ARC Review: Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

Release Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: ebook
Pages: 368 pages
Genre:  Mystery/ Thriller
Buy: Kindle | Hardcover


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. 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?


This book was creepy almost from the beginning. A young woman has spent her life researching who killed her sister.  She believes it's Carl, but Carl has no memory of it and since he has dementia its a distinct possibility that he will never remember. Thinking if she takes him to the location of some of the other women she thinks he killed will jog his memory she decides to claim to be his long lost daughter and take Carl on a road trip.

The road trip had me on the edge of my seat.  Was Carl going to murder her? Is he really the murderer she thinks he is? There are so many moments that made my skin crawl.  Julia Heaberlin hits this one out of the park.  I was riveted by the road trip, the creepy photographs and the young women's drive to find her sisters body. I did not see the ending coming and was pleasantly surprised by it. The whole book was well done and wasn't your typical serial killer read. The fact that this young woman puts her life in her hands to discover the truth on the often times hilarious, sometimes scary and always suspenseful road trip from hell.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through in exchange for an honest review.

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