In the "Spirit" for a Gritty Mystery: Review and Excerpt "The Ghostwriters"
Melinda T. Falgoust
By Mickey J. Corrigan
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Family Drama
She's ghostwriting a book for a famous author—a recently deceased one.A struggling writer living in Manhattan, Jacy McMasters is the first to admit she's a terrific liar and a screw-up. Then the ghost of the famous novelist JD Balinger asks her to "channel" a follow-up to his classic coming of age book The Watcher in the Sky. Along with her new boyfriend, a bear of a man who has no patience for mind games, the ghost in Jacy's head forces her to confront a lifetime of secrets—dark secrets. Secrets she's been keeping from herself.
When I woke up the next day, I felt awful. My eyes were swollen shut so I had to tumble out of bed and crawl through clustering dust-devils to the bathroom. I'd suffered worse hangovers after overindulging, but there was a real sharp edge to this one. When I steamed my eyes open with a hot wash cloth, I noticed it right away.
I was still hallucinating.
"You look bad, Jacy my girl," JD said from his cross-legged perch on my wicker laundry hamper. "First thing we need to do is ease back on the hard core boozing."
I screamed once or twice before he uncrossed his spidery limbs and said, "Don't be a ninny. You know who I am, that I come from you. From your own deranged mind. So what's the sense of yelling, disturbing your neighbors?"
He had a point. I calmed a little and said, "You may be an illusion, my illusion. But that does not mean you can stay in my bathroom while I shower."
He shrugged, brushed by me on his way out. "I'll make coffee. And when you come out, all fresh and bright-eyed, we'll discuss how I can save you. Help dislodge you from your habitual cycle of wanton, destructive choices. No more dabbling. Time for you to shed your loser image, child. It is high time. Take my word."
Every once in a while, a novel invites you to pull up a bar stool, grab a handful of beer nuts, and settle in for a nicotine-soaked tale of mystery and suspense. Author Mickey J. Corrigan bellies up to the bar with her new novel "The Ghostwriters", and takes readers down a rabbit hole with a story about Jacy McMasters, a has-been writer that never was. Like Alice, we soon learn that Jacy has her own Mad Hatters and Queen of Hearts, and "drink me" is a part of her everyday vocabulary.
Corrigan plants us square in the middle of Jacy's life. I mean flat. On our face. In the middle of a bender and the start of a less-than-normal relationship with her hero, author J.D. Balinger. The best-selling novelist enlists Jacy to ghostwrite his next great American novel. Since her witty waitress repartee at Big Brewdha Microbrewery isn't likely to earn her a Pulitzer any time soon, Jacy accepts the job, but soon learns that the tougher assignment will be to accept herself.
Corrigan leaves a trail of breadcrumbs scattered throughout the novel that hint at a greater story, the mystery of Jacy's past, that keeps the reader turning page after page.
Fair warning - the frank dialogue and come-as-they-are characters in Corrigan's novel pull no punches. Some readers may feel the "self-cutting edge" and grit of Bret Easton Ellis in Corrigan's work. Her characters aren't shiny. They don't wave magic wands. They don't live forever...they are brutally mortal and heart-wrenchingly human. The novel holds up a mirror and poses some rather poignant questions with how we interact with each other as a society.
Fans of Bret Easton Ellis and Joy Williams will appreciate the graphic reality of Corrigan's work.
Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes sexy thrillers and kooky romances. Recent books include the edgy novellas in The Hard Stuff series (Whiskey Sour Noir, Vodka Warrior, Tequila Dirty, and RealLife Rum); the thriller Sugar Babies; and the spoofy crime novelsThe Blow Off and Ex-Treme Measures. Salt Publishing will release Project XX, a crime novel, in 2017.