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A brilliant sequel to his highly praised Juggling the Stars, Tim Park's Mimi's Ghost is the ultimate comedy of self-justification. Morris can't get over Mimi, but then he should have thought of that before he kidnapped and killed her. Two years ago, the Italian girl eloped with him. Even as Morris turned elopement into kidnapping, writing ransom notes and collecting the cash, he was also falling deeply, genuinely in love. So getting rid of Mimi was more a punishment than a crime. He had not foreseen it; he would have done anything to avoid it. Only now, residing in Verona and married to the girl's sister, does Morris appreciate how blindly he stumbled into fate's trap. Just as our unsavory hero is beginning to adjust to his new life-a lavish house and a cushy, important position in his new family's lucrative winemaking business--he visits Mimi's grave on the ""Day of the Dead"" and the charming photograph of Mimi on the gravestone distinctly winks at him. Perhaps the poor dead Mimi can't get over Morris either. He begins to hear her voice; he sees her reincarnated in Renaissance madonnas. And before long she begins to tell him what he should do next. Mimi's ghost seems to be suggesting a road to redemption for Morris-he will help the poor African immigrants of Verona, giving them work in the family's vineyards. Is this the politically correct path to a newly repentant, even religious Morris? Or merely his latest scheme? Lingering questions about Mimi's death and the mysterious ""accidents"" that seem to befall anyone who gets in his charitable way certainly don't bode well for the former possibility.

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