Author: Wendy Tyson
Publisher: Henery Press
Published: October 2013
Edition: Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC)
Source: A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher and TLC book tours which in no way influenced my opinion nor my review of this novel.
Philadelphia image consultant Allison Campbell is not your typical detective. She’s more familiar with the rules of etiquette than the rules of evidence, prefers three-inch Manolos to comfy flats and relates to Dear Abby, not Judge Judy.
When Allison’s latest Main Line client, the fifteen-year-old Goth daughter of a White House hopeful, is accused of the ritualistic murder of a local divorce attorney, Allison fights to prove her client’s innocence when no one else will. But in a place where image is everything, the ability to distinguish the truth from the façade may be the only thing that keeps Allison alive.
Killer Image presents a new angle in detective fiction wherein our detective is an image consultant with an almost completed degree in psychology. Fleshing out the character of Allison, the consultant, Tyson reveals a past that still haunts Allison. Not that she was at fault but she would never let up on herself, thinking there had to be more she could have done for young Violet who disappeared from the treatment centre Allison worked at while doing her degree. A few letters from Violet afterwards revealed the naivety and fear she found on the streets. Those letters remained under Allison's bed as a reminder of why she would never again consult with children.
Her resolve would later melt when she met Maggie, the teen-age daughter of a politician who had high aspirations and feared his daughter would ruin his chances of the White House if Allison wouldn't take her on. Beneath the rough exterior, the indifference, the goth make-up and clothing; Allison detected a child who needed her. Certainly her own family had failed her and Allison understood that too.
Against her own judgment, Allison agrees to work with Maggie but when Maggie becomes a suspect in a ritualistic/sadistic murder of a divorce attorney, Allison first has to prove to herself and then to the authorities Maggie's innocence. Doing so, though, could endanger her life.
Killer Image is dark, well-plotted and character driven with an unusual twist near the end. As Tyson builds the characters, reveals secrets from their pasts, she also leaves room for future growth in a promising new Allison Campbell Mystery series of which Killer Image is the first.
If you enjoy dark mysteries, don't mind a little gore and love to get to know the characters whom you are reading about, give Killer Image a try.
Meet the author:
Wendy Tyson wrote her first story at age eight and it’s been love ever since. When not writing, Wendy enjoys reading other people’s novels, traveling, hiking, and playing hooky at the beach – and if she can combine all four, even better. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Wendy has returned to her roots and lives there again with her husband, three kids and two muses, dogs Molly and Driggs. She and her husband are passionate organic gardeners and have turned their small urban lot into a micro farm. Killer Image is Wendy’s first novel in the Allison Campbell mystery series.