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My First Major Book Review Courtesy of

Updated: May 5, 2022

In J. Warren Weaver’s novel To Kill a Ghost, a tragic death threatens to expose family secrets buried for decades. The blood of a murdered man stains the steps of his front porch, and unless his grandson can find out who is behind the killing, the rest of the family will pay for the sins of their patriarch. This novel begins with a mystery but moves quickly to intense action. It will have readers on the edge of their seats, piecing together clues, checking for mysterious vehicles lurking nearby, blocking punches and dodging bullets. Weaver delivers a story that is both exciting and clever, exploring themes of self-discovery, loyalty and redemption without slowing down the action or pulling any punches.

IT WILL HAVE READERS ON THE EDGE OF THEIR SEATS Erik Brown is devastated by the sudden loss of the grandfather who raised him; the horrible details of his death only add to the pain. While the bullet hole in the back of Victor’s head leaves no question of how he died, the mystery of why his grandfather was killed haunts Erik. Managing unspeakable grief while meeting the demands of medical school is difficult enough, but then Erik notices a black sedan roaming the neighborhood and following him on the freeway. It must be a coincidence, right? Erik can’t shake the feeling that his grandfather was hiding something. When a sharply dressed stranger at Victor’s wake claims to be a close friend and asks elusively, “did he ever talk about his time in Poland?” Erik comes to realize how little he really knew about the person he thought of as a father. He becomes fixated on uncovering the truth, hoping that it will help explain why his grandfather was gunned down in broad daylight. A series of clues, codes and secret combinations finally promises to reveal Victor’s killer but also put Erik up against some of the toughest characters in the city. They want something from Erik, but he can’t figure out what it could be. Returning to his grandfather’s home, the place where he was murdered, Erik discovers a brand-new suit in the closet with his name on it. Supposing it to be a final gift from his grandfather, he tries it on but finds it to be tight in the shoulders:

WEAVER’S NOVEL IS BOTH SUSPENSEFUL AND WONDERFUL “Erik shook his head and started to navigate his way out of the jacket. As he carefully slid one arm out, something stiff scraped against his forearm. ‘Must be something caught in the sleeve,’ he said out loud … With a curious frown he let his fingers probe deeper into the seam until they landed on something small and cylindrical… It was a small plastic tube the size of a ballpoint pen.” This proves to be the first in a series of his grandfather’s messages from beyond the grave. As Erik finds himself in the midst of increasingly perilous confrontations with the criminals he thinks responsible for the shooting, he relies on instincts and skills instilled in him since childhood. Victor’s voice lives in the back of Erik’s head, helping him make split-second decisions: Never show fear; never hit a woman, unless absolutely necessary; look at their eyes, you can see if they’re lying. This hauntingly helpful voice proves to be useful in navigating the criminal underworld without catching a bullet. It’s one of the many unique aspects of the story that makes Weaver’s novel both suspenseful and memorable. To Kill a Ghost is a carefully constructed tale of mystery, action and vengeance. Weaver shows great balance in presenting enough details to bring each scene to life and advance this intricate plot one step at a time, without bogging the reader down with excessive descriptions or narrative. Reminding us that every family has its secrets, To Kill a Ghost will become a favorite for those who enjoy a fast-paced plot that also explores hidden identities and makes intriguing connections to the past.

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