You’d Look Better As A Ghost, a review by Joanna

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You’d Look Better as a Ghost

Joanna Wallace

336 pages

Published Sept 21, 2023

Serpent’s Tail


This is an entertaining English crime story about a charming serial killer whose hobby comes under threat when she learns that someone has been watching her. I was beguiled by the title, and liked the sound of the premise, despite generally trying to avoid serial killer plot lines. I agree with other reviewers who have compared Claire to Dexter and Villanelle from Killing Eve, and enjoyed the irreverent black humour that lightened the tone.

Claire is an aspiring artist, who works out her impatience with people who upset or annoy her by murdering them. Her father, who she adored, has recently died, and to help manage her grief she joins a support group, but when one of the other members shows an unhealthy interest in her, Claire must protect her secrets at all costs.
This is a wickedly fun thriller told in Claire’s sardonic first person present voice, with flashbacks to her childhood with the selfish narcissistic mother who turned her into a psychopath. Despite describing some of her kills, it’s surprisingly ungory and she manages to convince us that her victims all deserved their fates (arguably some do, but most actually don’t!) In spite of the title, there are no supernatural elements, and it’s a quick easy read, but does tackle some serious and sad topics, including bereavement and child neglect. There’s definitely potential for a sequel,  but even if there isn’t to be one, I’ll be looking out for more from this author.
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. I am posting this honest review voluntarily.

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