A Ghost in the Machine Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Ghost in the Machine

St. Martin's, Aug 2004, 25.95, 400 pp.
ISBN: 0312324219

In the village of Forbes Abbot, Dennis Brinkley is the subject of much local gossip as he collects replicas of old war-weapons and torture devices of varying sizes. Paradoxically, one of the collector's war machines crushes him to death. The villagers believe that a freak accident occurred, but his best friend Benny thinks someone is getting away with a homicide.
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The locals believe that Benny's contention is substantiated when psychic Ava Garrett insists she will ask Dennis to identify his killer at a sťance she is hosting. However, before she can call on Dennis, an unknown assailant kills the psychic. Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby and Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy investigate the two homicides.

No one does the English village police procedural better than Caroline Graham consistently accomplishes them. Her latest Barnaby and Troy triumph is a fabulous tale that ironically uses newcomers (Mallory and Kate Lawson and their daughter Polly) expecting a serene quiet change from London to introduce readers to Forbes Abbott and its eccentric residents that includes the late Dennis. The action is limited and the dynamic law enforcement duo does not appear until half way through the book as the oddball local characters take center stage with their goings on. The investigation is top rate, but it is the eccentricity of the villagers that make for a fantastic cozy-like tale with some profanity and one of the dead being a mangled bloody corpse.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of A Ghost in the Machine

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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 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% 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?    -   80% Kind of investigator    -   british mystery (I say!) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in small town Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

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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