Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Sandra Nikolai
Format: Kindle, Paperback
Megan Scott and her husband Tom seem to have it all, their future bright. Working as an editor at Bradford publishing, Megan excels working with different clients in various fields keeping her energized notwithstanding the office politics. Her husband Tom’s work selling multimedia software lands him promotion after promotion increasing their income substantially. Unfortunately, his work takes him frequently away from home and the couple struggle to conceive their first child. Enter Michael Elliot – a handsome true crime investigator and writer who years ago Megan had a crush on during their school days together; Bradford is publishing his latest book and Megan is assigned to work with him. Immediately attracted to him, Megan struggles with her feelings wishing their time together to both continue and end. But when Megan’s husband and best friend are found murdered in a lover’s affair, Megan’s world is shaken to its core and Megan learns her life and those around her are not as she once thought. Trusting the wrong person could have disastrous consequences.
False Impressions, by Sandra Nikolai, is a well-crafted mystery. Told from Megan’s first person narrative, one is quickly enveloped into her world while at the same time, due to Nikolai’s highly honed writing, the other characters are just as richly expressed.
Two key elements to me in any mystery novel are pace and misdirection. The first is key in making a story and its characters full and believable. In this regard, Nikolai is spot on – the pace, especially at the beginning is perfect – allowing Megan’s relationship with Michael to evolve while slowly amping up the action once the murders are discovered. Misdirection is also handled well, especially in the novel’s middle section where Nikolai keeps all of the options open as to ‘who done’ it giving Megan that feeling of being lost, alone, and helpless an iconic staple of any good thriller. The end of this story loses this misdirection a little as the ‘obvious’ answer is set up as a little too obvious but readers will enjoy this none-the-less.
False Impressions is one of Megan Scott/Michael Elliott mystery novels and I look to future offerings in the series.
Note: A complimentary copy of this novel was provided in return for a review.