Jack Scott reviews Ghost of Gallipoli

GhostEllie McKnight is a bright academic working at Belfast University. When she falls for a minor diplomat, Ellie throws caution to the wind, jettisons her career and follows him to a posting at the British Consulate in Istanbul. And so begins her extraordinary journey in Margaret Whittock’s ingenious and atmospheric novel, Ghost of Gallipoli. Our protagonist is quickly thrown into the rarified world of the diplomatic corps and it’s a loose fit. Ensconced in a grand imperial pile in the hills above the Bosphorus, she crashes into the pomposity of middle England and we are treated to a legion of small-minded expatriates, a ‘tight-knit group of wives into jam and chutney making’ led by head bitch, Alice Melefont. But all is not as it seems.

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About the Book

Author: Jack Scott

Imagine the absurdity of two openly gay, married middle aged, middle class men escaping the liberal sanctuary of anonymous London to relocate to a Muslim country. I chronicled our exploits with the mad, the sad, the bad and the glad in a blog for the whole world to ignore. Then came the book which became a critically acclaimed best seller. Its success opened out a whole new career for me as an author. Who'd have thought it? Certainly not me. In June 2012, we ended our Anatolian affair and paddled back to Britain on the evening tide, washing up in Norwich, a surprising city in eastern England. I’m sometimes nostalgic for our encounters with the hopeless, the hapless and, yes, the happy go lucky. They gave me an unexpected tale to tell and for this I thank them. The next instalment, Turkey Street, is out now.