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Paper Ghosts

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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  4,437 ratings  ·  822 reviews
Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who was once a celebrated photographer. That was before he was tried for the murder of a young woman and acquitted. before his admission to a care home for dementia. Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip. Only she's not his daughter and, if she has her way, he's not coming back . . .

Because Carl's past has finally caug
...more
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Ballantine Books (first published March 15th 2018)
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Sue Frances A totally different story, and it's started brilliantly.…moreA totally different story, and it's started brilliantly.(less)
Angela The issue of where the gold bars came from is never really addressed, but I assumed that it was one of the things that Carl was guilty of. I believe t…moreThe issue of where the gold bars came from is never really addressed, but I assumed that it was one of the things that Carl was guilty of. I believe that he hid the gold and forgot about it as his dementia became worse. This would explain why he felt the need to pan for gold in unusual places like parking lots.(less)

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Average rating 3.64  · 
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Susanne  Strong
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4 Stars.

One woman believes that former photographer Carl Louis Feldman is guilty. Of murder, including the murder of her sister Rachel. He was acquitted of murdering other young women he was accused of and now, he lives in a care home for dementia patients. Yet none of that matters to this young woman, as she knows that Carl is responsible and she is dead set on proving it so that she can finally find out what happened to her sister, twelve years later. How, you ask? It’s quite simple really. Sh
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Kendall
Let's start off by admiring how beautiful the cover is of this book. I LOVE IT!! :)

Our main character Grace was 12 when her sister Rachel went missing and was presumed to be dead but there was no body that was found. As you can imagine, Grace became obsessed with finding out what happened to her sister. Grace's obsession leads her to a man named Carl who used to be a photographer but is now living in a home with other convicts that have dementia. Smart Grace pretends to be Carl's daughter! Super
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Debra
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
"Bad people are to be found everywhere, but even among the worst there may be something good."

Serial Killer or man afflicted with dementia???? That is the question

Carl Feldman is a documentary photographer who is living in a half way house and has been diagnosed with dementia. One day a young woman arrives and claims to be his daughter. She wants to take him on a road trip to see if the trip can jar his memory. She believes he has killed various women who have gone missing or have been killed. H
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Diane S ☔
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Original and clever. In the twelve years since her sister disappeared, she has been obsessed with finding her body and what happened to her. She has now targeted on a 61 year old, photographer, Carl, a man who took pictures of women she is certain have been his victims. Aquited of the murder of one of the women ,Carl now has dementia and is living in a halfway house. Pretending she is his daughter she decides to take him on a journey to different sites in his photograph, hoping this will spark s ...more
Liz
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley

Reading Paper Ghosts is like watching a chess game or a tennis match. Back and forth, back and forth. Both individuals have their own agenda and are trying to outwit the other. One, Grace, is the sister of a murder victim who thinks she’s identified her sister’s killer. That man, who may now be suffering from early onset dementia, was formerly a documentary photographer who was acquitted on the one case taken to court. She takes him on a road trip to view sites of murders he supposedly committed
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Lou
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved Julia Heaberlin's novel, "Black Eyed Susans", so reading this new release was a no-brainer for me. The premise of "Paper Ghosts" is an original and imaginative one, it grabbed me from the synopsis and continued to captivate me throughout the book. I particularly enjoyed the tagline - "My sister disappeared. I know who took her. Now I've taken him". Oh, and the beautiful cover! You can't underestimate the advantages that come from it being an eyecatching one.

Carl Feldman, a dem
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Marialyce
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
You can follow my reviews at: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

A map marked in red with three dots, a serial killer with dementia and a sister who has waited countless years to find her missing sister embark on an atmospheric journey. What could possibly go wrong?

Imagine preparing for twelve long years, formulating plans, practicing, spending countless hours waiting to entrap the man you think kidnapped and murdered your older sister? Now all that planning comes to fruition as Grace tak
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j e w e l s
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
THREE STARS

I think I was one of the few that loved the author's previous book, Black-Eyed Susans and I meant to read this newest one for the past year.

VERDICT: hmmm. This is one of those novels that I know is beautifully written, but fails to grab and keep my attention. The premise of a young adult woman more or less kidnapping an old guy from a retirement home and then going on a serial killer hunting road trip....well, I just couldn't buy any of it. And that was before all the ghosts start ma
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Emma
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This may well be one of the most batshit crazy books i've read recently, with both the dementia suffering potential serial murderer and his pretend daughter/investigator being contenders for the mad-as-a-hatter crown.

At the outset, I thought this was going to be an easy 5 stars; it begins with a sly to-and-fro between the pair, a subtle and insidious testing of each other, with every conversation seeming to insinuate dangerous knowledge and hidden truths. Then they embark on what felt like one o
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Jess☺️
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paper ghosts is the second book I've read by Julia Heaberlin.
It starts a little on the slow side and then builds but as it's building up it twists along the way with a few 'oh my god ' moments it's also a little on the creepy side whilst being a good psychological thriller.
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Sarah Joint
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This story is sly, has some unexpected dark humor, great quotes, and creeps along ever so slowly with some chills on the way. For some readers, it'll be too slow. I was fascinated the whole time. The two main characters are incredibly unique and interesting. The back and forth never ends. You'd assume the serial killer would be the cat and the young woman the mouse, but there were moments I wasn't quite sure. They keep you guessing. The games they play with each other are constant, and you never ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it

Dementia, a photographer, murders...do they all point to and describe Carl? Is Grace wrong about still thinking that Carl murdered her sister and other women even though he was acquitted of murder?

Grace has been looking for her sister and the person who took her and killed her since she disappeared on her way to her babysitting job.

Grace believes Carl took her sister, and she had a plan on how to trap Carl into confessing and leading her to where her sister is by taking Carl on a ten-day trip a
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Sheila
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 stars--I greatly enjoyed this book.

I really loved this book, which is an anthem to Texas disguised as a suspense novel. What made it stand out for me, in a saturated genre that I read a lot of, were the descriptions of the photographs--and actual black-and-white photos included in the book as well. I also loved trying to puzzle out Carl, who was a fascinating character--is he a killer? How progressed is his dementia? Why is he going along with the narrator's plan?

Each little detail comes back
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Michelle
No rating. DNF @ chapter 30 / 43%

I just can't read any further. I read Black-Eyed Susans by this author a few years back and really enjoyed it but this book is SOOOO confusing. Other reviewers seem to really like this one and it makes me feel like I'm reading a completely different book. I don't get it. I don't get any of it.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Christine
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Paper Ghosts is slightly odd. This makes it rather memorable. Julia Heaberlin gives us a slow moving relationship drama. This is a road trip, with a suspected serial killer.

This story takes us into the life of Grace, a woman who is desperate for answers about her missing elder sister. Grace was a twelve year old child, when her sister went missing. This lead to her becoming totally obsessed with the case. She is prepared to conquer her fears and face a monster. She worked out that a photographer
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Ken
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was instantly drawn to this book by the striking cover and interesting premise.

The main protagonist sister went missing at the age of 12 and she is convinced that Carl Feldman Who had been acquitted of the crime really was the culprit.
Carl now suffering from dementia is taking by her to the various locations to try and help jog he’s memory and finally admit that he killed her.

I liked the idea of them traveling to the various places over the course of 10 days, but felt that the story lulled sl
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Carol
Sep 26, 2020 added it
Shelves: fiction, cold-case
The Hook - Many moons ago I was intrigued by the hype about the book Black-eyed Susans by Julia Heaberline. But like the flowers my black thumb does not nurture neither did this book ever manage to creep off my TBR pile. In addition, Paper Ghosts caught my eye in a list of thrillers (sorry, can't remember where) and also was a 2019 Finalist in ITW's Thriller Awards. Paper Ghosts did not claim the fame which makes me think I ought to read the book that did.

The Line(s) - ”This leaves one percent
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Liz Barnsley
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Paper Ghosts. When I finished it I wanted to cry and I wasn’t sure why or who for. It’s interesting that this is a crime novel that ends up, to my mind, being about nearly everything but the crime.

Paper Ghosts is a dual-edged character drama, two people caught up in a mental game of cat and mouse, in Grace’s case not only with Carl but with herself. She believes he killed her sister, she is not sure if his illness is real or an attempt to hide, for Carl’s part he’s not saying. The intera
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Amelia Strydom
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Crazy good and truly original!
After years of obsessive amateur detective work and training in self-defence and survival, our protagonist - a nameless young woman - kidnaps Carl, an elderly dementia patient. She pretends to be his daughter and takes him on a final (in more than one sense) road trip. Crosses mark her roadmap, places connected to serial killer victims. She hopes to jog her hostage's memory before it dissolves completely, and to provide the family of his victims with closure. Most o
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Holly
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2018
I knew from the very first chapters that I was going to enjoy this book. Grace was only 12 when her older sister went missing, presumed dead when no body turned up. So for years Grace's obsession was to find out what happened to Rachel and find her killer. Her obsession takes her to a man she believes is the killer, a renowned photographer, Carl. So she pretends to be Carl's daughter, because he is now living in a home where convicts with dementia live. This is where the story unfolds as Grace a ...more
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Grace was only 12 when her older sister Rachel disappeared.  One moment she was riding her bike down the street to babysit and the next Grace received a phone call that she never made it.  
Her entire life is suddenly dedicated to finding Rachel; she spends years learning what she can about the case and researching serial killers who operated near their town.  In high school, her art teacher has a photography book that students are allowed to check out.  Grace is stunned to find a photograph she
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Jennifer
★★½
Paper Ghosts had sooooo much potential. I was super excited to start this book and I stayed excited throughout its solid beginning. Then, the flow became a bit monotonous in my opinion and I personally found the ending quite underwhelming given what this premise was capable of. I had so many theories running in my head as the story progressed, just waiting it out because I was certain the ending was going to make it all worth it.

Regardless of my overall reading experience, I applaud the auth
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Brenda
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: shelf-awareness
Decidedly underwhelming.

It says it’s a novel of suspense, but what it really is is a constant deluge of internal monologuing by our protagonist. Lots and lots and lots of internal monologuing. We ultimately find out the answers to the burning questions of who murdered the girls, but frankly I was so dull-eyed by the time we got there I was indifferent. A shrug of the shoulder and a, “meh,” was all it got out of me.

This is also due to Carl feeling mostly useless. I don’t really know why the auth
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Emily
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"When the camera sees happy smiles, I imagine the worms wriggling underneath."

Paper Ghosts was my first Julia Heaberlin book, and I loved it so much. This is a serial killer novel set on a road trip through Texas, and this is perfect for me. I live in (and love) Texas, and you can always hook me with a serial killer storyline.

This book is a slow burn, and I would probably call it more of a suspense novel than a thriller. However, I was so intrigued by the story that this book was really a page
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Kristy
Carl Feldman was a famous photographer whose photos were well-known and whose books sold around the country. Then, he was tried--and acquitted--for the murder of a young mother. Now he lives in a home for wayward folks and criminals with dementia. Supposedly his mind is going, and there's much he doesn't remember about his past. There are tremors in his arm and gaps in his past. But each week a young woman visits, claiming to be his daughter. Eventually, she shows up to take Carl on a trip. But ...more
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
3.5 stars, rounding to 4 for Goodreads. (Also, please note the publication date is extended to 5/15/18)

Grace's older sister, Rachel, goes missing, is presumed dead and the person who likely is responsible for this, Carl, has dementia, barely remembers where he is and so is acquitted and put into an assisted-living facility. Grace spends years training and researching. Researching all the missing girls that may be tied to Carl. Training to make sure she can pursue her plan and be aware of any pen
...more
Jayme
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller-tbr


Paper Ghosts is not a thriller. Per the cover, it is a novel of suspense.

I think it’s a UNIQUE, clever, slow burn novel of suspense.

Before:

Rachel disappeared. Her body never found.

Younger sister, Grace has never fully recovered from her loss.

She begins keeping a journal: (entries peppered throughout the book)

“My Survival Notebook, age 8, How to be as brave as my sister”

Present Day:

Grace has shown up at home for patients with dementia. It’s the place where the once award winning photographe
...more
Brandie
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Unpopular opinion- I loved this book. I don’t know if it’s because I had such low expectations after most of my friends disliked it. I thought it was clever and unique and kept me guessing. It was super creepy, and I didn’t want to put it down. Glad I gave it a chance.
Beck
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed, much better than I expected...... the ending completely threw me.
The Pfaeffle Journal (Diane)
Twelve years ago, Grace's older sister, Rachel, disappeared thought to have been murdered. Grace believes that she has discovered who killed her sister and she sets up an elaborate plan to prove she is correct.

Claiming to be the daughter of Carl Louis Feldman, a once-famous photographer, now a dementia patient in a nursing home Grace decides to abduct him as she believes he murdered her sister. What ensues is a wild trek across Texas. What follows is a compelling story of a woman taking a lot o
...more
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Julia Heaberlin is the author of the international bestseller BLACK-EYED SUSANS and PAPER GHOSTS, a finalist for Best Novel of the year by the International Thriller Writers. WE ARE ALL THE SAME IN THE DARK, her latest psychological thriller, has received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Her books have sold to more than twenty countries, including two other psychological thrillers set in T ...more

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