Monday, March 25, 2013

The Perfect Ghost – Linda Barnes

When celebrities want to write their “Autobiography”, but, cannot write it themselves they call upon ghost writers like Em Moore and her partner, Teddy Blake. Under the pseudonym, T. E. Blakemore, Em is the writer and prefers to spend her days indoors listening to taped interviews with their current subject. Teddy is the charismatic, outgoing, charming other half of the partnership who is responsible for arranging, taping and conducting the interviews. He has received many accolades for his “writing” and is well known and trusted to do a good job, while Em, on the other hand, is not so well known, choosing to live in the shadows of her tiny apartment (which she rarely leaves) and of Teddy, who she adores.

When Teddy dies in a bizarre road accident, Em decides to finish their current work, an autobiography of Garrett Malcom, a reclusive and extremely famous film director whose star is still rising. First though, she has to get from her apartment in Boston to his Cape Cod home to do the final interviews. When she eventually gets there, after a terrifying journey, she finds Garrett to be a lot nicer and far more attractive than she had previously thought he would be. He notices her timidity immediately and is very kind to Em offering her a room in his house so she can slot into his hectic schedule and finish the interviews. Soon, it becomes clear to Em that there are troubling questions about the Malcom family fortune and their history is filled with a mystery which she believes Teddy was onto before he died. As Em digs deeper into the Malcom story, slowly but surely, things begin to unravel.

None of the characters in this book are quite what they seem and I found some of them quite disturbing. The story is narrated by Em as she has an on-going dialogue with the recently departed Teddy. She is a very shy and mousy character and it becomes clear how much she relied on Teddy as a link to the world outside. She cannot let him go even after he dies.

Other than what I have said already it is very difficult to add more detail here without giving too much away. What I will say though, is that it is a chilling tale and I was almost at the end of the book when I realised what was actually happening. Linda Barnes has written a clever thriller with lots of twists and turns in the plot. It is a real page turner and I couldn’t put it down. I still remember the “Oh My God” moment I had when I put two and two together and the shock that came with it.

If you like thrillers and stories which keep you wanting to know more and more this is the book for you.



  1. New York Journal of Books concurs

    “Don’t be surprised if Linda Barnes gets an award for The Perfect Ghost, . . .”

  2. It would not surprise me at all if Linda Barnes gets an award for this book, it is rather special. Thank you for the link, lisarb