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You’d Look Better as a Ghost

Joanna Wallace



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28 November 2023
'Refreshingly original and laugh-out-loud funny' - CLARE MACKINTOSH 'Delightfully shocking and irreverently funny' - JANICE HALLETT

I have a gift. I see people as ghosts before they die. Of course, it helps that I'm the one killing them.

The night after her father's funeral, Claire meets Lucas in a bar. Lucas doesn't know it, but it's not a chance meeting. One thoughtless mistyped email has put him in the crosshairs of an extremely put-out serial killer. But before they make eye contact, before Claire lets him buy her a drink, even before she takes him home and carves him up into little pieces, something about that night is very wrong. Because someone is watching Claire. Someone who is about to discover her murderous little hobby.

The thing is, it's not sensible to tangle with a part-time serial killer, even one who is distracted by attending a weekly bereavement support group and trying to get her art career off the ground. Let the games begin...

Dexter meets Killing Eve in this superb thriller, perfect for fans of How To Kill Your Family and My Sister, the Serial Killer.

'I doubt I'll read a more original thriller this year' - JACK JORDAN

'If Bret Easton Ellis ever went to grief counselling, this would be just the kind of brilliant book he'd write' - PHILIPPA EAST

Imprint:   VIPER
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Export/Airside
Dimensions:   Height: 228mm,  Width: 148mm,  Spine: 22mm
Weight:   400g
ISBN:   9781800811300
ISBN 10:   1800811306
Pages:   336
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Joanna Wallace worked as a solicitor until an autoimmune condition took away some of her sight. She now volunteers at a charity helpline and runs a family business with her husband. She was partly inspired to write You'd Look Better as A Ghost following her father's diagnosis of early onset dementia. Joanna lives near London with her husband, four children and two dogs.

Reviews for You’d Look Better as a Ghost

I absolutely loved this book. The combination of dark themes and black comedy is spot on -- Emma Curtis, author of ONE LITTLE MISTAKE This serial killer is deliciously dark with a sense of humour to die for, but is there more to Claire than her terrible past and bloodthirsty present? Joanna Wallace has created a multi-layered character who charms you even as you witness her crimes. An impressive debut -- Alice Clark-Platts, author of THE FLOWER GIRLS What a corker of a debut. Delightfully shocking and irreverently funny, this is a pitch-black comedy horror with a heart... of stone. Roll-up for your one-way ticket to the warped world of a glamorous psychopath and her relentless succession of hapless victims. I only took my eyes off the page to check Claire wasn't standing behind me. You'd Look Better as a Ghost is the darkest debut you'll read all year. Perfect for fans of Killing Eve -- Janice Hallett, author of THE APPEAL Monstrous and full of dark comedy and absolutely brilliant observations. Wonderful - everyone must read it -- Catherine Cooper, author of THE CHALET I loved this blackly comic serial-killer thriller, with its brilliant cat-and-mouse action and a plot that keeps you guessing at every razor-sharp turn. Witty, entertaining, clever and audacious, if Bret Easton Ellis ever went to grief counselling, this would be just the kind of brilliant book he'd write -- Philippa East, author of LITTLE WHITE LIES I loved it. I couldn't help but draw parallels with How to Kill Your Family and My Sister the Serial Killer. I think it sits proudly in this genre and had me laughing out loud in places! -- Melanie Golding, author of LITTLE DARLINGS Never in my life did I think I'd be rooting for a serial killer! This book is a black comedy triumph. I absolutely loved it -- Marion Todd, author of LIES TO TELL Wallace has the knack of spinning a bloody good yarn with gallons of humour, all with the deftest of touch. A true marvel from start to finish -- Jonathan Whitelaw, author of THE BINGO HALL DETECTIVES Droll and deadly - a dazzling debut by Joanna Wallace. Imagine if Eleanor Oliphant was completely murderous and laugh-out-loud funny. It's not often you're rooting for a serial killer to succeed, let alone hoping for a sequel -- D.V. Bishop, author of CITY OF VENGEANCE A terrific debut and a really exciting new voice - if Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine had a baby with Killing Eve, it would be something like this -- Tariq Ashkanani, author of WELCOME TO COOPER An extraordinary combination of wicked, laugh-out-loud humour, with a hefty slice of heart-breaking dark themes. This book is going to be big news -- J.M. Hewitt, author of THE LIFE SHE WANTS I Loved it. So fresh and twisty -- Nina Manning, author of THE GUILTY WIFE I have a new favourite serial killer. Claire dispatches her victims with style and a good dollop of humour. This book is a dark delight -- David Jackson, author of THE RESIDENT I was utterly hooked. Joanna Wallace's prose is scalpel-sharp, with one-liners that made me howl - trust me when I say that this is book is bloody funny -literally. Claire is a serial killer you can't help but love, while wondering if she could ever truly love you back... (picture Fleabag, but she's a blood-splattered psychopath wielding a hammer). I doubt I'll read a more original thriller this year -- Jack Jordan, author of DO NO HARM Dark, funny, clever, really, really good. Definitely one to look out for -- J.B. Mylet, author of THE HOMES What an amazing voice. This is such a clever twisty read with brilliant observations -- Sarah Lawton, author of ALL THE LITTLE THINGS Deliciously vicious and entertaining, Joanna Wallace has created a delightful and deranged protagonist that would give Villanelle a run for her money any day. I tore through this book gleefully, willing the heroine on to ever more dastardly deeds! -- Alison Belsham, author of THE TATTOO THIEF Wallace's slick, singular debut revels joyously in the possibility of following through literally on those fleeting murderous thoughts we all have -- Dominic Nolan, author of VINE STREET A deliciously dark tale. I absolutely loved Claire - someone to be amused by and scared of in equal measure -- Robert Scragg, author of WHAT FALLS BETWEEN THE CRACKS A wonderfully assured debut with a delightfully dark protagonist - a serial killer with a wicked sense of humour. Utterly amoral, her response to being crossed - whether grievously wronged or mildly annoyed - is the same: murder. Brilliant and funny! -- Guy Morpuss, author of BLACK LAKE MANOR Witty, cutting, and sharply observed. A brilliant exploration of the appearance of normality from a truly messed up yet oddly relatable anti-heroine. I loved it! This is the debut thriller to look out for in 2023 -- Sarah Bonner, author of HER PERFECT TWIN Finally, a serial killer we can all get behind. With an attitude as blunt as her favourite hammer and a wit sharper than a stiletto, Claire is opinionated, unreasonable and deadly, and you'll love her. Just don't wear open-toed sandals. You'd Look Better as a Ghost is an absolute delight, a dark and delicious stroll through the mind of a serial killer with a strong dislike for ordinariness and bad dress sense, and an inner dialogue that is as devastatingly witty as P.G. Wodehouse channelling his inner Brett Easton Ellis -- Chris Lloyd, author of THE UNWANTED DEAD Surreal, bonkers, snort-out-loud funny. A absolute delight! -- Sam Holland, author of THE ECHO MAN A perfect pitch-black amorality tale. Devilishly dark, laugh out loud funny, and full of twisted heartache, I've never rooted for a part-time serial killer more! -- Tim Glister, author of RED CORONA Dark, sharp, fast and funny. The kind of dark humour you get served on the end of a whip -- Jacqueline Sutherland, author of THE COFFIN CLUB Claire isn't any old serial killer, she's a serial killer with a sense of humour, absolutely no shame, and an indiscriminate hammer for people who piss her off. She's oddly loveable. We could all learn from Claire -- Jo Furniss, author of ALL THE LITTLE CHILDREN I'm not sure if I'm supposed to have so much fun reading about a serial killer but I absolutely loved Claire! Contrasting the killing with Claire's own grief is a stroke of genius on Joanna Wallace's part -- Joy Kluver, author of LAST SEEN A darkly funny romp with an incredible array of characters. I raced through it in two sittings, and was so gutted when it was over -- Chris McDonald, author of A WASH OF BLACK The most pitch-black of comedies - as witty and moving as it is horrifying. Claire has to be my favourite serial killer since Tom Ripley! -- Chris Curran, author of ALL THE LITTLE LIES Audaciously dark and incredibly funny - it makes you laugh and then question your own humanity for doing so -- Heather Critchlow, author of UNSOLVED I never expected a book about grief to make me laugh out loud - nor to find myself rooting for a serial murderer! Dexter meets Promising Young Woman, combined with a literary examination of the madness of grief that gets under your skin -- Daniel Sellers, author of MURDER IN THE GALLOWGATE

  • Winner of Crime Fiction Lover Awards 2023 (UK)

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