|Negative Image – Vicki Delany|
As a hard winter winds down in the mountain town of Trafalgar, British Columbia, famous photographer Rudolph Steiner, accompanied by his sexy young wife, arrives to do a feature on mountain tourism. His other reason for the visit: to reconnect with a woman who left him years ago for another man.
Twenty five years ago she was a young, beautiful, naïve, internationally known supermodel. Today Eliza Winters, no longer young or naïve but still beautiful, is still married to Trafalgar City Police Sergeant John Winters.
When Steiner is found shot in his luxury hotel room, suspicion falls upon Eliza. John Winters is forced into the most difficult of decisions: loyalty to his job or to his wife. As the police dig into the secrets of the case, John Winters comes to realize that he doesn’t know his wife as well as he thought he did.
Unable to help, Constable Molly Smith has her own troubles: a series of B&Es; has the peaceful town in an uproar, her overprotective Mountie boyfriend is fighting with her colleagues, and a vengeful stalker is watching her every move. Then tragedy strikes at the heart of her own family…
This police procedural is set in the seemingly sleepy small town of Trafalgar, British Columbia. But this town is not quite as sleepy as it might seem – the reader finding themselves in the middle of the action from the word go.
I was pleasantly surprised at how many plot lines Vicki Delany has managed to weave into Negative Image, a novel of less than 300 pages. Murder, extortion, a string of burglaries, a stalker and a personal tragedy are all on the bill.
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Vicki Delany’s prose is unpretentious and easy to read – her focus is telling a compelling story.
Protagonist Molly Smith is a very genuine character with a very real family and set of real life problems to deal with. She has baggage from the past haunting her, and it is this past that provides one of the many storylines skilfully intertwined in this mystery novel.
Delany also devotes time to the development of several characters other than Molly, providing a nice ensemble feel to the cast and bringing the town of Trafalgar to life. I had a soft spot for the all-seeing Chief Constable’s personal assistant, Barb Kowalski.
She’d worked here for almost thirty years; several Chief Constables had passed through her office. She considered it part of her job to train him, always a ‘him’ so far, as to how she did things. Paul Keller had proved easy to train.
Although Negative Image, the fourth title in the Constable Molly Smith series, is the first of Delany’s works I have read, I felt I had all the information needed to fully appreciate the story and charming characters.
BOOK RATING: The Writing 3.5 / 5 ; The Story 4 / 5
Genre: Mystery, Crime-Detective, Thriller
Author Information: See Vicki Delany’s website for the story of how she became a writer and information on other series she has written.
A big thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for providing a copy of Negative Image for review purposes via NetGalley.com.
My receiving this book free of charge for the purpose of review did not in anyway influence my expression of my honest thoughts and feelings about this book.
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