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Monday, April 20, 2020

Unlikable Characters + Unsatisfying Ending = Meh

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Em Moore has always been the quieter, less dynamic part of the successful writing duo, T.E. Blakemore.  Now that Teddy Blake, her business partner and only real friend, has died, Em's not quite sure how to proceed.  Unmoored but determined to finish T.E. Blakemore's latest project—a biography of famed actor and movie director Garrett Malcolm—Em convinces their reluctant publisher to let her continue solo.  If she can't prove her ability to carry on alone, she could lose what little she has left in her lonely life.

Determined to prove her worth, Em talks handsome, intimidating Garrett into letting her finish his book.  In order to gain closer access to her subject, she moves into a guesthouse on his property.  Although the celebrity is less than forthcoming, Em is managing to slowly get to know him.  Hints of skeletons in Malcolm's closet pique Em's interest even more.  Scintillating secrets will ensure the book is a bestseller.  When the police launch an investigation into Teddy's death, Em has to grapple with the shocking secrets of more than one man.  Can she make sense of it all while completing the most important project of her career?

Despite dragging a bit in places, The Perfect Ghost by Linda Barnes is a compelling novel which took at least one turn I didn't see coming.  I can't say I loved it, though.  The characters are almost wholly unlikable, the story is depressing, and I found the surprise ending unsatisfying.  All in all, then, I just didn't care for The Perfect Ghost much.  Bummer.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a half dozen F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. It is really tough to get into a book when you don't like the characters. The premise does sound strong, but those characters might be deal breakers for me.

  2. So disappointing! I need a few likable characters and a satisfactory ending.....doesn’t need to me happy....but satisfactory!

  3. Such interesting covers; sorry to hear these were a bit of a bomb.

  4. I think it is all about my mood. I have to be in a certain frame of mind to read about unlikable characters and a depressing story. I’m for sure not up for that right now! Hope you are doing okay!

  5. Unlikable characters and an unsatisfying ending kills a book for me. I'll be passing on this one.

  6. I can handle unlikable characters but only in a can't put down suspense type read. While this doesn't sound like the worst book I think I'll pass.

  7. I do like it when a twist can surprise me but I have a hard time falling for a book if I don't like some of the characters.


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