ghostwriting a gothic novel by John Herdman



by John Herdman


A delicious study in paranoia from the master of the modern Scottish Gothic.


A finespun tale of doubles and confused identities.
Ghost-writer Leonard Balmain finds himself drawn into an unwanted complicity with the dark revelations unfolding within that of his subject ― the mysterious Torquil Tod.
When Tod's tale turns into murder and sexual betrayal, Leonard realises he knows too much and is in danger of ending up on the very pages of Tod's turbulent history.
Black magic, sacrificial murder and cannibalism collide in an uneasy voyage towards, and from beyond, the grave.



"A dark, cautionary tale, utterly compelling and charged with Herdman's unwavering sense of irony and his sharp satirical bite."
Brian McCabe, The Scotsman
"A story of deception and betrayal, of obsession and confused identities, but more importantly it is Herdman's best novel."
Carl MacDougall, The Herald
"A powerful evocation of the uncanny psychological bonding between ghost biographer Leonard Balmain and his elusive and sinister subject, Torquil Tod..... Herdman captures very clearly the tone of the dramatic monologues of Hogg and Stevenson, while managing to maintain a contemporary resonance."
Douglas Gifford, Books in Scotland
"Hogg's and Stevenson's manic private memorists meet the postmodernist theories they anticipated. Cleverly, Ghostwriting investigates the paradoxes of narrative itself ... The novel wears its intellectual sophistication lightly."
Gavin Wallace, Chapman



  • ISBN: 9781914090035