Monday, April 8, 2013

The Perfect Ghost by Linda Barnes

2 Star

Mousy and shy to the point of agoraphobic, Em Moore is the writing half of a celebrity biography team. Her charismatic partner, Teddy, does the interviewing and the public schmoozing. But Em’s dependence on Teddy runs deeper than just the job—Teddy is her bridge to the world and the main source of love in her life. So when Teddy dies in a car accident, Em is devastated, alone in a world she doesn’t understand. The only way she can honor his memory and cope with his loss is to finish the interviews for their current book—an “autobiography” of renowned and reclusive film director Garrett Malcolm.

Ensconced in a small cottage near Malcolm’s Cape Cod home, Em slowly builds the courage to interview Malcolm the way Teddy would have. She finds Malcolm at once friendlier, more intimidating, and much sexier than she had imagined. But Em soon starts hearing whispers of skeletons in the Malcolm family closet. And then the police begin looking into the accident that killed Teddy, and Em’s control on her life—tenuous at best—is threatened.

Sabrina-Kate - 2 Star

The premise of The Perfect Ghost did not appeal to me from the start but I started reading this book hoping to be pleasantly surprised and I wish I could say that I was but unfortunately that didn`t end up being the case. This book was a rambling account of a story that was all over the place and not in any places that I found to be appealing or interesting. 

The main character was agoraphobic, allegedly anyway, but those characteristics weren`t obviously apparent in how she was portrayed. I would classify her as more neurotic perhaps than anything. Her monologue to a dead colleague and apparent former lover throughout the book was distracting and didn`t follow any kind of logical sequence. The story seemed to have too many elements in it that the character would describe and was left wondering why the author would make the story so unnecessarily complex.

I mention that because Barnes does have an incredible strength with her descriptions which are the only reason that I made it through this book at all. I feel that if she would have toned down all of the things that happened in the book and just focused on a cleaner more simple story but kept the amazing prose that The Perfect Ghost might have been a better read and much more enjoyable.

Thank you to St Martins Press for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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