Who knew that a career in video documentaries could lead to crime? Such is the fate of Chicago's Ellie Foreman, whose shoots hook her up with misdeeds past and present. Here she is producing a video about foster children that's being financed by a successful Chicago real estate developer. Her plans get thrown for a loop when a mysterious package appears at her door one winter night. Inside she finds a surveillance video showing the murder of a young woman. Who was this woman and what is her connection to Ellie?
The cops shunt her aside, but the urgency she feels to find answers, coupled with her professional knowledge of film, compel her to sleuth despite the difficulties borne from a complex history with her lover, David.
A little digging reveals that the murder victim was a courier with a dark history forged in Eastern Europe at the time of the Soviet Union's collapse. And a little more digging reveals dark happenings here at home, money laundering, and the deadly price of dealing in diamonds....
This dangerous case for Ellie follows the 2002 Anthony-nominated An Eye for Murder and the 2003 Picture of Guilt.
©2004 Poisoned Pen Press (trade paperback only) (P)2012 Libby Fischer Hellmann
“A powerful tale… Hellmann is adept at welding technical information to strong characters… Foreman’s pluck and grit married to Hellmann’s solid storytelling should win a growing audience… “ (Publishers Weekly)
“Not only has Hellmann created a compelling group of believable characters, but the mystery she places them in is likewise plausible and engrossing. An Image of Death is highly recommended, even if you don't live in Illinois…” (Chicago Sun-Times)
“A chilling subject matter, intriguing psychological suspense, and disturbing Eastern European connections …” (Library Journal)
Ms. Hellman is not just an author, she is a story weaver!! She takes pieces of people’s lives-- through varied time periods and physical locations-- and entwines them into a riveting tale of murder, intrigue, relationships, hopes, and dreams. The main story begins when Ellie Foreman, the lead character, receives an anonymous video of a young woman being murdered in Chicago and finds herself drawn into trying to help solve this case. Ms. Hellman pulls threads from the past…the crumbling Soviet Union, international diamond trade, greed, corruption, and the human price that is paid along the way. There are a number of supporting characters and time periods in the story and Ms. Hellman masterfully weaves them all together to create a book that I didn't want to put aside and that held my complete interest from start to finish. I love Ms. Hellman’s writing style and admire her storytelling abilities! Last, but certainly not least, the narrator (Robin Rowan) was easy to listen to and was a definite asset to this audiobook. I highly recommend it!
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What is basically a good story arc is lost in the miserable narration by Robin Rowan..remind me to avoid her future narrations. She talks too fast, all the accents are the same and basically ruins the story-the third in Hellmann's Ellie Foreman series. What a shame.
Because of eye issues, I have to limit my reading so I'm essentially tied into this miserable narration if I want to finish the story..and the plot is a good one, from what I can tell.
Maybe I was spoiled by the excellent narration of the first 3 of Libby Hellmanns books I listened to. It's a shame the producer didn't pick a good narrator and stick to her rather than skip around from narrator to narrator. In any case, Rowan is not a good match for Ellie Foreman in my opinion as a long time Audible listener.
Enough gripeing-on to the plot..Ellie continues with her tendency to involve herself in police business, has issues with her teen age daughter and the boyfriend issue continues to be on and off. Basically Ellie is a pretty typical single parent trying to make everything work so that theres enough time and money for everything. Those of us who have been in that position know how difficult it goes. I especially enjoy Ellies dad and the give and take the two of them have together.
This is the kind of protagonist I like..a real 'person' with real issues, a plot with an involved story line that sucks you in and side characters who are interesting.
I'd suggest reading this instead of listening-though maybe the narrator won't irritate everyone as much as she does me.
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