I received a copy of this book to review from Netgalley via TLC Booktours.
Allison Campbell is a fashion consultant to the wealthy socialites of Philadelphia, particularly older women who've been divorced. When a teenage client is accused of a ritualistic murrrrrderrrrr, Allison is the only person who believes this Goth girl is innocent. Can Allison give her client a makeover AND find the real killer?
Killer Image was SO not my thing. Based on the cover (which has recently been changed to something awful), I was expecting a light, fun, cozy mystery about fashion and high society. What I got was one of those depressing, hard-boiled mysteries where everyone has Problems. I'm talking needs-to-seek-psychiatric-help, capital-P-problems. EVERYONE, from the main character to the murder victim, to the suspect, to the suspect's parents, to every single person the main character knows. And I knew everyone single person in the main character's life had problems because I was told about it in great detail, even though it had zippo to do with the plot.
This novel also needed to be edited way, way down. It has a prologue that's labeled Chapter One, and it follows the activities of the most random-ass minor characters FOR NO REASON other than to tell me about their Problems. For example, Allison's assistant was a very intriguing character—possibly the most interesting thing in the entire novel—until we got to follow him around, day-in-the-life-of style, as he makes his weekly visit to his ma and the whores (literally, women who abide in a brothel and have sex with men for money) he sleeps with. What does this have to do with story??? Nothing, other than to let me know HE HAS PROBLEMS. Maybe I'd care more about everyone's Problems in Killer Image if I was given a chance to wonder what they were; but not only did I not wonder, I didn't want to know.
Despite über-long info dump descriptions of everyone's psychological and socio-economic Problems, there were no unnecessary clothing descriptions. Which is kind of weird, considering Allison is a fashion consultant and wrote a book about clothes.
As I said, Killer Image was very much not the type I go for. I wound up DNFing it out of frustration and boredom. But if you like hard-boiled detective stories where everyone's a psycho and which take forever to get to the point, you'll probably enjoy it more than I did.
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