Bygie (pronounced Bye-Gee) Hudson was an artist formerly from North Carolina, currently living in San Diego with her husband Lars Hudson. The couple had been married for fifteen years at the time of his death. She had considered getting a divorce from him for most of those years.
Detective Tom Hall of the San Diego Police Department was a former homicide detective now working vice. Hall met Bygie when he and his partner, Ruby Wilson, came to Bygie’s home to let her know her husband had died in a car accident. Her reaction shocked the detectives and led them to believe she may have been behind his death.
As the detectives continued their investigation, they found that Lars and Bygie shared ownership with two men in a highly successful Mercedes dealership. After her husband’s death, the two partners offered a seven-digit amount of money for ownership of her shares.
As she attempts to clear her name, Bygie realizes her husband was into a lot more than she knew, and that she was also in danger. When a witness and an aggressive reporter both disappear, Hall realizes the widow may be innocent after all. Then, he is told to drop the case and his investigative nose for finding the truth prompts the temperamental detective to dig deeper into the murder on his own time, with surprising results.
Image of Deceit is author Jill Shannon’s first novel, and by the looks of it readers will be asking for more, hopefully including the tall, masculine Detective Hall.
Shannon takes her time building the story, the characters, and their idiosyncrasies to the point that when all is revealed readers will more than likely be surprised by the unexpected ending. They will certainly be entertained.
The tension between Detective Hall and Bygie adds depth to both characters, and its fun to watch them clash whenever they are together. The plot twists keep pages turning and should keep readers engaged long into the night. The book is not a difficult read, but one that will satisfy anyone who enjoys an interesting police procedural.
A special thank you goes to Paper Mill Publishing for providing us with a review copy of Image of Deceit. If you are interested in a good mystery with a little romance in the mix, Jill Shannon's book is available at Amazon.com.