosts" commit the ultimate sin of not just not being scary but being smug and annoying. They make pompous lectures about how this is all about how people are so terrible for not taking care of the environment, and we'll be sorry now because they're going to leave us. It's never clear exactly what service they've been performing up until now--there's talk about how much they "love us" and "protect us" from ourselves etc., but they don't seem to do anything except either drive people to suicide or rip them apart limb from limb even if they're pro-environmentalist. Also, peoples' souls gets stuck in trees when they die and that's why you shouldn't cut them down. That's supposed to sound beautiful but unfortunately made me think of farts in a couch. The main character, Jack, also becomes tedious. He lives through several of these suicides but always gets saved himself at the last minute, which wound up making me just resent him. Why is he always spared after leading group after group into the forest for yet another panic attack/suicide? His son Sparky (why oh why did the author give him this distracting name?) does star charts that always turn out to be completely true, yet as in all things, his father spends most of the book tediously saying they can't work. The reader is always several steps ahead of Jack in just excepting the premise, so you just want Jack to accept it too--even though having everything predicted before it happens kills suspense. This is especially frustrating when Sparky's clearly been possessed and Jack doesn't seem to notice. (Not that Sparky was very likeable to begin with to me.) There's a lot of conversations where Sparky just says the same thing over and over in response to Jack's protests. Of all the suicides the one that annoyed me the most was the death of Sally, a police woman and friend of the family. She's introduced early with Jack telling us that he's considered her as a love interest (he's still in love with his dead wife whose been dead 2 years) but it probably wouldn't work and then he'd lose the friendship. Sparky then tells him he'll fall in love with a woman they're going to meet in Poland--and since his prediction are always just true, you just accept it. Plotwise this means Jack spends a lot of time carefully noticing his soon-to-be-true-love's clothing choices and going through the motions of really mild romantic interest because it's in the script. There's nothing about the two characters that make them a particularly good couple, they're just designated as such. What's annoying is that when Sally, the policewoman dies, it's hard not to think that this is yet again lucky for Jack because she wasn't the woman for him and is therefore expendable. Then there's one scene I have to mention because it almost made me stop reading. Jack and Sparky go to see Jack's mother. Jack explains that although the woman was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, she talks "like a immigrant." And he's not kidding. She can't get through a single line without some non-English construction like "Your sister no call." She's almost like a cartoon immigrant. Jack claims this is explained by the fact that her immigrant parents spoke Ukrainian at home and then after she married she spoke Polish with his father (no explanation of where the Polish came from that I remember). So we're supposed to believe that unlike millions of American children of immigrants, his mother bizarrely insists on speaking English like this. She must be quite committed to this affection to have not been contaminated by any of her friends growing up or her teachers, or everyone on the street or all the media she'd have consumed since birth--unless she's supposed to have only ever spoken to her parents and her Polish husband. I found myself imagining her showing up to school in 19th century Ukrainian peasant attire just to go all the way. This is not how language works.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chanelle

    this book will give you chills. every page and every word grips you and won't let go. I deeply recommend this book by the master of modern horror. DON'T READ AT NIGHT!!!!!! you've been warned. this book will give you chills. every page and every word grips you and won't let go. I deeply recommend this book by the master of modern horror. DON'T READ AT NIGHT!!!!!! you've been warned.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Panos Papadopoulos

    This is a forced and trite story. Never believable, never really flowing. The characters are all paper-thin, impossible to care for any of them. The cardboard plot is childish and as boring as a soy burger.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 4.5 stars Forest Ghost adds a new twist to the classic "monster kills campers" horror tale. The victims are not killed but are driven to suicide. For me, this approach made the horror more visceral; we've all had the experience of being in a forest which has become suddenly silent for no apparent reason. There is gore aplenty here, but it is not gratuitous or used to shock the reader. The characters of Jack and Sparky are well-developed and likeable. Masterton makes good and surprising use of Spar 4.5 stars Forest Ghost adds a new twist to the classic "monster kills campers" horror tale. The victims are not killed but are driven to suicide. For me, this approach made the horror more visceral; we've all had the experience of being in a forest which has become suddenly silent for no apparent reason. There is gore aplenty here, but it is not gratuitous or used to shock the reader. The characters of Jack and Sparky are well-developed and likeable. Masterton makes good and surprising use of Sparky's condition: surprising because I expected the resolution of the story to center around Sparky channeling some supernatural entity, not on his ancestry. In a sense, this ending was disappointing, not because it was unsatisfactory in the context of the story, but because Masterton's reference to "a series of seven squares of power which are going to keep reappearing for the next three years" led me to hope for sequels. My only significant complaint is Masterton's explanation of the forest ghosts and their motivation. It appears that Masterton wants the ghosts to be seen as only protecting humans against the depredation of humans, yet it is hard to reconcile this point of view with their action in maliciously causing people to panic and commit suicide. Why couldn't they instill the feeling of panic only long enough to scare people away, saving the harsher treatment for those who can't take the hint? It disturbs me that Masterton never explains what triggered the attack on the scouts; what did they do for the forest ghosts to consider them an environmental threat? A second minor complaint is the way Jack continually uses his restaurant ownership as an excuse for not doing something; I counted nine instances in which he was "too busy" to read, exercise, etc. because he "owns a restaurant." I supposed this could have been deliberate, but this implicit narcissism is not otherwise evident in Jack's personality. Forest Ghost is not for those whose definition of horror is splatterpunk, but for those who like their horror incorporated into a well-written novel, it is highly recommended. I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jade

    I wish that I had access to every single Graham Masterton book ever written. It is like Christmas morning is supposed to be every single time I get my hands on one I have not read. I found this one through my library system and had it transferred to my local library and to say I devoured it would be accurate. Once again, Masterton has taken his incredible knowledge and obvious affection for world mythology and put it to good use in a modern setting. This time the setting is both the Midwest of t I wish that I had access to every single Graham Masterton book ever written. It is like Christmas morning is supposed to be every single time I get my hands on one I have not read. I found this one through my library system and had it transferred to my local library and to say I devoured it would be accurate. Once again, Masterton has taken his incredible knowledge and obvious affection for world mythology and put it to good use in a modern setting. This time the setting is both the Midwest of the US and Poland. He draws upon his great knowledge of Polish culture and even geography to tell the story of Jack Wallace and his son, Sparky-an intelligent and intuitive child who has Asperger's Syndrome as well as an incredible gift for astrology. Both Jack and Sparky are grieving the loss of Jack's wife Aggie--a beautiful woman of Polish descent who haunts both of them in different ways. Masterton's wife, Wiescka passed away in 2011 and she fills his novels in so many ways--never more directly than in this one. It's a tribute to their relationship and his love for her that he finds ways both directly and indirectly to weave her into his novels--from discussing the grief specific to a widower, to discussing Polish culture and food (she was Polish). This novel concerns the idea of a forest spirit that has the power to cause panic and even suicide in human beings. He manages to intertwine Polish, Greek and Native American mythology into a creepy and moving story that had me chewing my nails to the quick until the finish--partially because it is disturbing and partially out of concern for the characters---a trait he shares with Stephen King. Both authors have a way of making you peek under the bed for a monster and fall madly in love with the human beings he brings to life. I don't like to get anywhere close to spoilers so I will not go into much detail in terms of the plot. As with all of his novels, you will find horror, humor, culture, food (a trait I love--not everyone enjoys descriptions of food in books but I do..:), mythology and humanity. Another score in my book for one of my favorite authors.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I think this is the first Graham Masterton book that has made me cry. His stuff has grossed me out before, and made me actually frightened at times, but this one made me cry. The reasons I cried are based on an assumption or two I've made based on something I read just days before finding this book, so your experience with this story may be very different from mine! Either way, this is an interesting, horrible (in a good way) and sad story that is well worth reading :) I think this is the first Graham Masterton book that has made me cry. His stuff has grossed me out before, and made me actually frightened at times, but this one made me cry. The reasons I cried are based on an assumption or two I've made based on something I read just days before finding this book, so your experience with this story may be very different from mine! Either way, this is an interesting, horrible (in a good way) and sad story that is well worth reading :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Draganov

    Weird, gory and scary! Excellent book from Graham Masterton. Read more about it in Bulgarian here: http://citadelata.com/forest-ghost/ Weird, gory and scary! Excellent book from Graham Masterton. Read more about it in Bulgarian here: http://citadelata.com/forest-ghost/

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vixie

    'Forest Ghost' was by far one of the most spine-tingling suspense books I've ever read. Masterton kept me on the 'edge of my seat' for the majority of the book. The incredible tale was a brilliant mix of the supernatural, horror and suspense. In many books the somewhat disjointed tale would have confused or even dulled the story but in this particular book it worked, mostly because the mystery of what was happening kept me wanting more. The tale begins with what seems to be a crime, a murder of 'Forest Ghost' was by far one of the most spine-tingling suspense books I've ever read. Masterton kept me on the 'edge of my seat' for the majority of the book. The incredible tale was a brilliant mix of the supernatural, horror and suspense. In many books the somewhat disjointed tale would have confused or even dulled the story but in this particular book it worked, mostly because the mystery of what was happening kept me wanting more. The tale begins with what seems to be a crime, a murder of a group of scouts, adults and children. A mass suicide or so the authorities claim but soon it is revealed that something more frightening is at work. As Jack investigates further aided by the mystical and friends he ends up getting involved with something far beyond his capabilities to deal with. The only thing the reader truly understands is that something white and described as 'ghostly' is involved, evoking fear in all that cross paths with it. And this thing is everywhere. Reading it at night made the experience even more greater, the irrational fear of the unknown exploited by the author to create a tale that held my attention until the very end. And what an ending it was. To know that I had been so skilfully deceived by the author that I completely missed a twist in the plot. Oh, I suspected something had changed, as the characters themselves, one in particular, began to behave differently causing a level of suspicion to rise in my mind. But not once did I anticipate what was to come. I am not ashamed to admit the shock and horror I felt, in fact I am amazed by how Masterton drew genuine feeling from me with each page. As fast paced as the tale was, I was invested in the characters by the end and thus greatly affected by the final revelations. And this was a book of revelations that made me question everything I knew. At times I was stunned by the questions the words raised. Where do we go when we die? What else is out there? And so many more, although I cannot say more for fear of revealing the story before you read it. Needless to say this book will make you consider and question everything you think you know. This book was a thrill to read and I would certainly read it again. It is a perfect mix of crime and supernatural mystery and a must read for any who enjoy suspense and the thrill of the chase. Although a relatively short read, I read it in an hour or two, it is a book that keeps you thinking, wondering just what will come next. What is the ghostly white thing? Why does it evoke fear? Why did the scouts commit suicide? Did the scouts commit suicide? Pick up the book and find out for yourself and you will learn just what might be lurking in the forests.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marie (UK)

    for about 25% this seemed to be a workable horror story but the rest was just rubbish. I could not suspend belief enough to feel that someone would take a 12 year old into these circumstances and events. It was just rubbish

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Classic Masterton A bit out there, even for horror. But that's how Masterton writes, and it's always a fun ride. Don't expect Stephan King like depth, but a fun, spooky ride. Soap Opera horror is how I like to describe it. Enjoy! Classic Masterton A bit out there, even for horror. But that's how Masterton writes, and it's always a fun ride. Don't expect Stephan King like depth, but a fun, spooky ride. Soap Opera horror is how I like to describe it. Enjoy!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Johnny morrison

    Damn! Another great read!! I don't think he can write a bad book. On to the next one! Damn! Another great read!! I don't think he can write a bad book. On to the next one!

  17. 5 out of 5

    grammarchick

    Read some mythology. Go watch The Happening. Throw in some Polish. Voila - you're basically experiencing this book. Read some mythology. Go watch The Happening. Throw in some Polish. Voila - you're basically experiencing this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marnie Z

    Didn't finish... Didn't finish...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kara Rowley

    Cool and scary

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kirk Dobihal

    Believable horror with an eco-morolistic (is that a word) touch.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    "If you go down to the woods today..." A group of scouts and their leaders go off for a camping weekend in a forest in Owasippe, Michigan. But while there, something happens that makes them all commit suicide, often in bloodily horrific ways. One of the scouts was the friend of young Sparky Wallace, a 12-year-old with Asperger’s (hasn’t every fictional child these days?), who becomes obsessed with the need to know what caused the tragedy. So his father Jack starts off on a journey that takes him "If you go down to the woods today..." A group of scouts and their leaders go off for a camping weekend in a forest in Owasippe, Michigan. But while there, something happens that makes them all commit suicide, often in bloodily horrific ways. One of the scouts was the friend of young Sparky Wallace, a 12-year-old with Asperger’s (hasn’t every fictional child these days?), who becomes obsessed with the need to know what caused the tragedy. So his father Jack starts off on a journey that takes him from Owasippe to the Kampinos Forest in Poland where Jack’s great-grandfather had died in similar circumstances during the war. This story is firmly based in the supernatural so it’s necessary to leave your inner sceptic at the door. As the story unfolds, we become aware that there is something living in our forests that has the ability to drive people into such panic that they would rather kill themselves than wait for the horrific death they fear awaits them. Sparky seems to know more than he’s telling and uses his (remarkable) knowledge of astrology to see what future lies in the stars for himself and the other protagonists. Unfortunately he rarely tells them, so each time one ends up dead, Sparky rather annoyingly says something like ‘I knew that was going to happen.’ (I found I was developing an unfortunate but overwhelming desire to slap him upside the head as the story progressed.) The book is well written but a little over-stretched and repetitive which prevents the tension building as much as it might have done. The characterisation is quite strong with both Jack and Sparky coming over as credible and well-rounded, despite Sparky’s supernatural tendencies, which get stronger as the book goes on. But these are integral to the story, and in that context work well. It would be easy to pick holes in the plot, since some of them are pretty glaring – but really the book is more about creating an atmosphere than trying to tell a consistent story. If I have to accept that mysterious wood-spirits have been lurking in our forests for aeons, then I can surely also accept that Jack is the most gullible and easily confused man who ever existed. The aforesaid mysterious wood-spirits are quite effective as spooky creations go, although the author tries to fit an environmental message into their story which doesn’t really work. It’s all a bit hazy as to whether they’re really filled with good intentions towards humanity or just particularly nasty evil creatures – but on the evidence of the number of gore-splattered bodies that mount up during the course of the book, I’m going with the latter. Having said that, the gore isn’t excessively done – there are only a couple of incidents where it’s directly described and overall I found it more giggleworthy than gruesome. I do have one serious objection about the story, which is that the author has incorporated into the plot a real massacre that took place in Kampinos Forest during WW2, and that struck me as pretty tasteless and entirely unnecessary. Otherwise I found this a well-written and reasonably enjoyable supernatural romp – not to be taken too seriously. I can’t say I found it terribly scary but there were places where the author did build up an effective atmosphere. Recommended. NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Severn House. www.fictionfanblog.wordpress.com

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    I have been a big fan of Masterton for a very long time. Several of his books are on my "best books I've read" list. The premise of the novel was intriguing. I am a "tree hugger" and it literally makes me ill when I contemplate what we have done to our eco-system. The whole-sale clearing of land is to me a grave sin (as our new Pope is also pointing out). My home backs up to a heavily wooded area and at night, standing on my deck, I too have experience a type of panic. The woods are dark and dee I have been a big fan of Masterton for a very long time. Several of his books are on my "best books I've read" list. The premise of the novel was intriguing. I am a "tree hugger" and it literally makes me ill when I contemplate what we have done to our eco-system. The whole-sale clearing of land is to me a grave sin (as our new Pope is also pointing out). My home backs up to a heavily wooded area and at night, standing on my deck, I too have experience a type of panic. The woods are dark and deep and there are times that I feel that something is watching and I experience a rather eerie feeling, so I could understand the mythological references to Pan and "panic." Unfortunately, as many of you have also said, the story just fell flat. The story telling was not consistent and I just never really gelled with any of the main characters. Oh well, I will still look forward to Mr. Masterton's next tale of terror.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Y-alex

    The book smoothly and masterly moves through a strikingly diverse series of modes, from the early scenes of mysterious suicides in the forest of a scout reservation (US), to terrifying investigation of a dark past in Poland, and gloomy and dangerous mysteries dating back to the bleak days of the World War II. Masterton amazingly masterly weaves the back story of mystery and intrigue, menacing terror waiting for a unsuspecting victim, weird deeds and blood legacy, etc. These elements are among th The book smoothly and masterly moves through a strikingly diverse series of modes, from the early scenes of mysterious suicides in the forest of a scout reservation (US), to terrifying investigation of a dark past in Poland, and gloomy and dangerous mysteries dating back to the bleak days of the World War II. Masterton amazingly masterly weaves the back story of mystery and intrigue, menacing terror waiting for a unsuspecting victim, weird deeds and blood legacy, etc. These elements are among the strongest of Masterton’s abilities as a horror-writer. And (as always) there are very strong prose, believable characters, tight-plotting, atmosphere, dark emotions, interesting locations, thoroughly created main storyline and back story, great pacing, strong sense of ‘been there, done that’, accurate description of modern Poland, etc. Good horror-thriller from the always reliable author, 4/5.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    Mom always said that if you don't have something good to say, keep your mouth shut. So, I will only issue a warning. This is just not a good read. I read horror and mystery and scary stuff in general knowing full well that it's not real. One must suspend the logical portion of their brain to delve into the world the author is trying to create. In turn, I rely on the author to create a plausible surround for the implausible that is happening within. I slogged through this book and found nothing b Mom always said that if you don't have something good to say, keep your mouth shut. So, I will only issue a warning. This is just not a good read. I read horror and mystery and scary stuff in general knowing full well that it's not real. One must suspend the logical portion of their brain to delve into the world the author is trying to create. In turn, I rely on the author to create a plausible surround for the implausible that is happening within. I slogged through this book and found nothing believable to wrap my head around so that I could believe in the scares. And, I like many of Masterton's books. The House that Jack Built was great. I can get past the British quirks that infiltrate his writing as he tries to sound American. But this book, OMG, all I can say is that I finished it and that gives me a sense of accomplishment.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bailey

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Forest Ghost, is an amazing and mysterious book. The book starts out with a mass suicide, while scouts are away on a camping trip. As a reader, I wondered why this had happened, I wanted more detail about the murders, what it looked like and how they all committed suicide. Such as A mental picture of what was happening. I got it, It was easy because the author uses detail words in a very satisfying way. When a second suicide happens in the forest in Poland, a man has cut off his own feet and has Forest Ghost, is an amazing and mysterious book. The book starts out with a mass suicide, while scouts are away on a camping trip. As a reader, I wondered why this had happened, I wanted more detail about the murders, what it looked like and how they all committed suicide. Such as A mental picture of what was happening. I got it, It was easy because the author uses detail words in a very satisfying way. When a second suicide happens in the forest in Poland, a man has cut off his own feet and has impaled hime self into a sharp tree stump, the author makes it very easy to visualize this in my head. This is a great book and I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys gory, horror story's.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Disappointing...I remember reading Masterton and having the bejabbers scared out of me. This one had potential and I DID like all the Polish lore, language, and tradition (wish it would have included some of the recipes), but it just never got there. The plot was too out there and the young autistic boy was never developed as a real personality...he was more of an astrology obsessed puppet in this one. The future he "sees" through this has a great deal to do with the plot (which is a stretch eve Disappointing...I remember reading Masterton and having the bejabbers scared out of me. This one had potential and I DID like all the Polish lore, language, and tradition (wish it would have included some of the recipes), but it just never got there. The plot was too out there and the young autistic boy was never developed as a real personality...he was more of an astrology obsessed puppet in this one. The future he "sees" through this has a great deal to do with the plot (which is a stretch even for Masterton). A lot more gore than horror. Meh!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ow1goddess

    I liked the opening image of a scout troop committing mass suicide enough that I really wanted to give this a chance, but sadly it fell flat. I felt disconnected from the story and the characters, and it seemed that everything frightening happened off screen. This is one of those books where the author alludes to a half dozen other, more interesting stories that he could be telling (like the mass suicide of the boy scouts, or the Polish resistance fighters who end up more afraid of the ghost tha I liked the opening image of a scout troop committing mass suicide enough that I really wanted to give this a chance, but sadly it fell flat. I felt disconnected from the story and the characters, and it seemed that everything frightening happened off screen. This is one of those books where the author alludes to a half dozen other, more interesting stories that he could be telling (like the mass suicide of the boy scouts, or the Polish resistance fighters who end up more afraid of the ghost than the Nazis, for example) and he continues to steal his own thunder from the one he IS telling.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Thompson

    Wow, this was stupid. God, Pan, short for panic? More like a book about pantheism. Trees are satient. Rocks and rivers have spirits. And they and alien protective "gods" are ticked off at all us non-Greenpeace people. Puh-leeeze! Earth to author, natural fires destroy more vegetation than humans do. ALSO, because of us "evil" people, there are more trees now in U.S.A. than before "evil" white man arrived. Wow, this was stupid. God, Pan, short for panic? More like a book about pantheism. Trees are satient. Rocks and rivers have spirits. And they and alien protective "gods" are ticked off at all us non-Greenpeace people. Puh-leeeze! Earth to author, natural fires destroy more vegetation than humans do. ALSO, because of us "evil" people, there are more trees now in U.S.A. than before "evil" white man arrived.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Something is causing panic amongst those visiting the forest, driving them to suicide to escape. Perhaps I have become a bit jaded lately by ingesting a lot of horror novels. This book just did not seem all that frightening. Good story? Yes it was, even with a bit of Greenpeace thrown at the reader Masterton manages to tell a good story. And again I wonder about the finishing editors and how they can miss basic grammar errors. Well so you have it. In a nutshell not such a bad book overall.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andy Weston

    With its heavy death toll Masterton's novel lacks the subtlety of the classic ghost and horror tales, but succeeds on some other levels. The overriding message the novel brings is interesting, clever and certainly unique. I won't divulge it here if course. As well as the death toll, there's a noticeable lack of remorse for those who have met their savage and unpleasant ends. I guess that with the number killed the novel would have to be considerably longer in order to do that. With its heavy death toll Masterton's novel lacks the subtlety of the classic ghost and horror tales, but succeeds on some other levels. The overriding message the novel brings is interesting, clever and certainly unique. I won't divulge it here if course. As well as the death toll, there's a noticeable lack of remorse for those who have met their savage and unpleasant ends. I guess that with the number killed the novel would have to be considerably longer in order to do that.

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