cover image The Perfect Ghost

The Perfect Ghost

Linda Barnes. Minotaur, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-02363-6

Anthony Award–winner Barnes (Lie Down with the Devil and 11 other Carlotta Carlyle novels) crafts a stand-alone with Shakes-pearean ambitions. Em Moore, an agoraphobe who ghostwrites celebrity biographies under the joint pseudonym T.E. Blakemore, worries whether she can complete her current project—an “autobiography” of famed actor-director Garrett Malcolm—without her writing partner, Teddy Blake, after his death in a car crash. Though timid Em always left the interviewing to Teddy, she summons the resolve to talk to Malcolm in his isolated Cape Cod, Mass., beach house. At first, Malcolm casts her aside dismissively, but as Em perseveres and wins his trust and admiration, she persuades both him and herself of her own worth. As she grows closer to Malcolm, secrets about his life begin to pile up—as well as secrets about Teddy’s life. Although the mystery is slow to build, Barnes delivers a captivating story of love, rivalry, and revenge. Agent: Gina Maccoby, Gina Maccoby Literary Agency. (Apr.)