Killer Image by Wendy Tyson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The cover of the book is quite misleading. It gave me the impression that I would be reading a light hearted mystery set in the fashion world. Instead I was treated to a well written, but dark mystery.
Allison (the heroine) is a rigid, image consultant haunted by a mistake she made years ago while working as a psychologist in a facility for emotionally disturbed teenage girls. When she is asked to help change the image of a difficult, but vulnerable teenager she surprises herself and those around her by accepting the case despite having a no children rule at her business.
Suddenly her teenage client is being framed for murder, Allison's reputation is being attacked and the reader is drawn into a fast paced mystery. Many dark elements are involved in the murder investigation: satanic rituals, family secrets, the ugliness of divorce, aging parents and pedophilia. Allison must protect her client and herself from all of these elements.
The character development and their history was nicely done. Each character seemed to have a secret they were hiding and something in their past that haunted them. This made for multi faceted and engaging plot development. I wanted to know these people and give them my advice!
Beside the mystery there are elements of romance and personal development. One thing that bothered me was the quick resolution of conflict. A character that had deserted Allison for two years suddenly apologizes and all is immediately forgiven. In another scene it is revealed that the people that Allison trusts the most have all been hiding personal information from her and she quickly gets over her feelings of betrayal. It would have made for better reading if there was a more realistic and slow growth of acceptance on the part of Allison. Watching her work her way through her feelings would have made future books more interesting.
I highly recommend Killer Image and I look forward to reading more of the Allison Campbell Mystery series. It does not end with a cliffhanger and has a HEA.
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.