Book Review: Ghost Detective by Scott William Carter


Imagine being shot in the head and then waking up from a six-month coma to find you can see ghosts; ghosts who are just as real to you as living human beings, thus plunging you into a surreal state where you can’t tell who’s alive and who’s dead. That’s the premise of Ghost Detective, a paranormal mystery novel by Scott William Carter set in modern-day Portland, Oregon.

I got this book on Amazon a few weeks ago when it was on sale for .99 cents. Since I like paranormal/supernatural stories and detective mysteries, it seemed a fairly good fit to my interests. The main character, Myron Vale, is a former Portland police officer whose career ends tragically when he’s shot during a robbery at the local Starbucks. Still retaining the bullet in his brain—comfortably nestled in the space between the two hemispheres—Myron finds he can now see and communicate with ghosts, and they are everywhere.

This is because in the Ghost Detective universe, all the people who have ever lived are still hanging around. As far as Myron knows, no one has been shuttled off to heaven or hell. Instead, the dead continue to exist alongside the living in a sort of limbo. It’s never explained in the book why that is, and god appears to be non-existent. Instead, this hidden society of the unseen dead is managed by the Department of Souls.

The book follows Myron as he struggles to deal with the hand that fate dealt him while helping a recently deceased woman find her husband who looks a lot like the man who shot him all those years ago.

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Two Game Updates, One Post

I have no idea how to run a game developer’s blog. The stuff I’m working on right now is not sexy enough to show off, so I’m not sure what—if anything—I should write about. At the moment, I’m programming the puzzles for #TowOM’s first dungeon, developing enemy stats, and putting together tilesets for other level maps; so not a lot to see.

I did start redoing the map for the inn. I posted a preview of it on Twitter last week for #ScreenshotSaturday.
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#TowOM: Adventures in Dungeon-Building and Story Editing

I’ve come to the conclusion that creativity is really all about learning how to edit and, unfortunately, that particular skill eludes me at the current moment. I can come up with hundreds of ideas for a story, but the story quickly becomes a narrative mess because I have such a difficult time cutting out unneeded elements and selecting the right pieces to tell the tale in my head.

I think part of the issue is that every story I’ve ever dreamed up has at least two versions—sometimes many, many more—and I want to tell them all. But since the story deals with the same characters, this isn’t always possible since some storylines may not be compatible with each other. Other times, the different versions create characters with personalities and motivations that stray too far from my original ideas about them.
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