Paper Ghosts – Julia Heaberlin

About the Book:   Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who was once a celebrated photographer.

That was before he was tried for the murder of a young woman and acquitted.Before his admission to a care home for dementia

Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip.

Only she’s not his daughter and, if she has her way, he’s not coming back . . .

Because Carl’s past has finally caught up with him. The young woman driving the car is convinced her passenger is guilty, and that he’s killed other young women. Including her sister Rachel.

Now they’re following the trail of his photographs, his clues, his alleged crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. Confesses to any of it. To discover what really happened to Rachel.

Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he’s guilty of nothing and she’s the liar.

Either way in driving him into the Texan wilderness she’s taking a terrible risk.

For if Carl really is a serial killer, she’s alone in the most dangerous place of all . . .

My review:  Firstly I need to say that I read this on the suggestion of a blogger I follow and I didn’t actually read the blurb before reading the book and I haven’t read Julia Heaberlin’s first book Black Eyed Susans either.

So, my thoughts… well reading through the various comments and reviews it appears this is a marmite book, which is great as I love marmite, but did I love this book?  Having now read the book and finally reading the blurb above I have to say it’s slightly misleading in my opinion as the description suggests a thriller with a psychological twist and Paper Ghosts wasn’t really either of those to me.

Paper Ghosts is a beautifully constructed, well written character driven plot.  This is NOT a fast paced, page turner, it’s a very slow burner with an edge of discomfort throughout.

Our main character (unnamed until the end) is convinced that the infamous but never convicted serial killer Carl Feldman killed her sister Rachel and many other young women fifteen years ago and finds him in a care home suffering with dementia.  She convinces the Carl to take a road trip with her to discover the truth about her sister.

At times I was genuinely more concerned for Carl’s safety than our unnamed girl, who seemed determined, obsessed and slightly unhinged.  If you enjoy slow burners with a cleverly structured plot, characters with depth and tension simmering throughout then you may enjoy this book.

If you enjoy fast paced, page-turners with twists – then this probably isn’t the book for you.

About the Author:  Julia Heaberlin is the author of the international bestseller BLACK-EYED SUSANS and the upcoming PAPER GHOSTS, which will be released in the U.S. and the UK in April 2018. Julia describes PAPER GHOSTS as a creepy road trip across Texas with an old man who claims dementia and a young woman hunting very personal answers to a series of cold cases to which he is linked. Julia’s books, which have sold to more than seventeen countries, include two other psychological thrillers set in Texas, PLAYING DEAD and LIE STILL. She still considers herself a journalist and has long held an interest in true crime. Before writing novels, she was an award-winning editor for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Detroit News, and The Dallas Morning News. (Almost) a native Texan, Heaberlin lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where she is at work on her next novel.

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