Today’s team review is from Robbie. She blogs here https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/
Robbie has been reading Billy Bean’s Ghost by John York.
I chose to read this book because I was attracted to the blurb which made it sound like a fun and light hearted read. I was not disappointed. Although this is a murder mystery novella it is told in a delightfully enjoyable manner.
Billy Bean is a young man who has been disappointed by life. His father died in a nasty work accident when he was young and his mother is over-bearing and a bit clingy. Billy flung himself into his music and piano playing as a way of dealing with his grief over his father unexpected death. When he failed to gain acceptance to a well known music school, he’s life fell apart and he spiraled into a depression. He undertook tertiary training in finance and is working as a bank teller at the beginning of the story. He finds the work mundane and unrewarding, but it pays his bills and allows him to live in a small apartment attached to a large and empty manor house.
In exchange for a reduced rental, Billy is responsible for looking over the house on a weekly basis to ensure there are no issues that require attention. The house is creepy as most of the furniture is covered with sheeting and some of the rooms are locked. Billy discovers a beautiful piano in one of the rooms and is drawn to it. He succumbs to temptation and starts playing the piano. Before long, Billy starts hearing a voice in his head asking him for help.
Naturally, Billy thinks he is having some sort of break down and he seeks medical assistance from a newly establish psychiatrist, Abigail Applebee. Gradually, it becomes clear to them both that something strange is going on in the manor house and the pair set out to unravel the mystery together.
I enjoyed the character of Billy Bean and felt sorry for the disappointment he had suffered. He was a kind soul and just needed a break to come out of his shell and show his true colours. His romance with Abigail, who sees past his shyness to the lovely person inside, is sweet and feel-good.
Abbie and Billy’s romance and the unravelling of the mystery of the mysterious voice go hand in hand and lead to a lot of personal development by Billy. His relationship with Abbie, who has been neglected by both her parents her whole life, gives him a new perspective on his own relationship with his mother and he comes to appreciate how much she cares for him. Abbie also helps him to take a step towards reigniting his musical career by performing for his mother and her neighbours.
This is an entertaining book and the author’s style of writing is interesting and enjoyable. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy a lighter styled mystery story.
Billy Bean lives alone in the small attic apartment of an old, unoccupied mansion. His cheap rent is subsidized by an agreement to watch over the place while the owner is away. A bank teller and chronic introvert, Billy’s life is one boring, mind-numbing day after another. Since the age of four, at the exclusion of all the normal social interaction of activities other children his age enjoyed, he worked toward becoming a concert pianist. But, at age 18, after the horrific death of his father and then a rejection from the San Francisco Music Conservatory, Billy had plunged into a deep depression. He no longer felt the passion, the drive, or the need to play the piano, so he quit.
During his weekly inspections of the old mansion, Billy discovers a treasure, a beautiful Steinway concert grand piano. He is so inspired by the magnificent instrument that he tentatively begins playing again, but there is a slight catch. Each time he plays this marvelous piano, he hears an imploring voice inside his head.
The mysterious voice compels Billy to visit psychiatrist, Abigale Applebee, who agrees to help him sort out what kind of mental health problem he’s experiencing. They soon discover the voice is not the result of a psychosis, but rather something far more sinister. Led by the voice, Abby and Billy unexpectedly uncover the horrific secrets of a long-forgotten cellar below the house. But who is going to believe them?