Bobby's Trace

Novel by Edward C. Patterson
ISBN: 1-43489396-0

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Bobby's Trace Reviewed by Rainbow Reviews

"Perry suffers unending grief at the untimely loss of his lover, who isn't quite as gone away as Perry believes.

Bobby's gone: bright, sparkly, creative, lovable, never-miss-a-trick Bobby, and Perry, Bobby's survivor, cannot cope. He's not sure whether the odd experiences he's encountering, which constantly remind him of his loss, are positive or negative. He just knows the grieving won't end.

Some experiences aren't accountable for by the natural laws of physics, and while those around Perry scoff and attribute them to troublemakers, deep down Perry knows better. His beloved is still reaching out to him in love. However, the living seem able to still anger the dead, and a deceased spirit can wreak job havoc for a computer programmer. Poor Perry: trapped between the unyielding, unforgiving rock of grief and the hard place of exorcism of a spirit whom he loved in life.

A subtle and wry humor never detracts from the intensity of the characterizations, which rather unfold like the peeling of an onion to reveal unexpected layers and depths. The characters belong in the category of "more here than meets the eye at first" and indeed, so does this story, which left me happy I had chosen to read it. I was also left with a quote that quite blew my mind and provoked thought:

"The fiction is never gone when you're in the closet." What an encouragement to do as Socrates recommended and be true to ourselves!"

Review by Frost's Fancy
Rainbow Reviews

Bobby's Trace Reviewed by Maureen Miller author of Widow's Tale

The writing in Bobby's Trace was so fast-paced and charismatic that I wished there was much more.

Poor Perry. Hooray for a programmer getting the leading role! It is impossible not to feel for this tortured man. "Will I ever find peace?" "Perhaps in the dark." I think that line broke my heart, yet this book is not about sorrow and melancholy. There are too many upbeat characters for you to stay 'down' for any period of time.

I highly recommend Bobby's Trace and look forward to reading Mr. Patterson's other material.

Review by Maureen Miller
Author of Widow's Tale

Bobby's Trace reviewed by Timothy Mulder author of Lonely and Lost

M. Night Shyamalan Beware

Grief is a terribly destructive thing.

Grieving while being haunted by your dead lover... who won't let you get laid, or even date... well that's just no fun.

Bobby's Trace is a hauntingly beautiful exposition of one man's failing sanity in the face of prolonged grief. Touching and terribly heart wrenching.

Added to the mix is a mysterious ghostly twist... I don't want to give the plot away... making this trip through pain a psychologically straining thriller that M Night Shyamalan would be proud of.
Re-read it twice to more fully appreciate the subtleties.

Review by Timothy Mulder
author of Lonely and Lost

Bobby's Trace reviewed by Mireille Reyns (Belgium)


Well, I'm glad I stumbled across this little treasure ! I could recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading a story that is unique, charming, funny, mysterious and touching at the same time. And all of this in these mere 73 pages. WOW !
Five stars !!!

Review by Mireille Reyns

Bobby's Trace reviewed by L. Langston (Surprise, AZ)


Mr. Patterson has mastered the challenge of bringing his characters to life. I had no difficulty visualizing the characters and events, which allows the reader to forget they are reading a book, and immersed myself fully in the story. I was a tad disappointed that it was so short, and I believe the author could easily write a prequel and/or a sequel; however, the brevity in no way hinders what the story is meant to convey.

Review by L. Langston

Bobby's Trace reviewed by Blue Goddess - Kindle-aholics Anonymous

Holy smokes!

I don't want to give anything away! Touching, yet creepy. Funny, yet chilling. I used to hope someone would love me as much as Bobby loves Perry, but now I'm not so sure! Give it a read, you won't regret it.

Review by Blue Goddess
Kindle-aholics Anonymous

Bobby's Trace reviewed by Esmeralda Luv (Seattle, WA)

Once again Patterson proves to be a master when it comes to bringing out the emotional side of the characters, the subject matter, and the overall feel of the story.

Perry is emotionally distraught over the passing of his beloved Bobby. Bobby is still 'present' and is reaching out to communicate with Perry. Perry makes an attempt to get on with his life and goes on his first date since the funeral. Bobby tags along...and there is no putting this book down until the last page is reached.

Patterson has a way of including the reader in every thought, emotion and experience the characters have. At times it was hard to determine which emotion had priority, laugh hysterically or cry uncontrollably. When I finished the book, I was tempted to re-read it just to experience it all over again. This was a great book, a joy to read, and one I'll want to visit again.

Review by Esmeralda Luv

Bobby's Trace reviewed by R. W. Banks "The Gemstar" (Australia)

I'm Sleeping with the Lights On!

Perry Chaplin is a computer programmer mourning the recent death of his partner, the incomparable Bobby. When inexplicable events start occurring all around him, Perry begins to wonder if he may have lost his marbles when he lost his lover.

The fast-paced and unique storyline of "Bobby's Trace" held my interest right from its angst-ridden opening chapter until the fascinating conclusion. There were so many plot twists in this book, which thankfully weren't telegraphed miles in advance. On the contrary, when the curve-balls revealed themselves they came as a real punch to the gut!

The story is told from the points-of-view of three characters: Perry Chaplin, Father Paul (a Catholic priest), and the elusive Marlin Fisk. Although the titular Bobby is supposedly dead, his presence is felt in more ways than one!

"Bobby's Trace" is a combination of ghost-story, love-story and mystery novel, held together with the author's trademark black humour. At times bizarre and terrifying yet also beautifully uplifting, Edward C Patterson has crafted a literary jewel.

Review by R. W. Banks

Bobby's Trace reviewed by Pam (Georgia, USA)

You Got Me!

This is a great story about "Perry" who's just lost his lover to illness. He's deep in mourning when his dead lover's ghost begins to haunt him. The candle thing at the restaurant creeped me out! The story is fast paced and I couldn't stop reading. Great twist at the end. I never suspected a thing!!

Review by Pam

Bobbt's Trace Review By ellen "ellen in atlanta" (Atlanta, Georgia USA)

A look at love from both sides

Perry Chaplin is a programmer who is having a hard time. His life partner, Bobby, has passed from AIDS, as anyone who loved someone who's passed, it hurts the living to see them go.

But, author Edward C. Patterson has written what if those crossed over mourn the loved ones left behind in the world of the living?

Friends decide it's time for Perry to join the living instead of hurting from Bobby's death and sets him up with someone. As Perry finally goes on a 'blind date', Bobby's presence starts to be seen. Bobby's not too happy that Perry is getting back to his lifestyle and he's starting to make himself known.

Bobby's Trace or presence certainly is a force in this book. It also deals with church policy and the human heart, as well as the metaphysical aspect.

Mr. Patterson writes with fluid elegance. You can put any person in the situation Perry's in, and Bobby too, male or female, and the premise still is a strong one.

A sensitive read.

Bobby's Trace Review by Todd Fonseca

After losing his life partner to AIDS, Perry Chaplin struggles to move on. Work provides little solace; hiding his lifestyle from his unsupportive boss had always been stressful but after the loss of Bobby, working as an simple computer programmer holds little meaning for Perry. A co-worker suggests he get out and play the field, but Perry is reluctant. In his funk, Perry begins to notice odd happenings - pencils once broken mend themselves, rapid temperature changes occur in hotel rooms, and long lost items suddenly appear. Convinced he is slowly losing his grip on reality, Perry takes the plunge to meet someone new and get on with life.

Perry meets Marlin, a young good looking secretive man uninterested in a relationship but with whom Perry has several common interests including their enjoyment of Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operas. After sharing an engaging dinner, Perry begins to think perhaps there is life after Bobby and subsequently decides to spend the night with Marlin. However, more than just Bobby's memory haunts Perry. When strange happenings grow in their intensity, Marlin and Perry both wonder what forces beyond this world have in store for them.

Bobby's Trace is a beautifully engaging look at life after the loss of a loved one. In Marlin and Perry, Patterson creates characters struggling to find their way in the world - one who must find meaning in life after love lost, the other who has found meaning but is not accepted for who he is in the calling he has chosen to follow. Without giving away very satisfying plot twists, Patterson creates a supernatural haunting story of two lovers and religious intolerance. Readers of all genres will find something special in this novel.

Review by Lila L. Pinord Author of Min's Monster

Do you love ghost stories? here's one for ya!

Perry Chaplin is in mourning and has been for a long time. He can't seem to get it together after his life partner, Bobby, passed on. Perry's job is at risk, as well as his own sanity. Things began to happen - unexplainable things - messages from beyond, pencils floating in air, strange notes on his computer.

Trying to move on, Perry goes on a date. Big mistake. Now the ghost of his lost love includes Marlin Fisk in his hauntings.

Bobby's Trace is a very well-written ghost story about love lost whose touch reaches beyond the grave. His jealousy is about to explode into the real world and place Perry's existence in desperate peril!

Good job, Mr. Patterson!

Lila L. Pinord

Review by Trish Lamoree

I just finished Bobby's Trace and it's such a nice romp. Thanks Ed for the book. So many authors paint ghosts to be so altruistic and wanting their lovers to move on. It was refreshing to read a ghost with some of the harder emotions like jealousy (I hope that's not a spoiler for anyone).

Anyway, great read.

Review by df "danielle1972" (PA, USA)

Mourning from the other side


Bobby's Trace is an enjoyable, fairly short story about Perry - a programmer who recently lost his partner & is struggling deeply with grief.

Practically forced into a blind date by his best friend, (who claims it's time to move on just a few weeks after the funeral), Perry finds himself on a date with a great guy but completely haunted by his dearly departed, in more ways than one.

Perry & Marlin are very likable characters, although I found myself torn between wanting Perry to move on and give the guy time to grieve already! Being a short book certainly didn't take any away from the characters & their personalities, or the feelings of jealousy emanating from the Other Side.

It fell short of a 5 star review for me because the ending felt rather rushed - my only negative to the whole story. The last chapter or two certainly could have been expanded & the quick wrap-up seemed less likely than the ghostly hauntings.

Review of Bobby's trace by Sandy Nathan "Sandy" (California)

Finely written exploration of grief

A beautifully drawn exploration of a young man's grief at the loss of his partner and his eventual resumption of life. Quite a few unexpected thrills and chills, which I will not reveal and spoil.

As usual, author Edward C. Patterson captures the heart of the emotions of his character and renders a finely drawn absorbing tale. This book has the extra something--magic, haunting (literally) quality--that has me giving five stars.

Review by RedAdept (Carolina)

Plot/Storyline: 4.5 Stars

The story was awesome. The twist ending made for a gripping finale that made you want to flip back and reread passages.

My favorite line: "But it was too early in the evening for Hepburn impressions..." I chuckled out loud at that one.

Character Development: 4.5 Stars

Not being a male or homosexual does not keep the reader from relating to Perry, the main character. Mr. Patterson manages to make him completely real and sympathetic.

I did feel as though another character could have had more 'face time' in the book. However, I won't say more as I don't want to write any spoilers.

Writing Style: 4 Stars

Aside from the obvious textual errors, there were a few awkward sentences that were too ambiguous to call 'wrong', but were nonetheless distracting.

An interesting, thought provoking story that will keep you in its grip for quite awhile.