Friday, February 8, 2013


Publisher:   Minotaur
Date published:   April 9, 2013
Genre:   Contemporary
Book format:  Electronic
Obtained via:  Publisher – Netgalley
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


If Em Moore didn’t have her partner Teddy beside her the insightful biographies she writes would never see the light of day.  Em is, in a word, shy, painfully shy and very agoraphobic. Venturing out on her own, speaking for herself, just isn’t going to happen for her.  It is Teddy with his presence and ability to talk to just about anyone who gives Em to the world. But when Teddy dies, Em is left to her own devices. Slowly but surely she not only regains her footing but steps out into the world on her own. She does it with a most unlikely source – Teddy.

No, this is not a ghost story with Teddy reaching out from the grave, rather Em finds a way to be in the world and partake of what it has to offer by talking through each aspect of her life with Teddy. Day by day she speaks to her now-gone friend, confidant, partner, and finds her own way not only to continue writing but to snag an interview with reclusive film director Garrett Malcolm.

But all is not as smooth as it may seem.  It appears there was more to the car accident that killed Teddy than meets the eye.

The moment I saw the title of Linda Barnes’s latest, THE PERFECT GHOST, I just had to read the blurb. Being familiar with her mystery series I had to see what Ms. Barnes was up to now.  The blurb caught my attention even more and I immediately ordered the book.  It is very different from what I’ve read of Linda Barnes in the past.  She takes on quite a different twist in THE PERFECT GHOST.  Told in the first person (which is not my favourite voice), the story is told not just from Em’s point of view but with some interesting additions such as Wikipedia bios on a character, excerpts from police reports and a few other novel twists. 

Em’s dialogue with Teddy is at first poignant, especially as she tells him about her day and how she felt dealing with different aspects of it.  After awhile though, in the constant first person perspective with repetitive “I, I, I, I” sentences and paragraphs the story started to wear on me.  If it weren’t for the interspersed police reports and 911 calls I would have most likely stopped trying to read the story.  I had to put it down a few times just to regroup from what could be tedious ruminations by Em.

I felt the way Em worked through her agoraphobia to continue writing was well done.  There was compassion for her disability and the use of Teddy, or his memory was a wonderful plot point to tell the story.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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