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An Intimate Ghost Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of An Intimate Ghost



St. Martin's, March 2004, 24.95, 320 pp.
ISBN 0312317476

In Evergreen High School in Minneapolis, student Cullen Hegg pulls out a gun in the middle of a history class but his teacher Alden Clifford manages to talk the sophomore into letting the rest of the students leave. When it's just the two of them, Alden tries to talk Cullen out of using the gun but the despondent boy kills himself. The teacher is lauded by the media, the faculty and the other students from preventing even more bloodshed, but Alden doesn't think of himself as a hero and avoids publicity.

Several months later Jane Lawless, owner of the Lyme House Restaurant and Pub, caters the wedding ceremony of Alden's son Nick and Lauren Bautel. However, someone placed hallucinogens into the food leading to Nick diving into an empty swimming pool and winding up in Intensive care. Jane identifies the culprit who flavored the food finally makes contact with him. Jane agrees to meet him at the hotel where he is hiding out. When she arrives, he is already dead and the murderer got away which means Jane is going to have to approach the problem from a different angle without getting herself killed.

Ellen Hart has written a very complex and fascinating amateur sleuth novel that has many sub-plots that tie back seamlessly to original theme. Through the use of flashbacks, readers gradually realize how the crimes of three decades ago are the catalyst for the dangerous felonies that are happening today. The heroine gradually pieces together the motivations for the death of her employee and the sprinkling of drugs in the food at the wedding buffet. INTIMATE GHOST deserves a Lambda Award consideration.

Harriet Klausner

This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of An Intimate Ghost

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards lover Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   hunted by BAD vigilante getting revenge

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Ellen Hart Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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