Book Review: Negative Image by Vicki Delany

Negative Image (Constable Molly Smith #4) by Vicki Delany
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4 stars)
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

This was a solid three-star for me until the last third of the book which catapulted to a four. What held the story back in my reading was that the murder mystery had Winters' wife at the center of the suspect list and she, in the three prior books is pretty much a blank of a character. Truth be told, by the end of this book, if I never read about her again, it won't really matter. As I write this review, I can't even recall her name (and it's been mentioned in all four books of the series!).

I felt the Charlie Bassing thread was becoming tedious because Molly was doing nothing about his escalating aggression. The rationale that she was trying to navigate the terrain as a woman in law enforcement went only so far with me because she knew Charlie's violent past and expecting he'd just stop or go away seemed lunacy. But then the last third of the book happened and I was ready to forgive all the prior tedium.No spoilers but the turn taken was very well done and it set up Molly for more growth in the future.

Also to the good here were the bits about the town and its residents. It adds to the patina of Trafalgar and to Molly's life as she moves through interacting. It's nice to see how some seemingly unrelated things related by people unrelated to the case come together to help find the solution. Also to the good was a very big surprise with a character that I never saw coming but will open up new avenues in many characters' lives.

I'll definitely continue with the series and do recommend this one.

Summary: As the mountain town of Trafalgar, British Columbia, shakes off a long hard winter, famous photographer Rudolph Steiner arrives to do a feature on mountain tourism. Steiner is accompanied by his assistant and sexy young wife, but he has another reason for the visit: to reconnect with the woman who left him twenty-five years ago to marry another man. Twenty-five years ago she was young, beautiful, naΓ―ve, and an internationally known supermodel. Today Eliza Winters is no longer young, and definitely not naΓ―ve, but still beautiful and married to Trafalgar City Police Sergeant John Winters. When Steiner is found dead in his luxury hotel room, shot once in the back of the head, suspicion falls upon Eliza. John Winters is forced into the most difficult decision of his life: loyalty to his job or to his wife. As the RCMP dig into the secrets of both Steiner and Eliza, John Winters slowly comes to realize that he doesn’t know the woman to whom he has been married for twenty-five years as well as he thought he did. Unable to help the Sergeant, 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. When tragedy strikes at the heart of her own family, Molly can’t even turn to her mother, Lucky, for help.

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