Sunday, October 13, 2013

Review for Killer Image by Wendy Tyson

Killer Image
By Wendy Tyson
Allison Campbell Mystery, Book 1

Publisher:  Henery Press
Release Date: October 1, 2013

Genre: Mystery
Length: 316 Pages

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About the Book: 

As Philadelphia’s premier image consultant, Allison Campbell helps others reinvent themselves, but her most successful transformation was her own after a scandal nearly ruined her. Now she moves in a world of powerful executives, wealthy, eccentric ex-wives and twisted ethics.

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 unraveling the truth brings specters from her own past. And in a place where image is everything, the ability to distinguish what’s real from the facade may be the only thing that keeps Allison alive.

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My Review

When I first signed on to review Killer Image by Wendy Tyson, I thought I would be reviewing a “cozy mystery”.  While Killer Image is indeed a mystery, it’s also so much more; it’s a second chance romance, and it’s a psychological thriller.  A well developed heroine, interesting and somewhat quirky secondary characters and good dialogue kept me turning the pages to discover what would happen next.  Set in both upscale and rundown neighborhoods in modern day Philadelphia, Ms. Tyson gives us her story from multiple points of view.

A successful Image Consultant and owner of her own business, Allyson Campbell, works for executives and ex-wives who need to reinvent themselves to enter the work place and society.  When a local congressman and his wife, ask Allison to take their teenage daughter, Maggie, on as a client, Allison’s first impulse is to say no, she only works with adults.  Begging Allyson for help, and offering a more than healthy fee, the congressman refuses to take no as an answer.  Agreeing to meet with Maggie, to see if they can work together, Allyson soon finds herself neck deep in a murder investigation where her client is the prime suspect.                                                 

Ms. Tyson does an excellent job developing her characters and letting us get to know them through glimpses into their own points of view.  While Allyson remains the central character, and primary point of view, we get to know Vaughn, her young African American assistant, who’s got major secrets of his own, Mia Campbell, Allyson’s former mentor and former mother in law, who at first is a person of interest in the murder investigation, Jason Campbell, Allyson’s ex-husband who wants a second chance and Maggie McBride, the Goth dressed teenage girl, who is at the center of both the murder investigation and a reluctant trip down memory lane for Allyson. 

Ms. Tyson’s world building is well done and is a major part of this first book in the series.  Allyson has secrets, some major fears and unconscious desires she needs to address.  While trying to get to know her reluctant client, Allyson finds herself questioning her “career choice” and how well she knows the people in her life.  Realizing she needs to face her past, Allyson is also forced to deal with her family issues and what caused her to walk away from a career as a psychologist. 

Will Allyson and her group of assistants discover the identity of the real killer before both Maggie and Allyson become the killer’s next victims?  Will Allyson give romance a second chance?  You’ll have to read Killer Image to find out, I loved it and can honestly say that this is one of the few mysteries I’ve read where I actually had tears in my eyes at the end of the story.  I can’t wait to read what happens to Allyson and all of the people in her life next.

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Crowns & A Recommended Read.

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a blog tour from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the lovely and very thoughtful review! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. (And I still get teary every time I re-read the ending, and I've edited this book two dozen times -- so I loved that you mentioned that!)