When Michael Calls by John Farris reads like a 70s made for TV movie. Oh, wait, that's exactly what it is. The premise of the novel centers around a woman who starts getting phone calls from her nephew (who's been dead for 15 years). Then people start dying. A "twist" near the end of the novel (I saw it coming somewhere around page 15) turns the story from a paranormal thriller to a psychological study.
The biggest issue I had with this novel is that it felt dated. Yes, we're in the 70s. That's okay. Just give me something that is going to transcend time. Do not give me a woman thanking a man for choosing her. I think I just threw up a little.
Oddly, Farris is also a screenwriter. This explains the story reading more like a screenplay than a novel. What is interesting is that when the story was made into a TV movie, Farris did not write the actual screenplay. Someone else (James Bridges) did.