Sunday, May 13, 2018

✱✱ Book Review ✱✱ Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

Paper Ghosts
A Novel of Suspense 
by Julia Heaberlin

An obsessive young woman has been waiting half her life—since she was twelve years old—for this moment. She has planned. Researched. Trained. Imagined every scenario. Now she is almost certain the man who kidnapped and murdered her sister sits in the passenger seat beside her.
Carl Louis Feldman is a documentary photographer who may or may not have dementia—and may or may not be a serial killer. The young woman claims to be his long-lost daughter. He doesn’t believe her. He claims no memory of murdering girls across Texas, in a string of places where he shot eerie pictures. She doesn’t believe him.
Determined to find the truth, she lures him out of a halfway house and proposes a dangerous idea: a ten-day road trip, just the two of them, to examine cold cases linked to his haunting photographs.
Is he a liar or a broken old man? Is he a pathological con artist? Or is she? In Paper Ghosts, Julia Heaberlin once again swerves the serial killer genre in a new direction. You won’t see the final, terrifying twist spinning your way until the very last mile.

❃❃Paper Ghosts releases May 15th❃❃

Momma Says: 2 stars⭐⭐

Paper Ghosts started out with a creepy feel to it with our main character posing as a potential serial killer's daughter in order to find out if he killed her sister years before. The back and forth between the characters pulled me in and led me to think I had a riveting psychological thriller to sink my teeth into. Is Carl a serial killer? Does he really suffer from dementia or is he just a great actor hiding behind a facade? Did he kill this young woman's sister or is she on the wrong trail? All of these questions should've kept the suspense level high, but less than a hundred pages in, things become more about our main characters inner musings, and there are a lot of those. Considering the amount of time spent inside this woman's head, I was surprised that we don't learn her real name or what she does in her real life until the end. What I did learn was that she walked into a situation with a much too high opinion of herself and her ability to handle a man with dementia, let alone the possibility of him being a serial killer. We're told a lot about her "trainer" and how much time she's put in to learning to protect herself from Carl should she need to. The problem is that she really didn't know as much as she thought. I will admit that Carl does play some psychological games with our narrator, and those had the potential to be spine-tingling had our oh so prepared main character not been so completely unprepared for handling them. We do get answers to the many questions posed in this story, but too many were a bit too predictable and I never quite warmed up to the main character. I do prefer my mysteries and thrillers to be more edge of your seat, what's gonna happen next type stories and I didn't find that here, so quite possibly, this one just wasn't for me.

❃❃ARC provided by NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine

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