Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin || Book Review

I’ll admit, I was sold by the cover and title of the book.

Paper Ghosts. How could this not stand out to you?

When I was done reading the book, the title made complete sense. It actually blew my mind ever more. I’ve never heard of Julia Heaberlin before but after reading this book, I’m keen to read more of her books.

DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.

Book Review: Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin #bookreview #paperghosts #juliaheaberlin #thrillerbooks #booktwitter #bookblog #bookblogger

Challenge prompt: A borrowed book
Originally published: 2018

Pages: 400
Format: Paperback

Plot: from GoodReads:

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 caught up with him. The young woman driving the car is convinced her passenger is guilty, and that he’s killed, other young women. Including her sister Rachel. Now they’re following the trail of his photographs, his clues, his alleged crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. Confesses to any of it. To discover what really happened to Rachel. Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he’s guilty of nothing and she’s the liar. Either way in driving him into the Texan wilderness she’s taking a terrible risk. For if Carl really is a serial killer, she’s alone in the most dangerous place of all…


The two main characters, Carl and Grace, are interesting and unique characters, and the relationship between them throughout the book developed in ways I didn’t expect. The back and forth conversations between them were intriguing and you’re left with no knowing who you can actually trust. Both keep you guessing until the very end. They play mind games with each other all the time, and you have to question Carl’s motives as well as his mental condition throughout the book.

The biggest issue for me was to try and figure out Carl before I finished the book, and the author really didn’t make it easy. I loved the suspense, just as you think you’ve got it figured out, something happens and you’re doubting yourself.

I do have to add, the whole mystery around Carl was the main focus for me, but Grace dished out a couple of curveballs of her own which made me question her own sanity at some parts of the book.

There is dark humour in the book, a sly addition to the story but worked in incredibly well. You need to understand the kind of person you’re dealing with in the book to know why this was a necessary addition.

I did love the addition of their two passengers along the way and let me tell you, those two made my heart beat a little faster as well as slower with their stories.

Even though the focus is on the crime, it’s focused on all but the crime. There is so much going on that there’s no real time to focus on the crime and figuring out what truly happened.


It’s one of the strangest road trips I’ve ever read about, and to be honest, one I wouldn’t ever want to find myself on – with either of the characters.

It’s a slow moving book, there aren’t any huge twists and turns but the level of built up suspense kept the book moving at a great pace and the puzzles Carl scattered around made it even better.

My Rating:

The book has a rating of 3.65 on GoodReads. I gave it a 5.

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin {Book Review} #bookreview #paperghosts #juliaheaberlin #thrillerbooks #booktwitter #bookblog #bookblogger

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