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Picture of Guilt by Helen Haddad

A shocked, terror-stricken crime witness provides a forensic artist with a detailed description of a murderer. When the witness views the final sketch, she insists it’s not correct. The artist dutifully makes the requested changes – but a nagging doubt enters her mind. Did she really draw the wrong man?

Picture of Guilt“, author Helen Haddad‘s promising first novel, is the story of forensic artist Maureen Lowe. Maureen has reached the top ranks of her profession through hard work and determined impartiality. She receives assignments from all over the country, but when the police department from her sleepy hometown calls, she is pleased to have the chance to work with her old friends. Is that why she bends her rule, and befriends the only witness to a brutal murder?

After completing her sketch, she is called back to provide moral support for the poor woman as she tries to pick the murderer out of a line-up. Maureen is stunned to realize that the prime suspect is none other than Brody Parrish, the only son of a prominent local family. She has had a secret crush on Brody since she was twelve years old, and from the moment their eyes meet in the police station, sparks fly. Although she desperately counsels herself not to get involved any further, Maureen finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into intrigue as she struggles to prove Brody’s innocence.

Using a skilful blend of romance and mystery, Haddad crafts a highly entertaining tale. The chemistry between Maureen and Brody is palpable, and the love scenes are tasteful but spicy. The supporting characters, including Lisa Adams, the crime witness, and Brody’s mother, Victoria, are very believable and provide a number of thrilling plot twists. There is a mildly implausible development when the lead detective in the case against Brody, Lieutenant Clay Stanton, who behaves as if Brody were his sworn enemy throughout the book, flip-flops quite suddenly when new evidence is presented. Given the acrimony of their previous relationship, the detective seems suddenly overeager to help clear Brody’s name.

Although the font in which the book is printed is tiny, the engaging story compensates for that inconvenience. This book will keep the reader guessing until the final page. Recommended!

Buy this book: Picture of Guilt

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