Dunne, Feb 2004, 24.95, 307 pp.
Though he has seen loved ones die before, London junior high school science teacher Mark Buckle struggles with the tragic death of his girlfriend Catherine in a car accident. He has no one to share his loss with except to a degree his gay seemingly always dunk fellow teacher Felix. Mark worries that he is losing his mind because everywhere he goes he senses Catherine is there. Rationally he knows he used her bubble bath and why her perfume permeates his apartment. However, when the radio always plays their song, he wonders if she is reaching out to him.
Following the funeral, Catherine appears in Mark's bedroom to help him find someone else. Meanwhile born-again Christian Tess Blake is half in love with Mark. He begins to notice her as a desirable female, but guiltily laments about unfaithfulness while wondering if Catherine is pushing him in that direction.
This first person (for the most part) account is two subplots brought together by the lead protagonist. The first segment of the book is Mark's harangue and grief over his loss accented by Catherine's appearance. Readers will wonder if she is a ghost or is he losing his mind. The second part deals with Mark trying to rejoin the living assisted by Felix, but really with Tess at Catherine's urgings. The audience will wonder whether Catherine is playing spiritual matchmaker or is the hero moving on. Though the two sides feel in some ways like separate novellas tied together by Mark, fans will appreciate the droll self deprecating soliloquies that make for a fine tale and turn readers into Jessica Adams believers, ghost or not.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner