Paper Ghosts

Paper GhostsPaper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin
Published by Ballantine Books on April 17th 2018
Pages: 368
ISBN: 080417802X
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“Bad people are to be found everywhere, but even among the worst there may be something good.”

Serial Killer or man afflicted with dementia???? That is the question

Carl Feldman is a documentary photographer who is living in a half way house and has been diagnosed with dementia. One day a young woman arrives and claims to be his daughter. She wants to take him on a road trip to see if the trip can jar his memory. She believes he has killed various women who have gone missing or have been killed. He does not believe that she is his daughter, nor does he have any memory of killing anyone but agrees to her road trip if she will meet his conditions.

She agrees to meet his conditions because she has been waiting/preparing/training for this day. Her older sister, Rachel, went missing when she was 12 years old. Most of her life has been spent obsessing over what happened to her sister. She believes Carl killed her sister as she believes he has killed various young women in the locations where his photographs have been taken.

I read this book in one day. It’s not your classic page turner but it does weave quite the story. Is this man a serial killer, is he innocent, does he really have dementia, is he a victim, are her assumptions correct are some of the questions that went through my mind as I read this book. I really loved how the story builds – it is not fast but it is not slow either. This book is like watching a “sleeper” hit movie. It came out of nowhere with hidden truths, revelations, and hidden agendas. This book is a quiet but effective thriller. It never tries to hard or rushes through anything. I found the pacing to be spot on. I never really knew where this book was going. It was also strangely compelling to see two people on a road trip with their newly acquired dog, Barfly, who did not trust each other. Both were wary of the other. Carl did come off as a creepy guy but then there was that nagging question – was he creepy because he was creepy or because he was ill and could not help himself?

This book turned out to be a little gem. A wonderfully written psychological thriller. It starts a little slowly but as the story builds, you get to be part of a creepy road trip to find the truth no matter what the cost.

I look forward to reading more books by this Author.

Thank you to Random House publishing -Ballantine books and NetGalley who provided me with a coyp of this book in exchange for an honest review.