Monday, 25 February 2013

Guest Book Review: Sandra Nikolai - False Impressions

Reviewed by Danielle Pullen

Montreal ghostwriter Megan Scott falls under police suspicion when her husband and a female companion are found murdered. In what a Québec detective calls a crime of passion, startling evidence surfaces to also implicate Michael Elliott, a young investigative reporter who’d rather rub elbows with scumbags than live the posh lifestyle he inherited.

Clutched out of her comfort zone, Megan is flung into Michael’s dark world of criminal investigation. As they make a last-ditch attempt to prove their innocence, an elusive enemy closes in and threatens their lives. Who wants them out of the way and why?

Their only path to freedom is to catch the twisted killer before they become the next victims. But not knowing who to trust or where to turn can have consequences that are just as lethal…

Who do you trust most? I’m guessing a good majority of women in their thirties might respond with ‘my husband’ or ‘my best friend’. How would you feel if those were the two people who betrayed your trust? That’s the position Megan finds herself in at the beginning of Sandra Nikolai’s new thriller, False Impressions.

At the outset, Megan has a good life. She is happy with her husband, Tom, (though she longs for a baby) and she has an interesting career in publishing. All of that changes, however, when she is told the news that her husband has been killed. Along with her best friend and boss, Pam. In the same hotel room.

From the outset, the police suspect Megan herself, but Megan vows to find the true killer. There are a number of potential killers. Megan’s (and Pam’s) workmates who are ambitious and jealous of the two women’s relationship and lifestyle. Tom’s workmates who have been skipped over for promotion one time too many. But what really interests the police is Megan’s increasingly complex relationship with true crime writer, Michael. Are they colleagues, friends or lovers? Even Megan herself is confused as to the true nature of Michael and his intentions. Is he protecting her, framing her or covering his own tracks?

Honestly, thrillers aren’t usually my thing. I tend to find them rather clichéd with even the most seemingly-complex plots becoming transparent. However, I was rather impressed with False  Impressions. I thought I had the identity of the killer sewn up, only to find a major twist in the last few chapters scuppered my thinking entirely!

Nikolai is adept at fast-paced, plot-driven action with sharp, realistic dialogue. Don’t attempt to read this book if you are busy as you ‘to do’ list will remain undone!

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