Chicago filmmaker Ellie Foreman is back, and she's tackling her most dangerous case yet in this dark amateur sleuth thriller from critically acclaimed crime writer Libby Fischer Hellmann.
An Image of Death sees Ellie in the midst of producing another video documentary, financed by a successful Chicago real estate developer. But things take an unexpected turn one winter night when a mysterious package arrives anonymously on Ellie's doorstep. Inside, she finds a surveillance video apparently showing the murder of a young woman. Who was the victim, why was she murdered, and what is her connection to Ellie?
Despite being pushed to one side by the cops, Ellie begins to uncover the victim's dark history, forged in Eastern Europe at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Her search for answers takes her into the murky world of money laundering and diamond dealing, ultimately ending up at a deserted construction site in the hands of people who believe she knows too much....
Ellie's latest outing as an amateur sleuth comes hot on the heels of Libby Fischer Hellmann's 2002 Anthony-nominated thriller An Eye for Murder and the 2003 Picture of Guilt. Packed with memorable characters, and neatly tying together a number of gripping plotlines, An Image of Death has been praised by mystery fiction fans as insightful, compelling and entertaining.
I was given this book in return for an honest review. I love mysteries, this book is not exception. A woman is murdered and Ellie, a videographer and mother, gets a video of it in the mail. She hesitantly takes it to the police even though she doesn't trust police. Why was this sent to her?? That's what the police want to know and so does Ellie. Since Ellie has a history of getting involved in things that she shouldn't, she is warned by the police to stay out of it. She of course doesn't listen, and this the book unfolds. This is not just a mystery, it has back stories, and side stories that involve her adopted husbands thirst for knowledge of his family among other things. This book has murder,mystery, intrigue, deception and wonderful characters that you will be rooting for. A must read for mystery lovers.
Nan McNamara was very good with the delivery of the story.
9 of 12 people found this review helpful
Well written, realistic murder mystery. The narrator was very good, well paced, good characterizing and tone variations.
Why is it not my type of book: no humor, no real excitement or action. I found it boring, predictable and drawn out.
If you prefer a realistic murder mystery with out humor or action, this is for you.
"This audio book was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review."
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
It's difficult to believe these people would really make these decisions and behave this way, but forgiving the author her use of poetic license, this is an exciting, suspenseful mystery. The romantic tension between Ellie and David gets a bit tiresome -- instead, I wish the daughter's character was more fully developed.
Nan McNamara gives the characters distinct and appropriate voices. It's a good match of narrator with story. I continue to enjoy this series.
NOTE: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
I enjoyed this. This is my first Ellie Foreman mystery. While it was obvious there was previous "history" for Ellie, it didn't detract from the story which kept my attention. I enjoyed learning about the history of the characters and how the different pieces of the puzzle came together - especially such dissimilar parts as blood diamonds, the breakup of the Soviet Union, the search for family after long after the Holocaust and foster children. I'd like to read more about Ellie !
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would recommend any & all of Libby's books. I am always impressed by her attention to detail. (A result of her extensive research, I'm sure).
What other book might you compare An Image of Death to and why?
While I'm at a loss for a direct comparison, I will say that it's a match for any well-written intriguing, suspenseful story.
Any additional comments?
I enjoyed the story line & the narration, but I discovered that I don't particularly enjoy being read to. I'd rather be the reader!
Any additional comments?
Ellie is a video editor so it isn't unusual for her to review videos. However when she finds a video on her front steps one night and starts looking at the video she is shocked to find a video of a young woman being murdered. The police have nothing to go on as they try to figure out what who this young woman was and why anyone would want to kill her. As Ellie starts digging, just for her own peace of mind, she discovers a mystery and a crime circle that covers multiple continents. Will Ellie find the killer before the killer finds her?
I received this book for free from AudioBlast in exchange for my honest review.
I enjoyed that this tale of murder was told from the victim's POV. It's chalk full of sleuthing and questions with intrigue. A worthy listen and intriguing story.
I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
Ellie Foreman is really, really trying to be good--to go along with the variously expressed wishes of her dad, Mac, and David that she stay out of trouble. She goes to a ladies' charitable lunch as the guest of occasional nemesis Rikibeth Feldman, and isn't surprised when it turns into a request to make a video for the project. The project, it seems, is transitional housing for kids aging out of foster care.
How can that lead to trouble?
But this is Ellie, with her curiosity, her need to help, and her general gift for attracting trouble. Her doorbell rings one evening, and her daughter Rachel answers the door to find a van driving away, and a package left at their door.
It's a videotape. When she plays it, Ellie is relieved that Rachel got bored and went upstairs.
It's a video of what appears to be a a murder.
Ellie does the sensible thing, and gives the video to the police, specifically to Georgia Davis, whom she and Rachel know from when she was the youth officer. Except that, of course, being Ellie, she makes a copy at Mac's studio before she does.
What follows is, for Ellie, a confusing and alarming series of events. She can't leave that video with its apparent murder alone, and can't shake the idea that whoever brought it must have had some reason for wanting her to see it. Meanwhile, David has gotten word that his uncle--long believed dead in the Holocaust with all of his family except David's mother, Liesl, may be alive. The basis of this is an anonymous letter to a former neighbor back in Freiburg, but David reacts badly when Ellie gives perfectly sensible advice about being careful of anonymous letters.
Hellmann always does good character development, and the tangled relationships and storylines here make a very good read. The foster care project is not the sideline it might have been, but becomes intertwined with both the murder shown in the video and David and Ellie's complicated and strained relationship.
It's a very good mystery, with Ellie continuing to learn and grow from her sometimes terrifying experiences. We also see Georgia Davis perhaps experiencing the first strains which lead to her later moves. Very much worth reading.
I received a free copy of this audiobook.
What does Nan McNamara bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
She makes the characters pop and is great with accents.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
You never know what's waiting for you around the corner.
Any additional comments?
4 1/2 stars
This is a well-crafted story and may be the quickest audio book listen that I’ve ever done. It helped that it takes place in and mentions locations that I’m intimately familiar with. I wanted to keep listening not only to find out what would happen next but to hear where it would take place.
The story centers around Ellie Foreman (Wonder if the name came from the old Foreman motors?), a film producer, who is dragged into a murder when a video tape, showing that murder, is dropped off at her house. Ellie has had some trouble with the law in the past, so is a little squeamish about calling in the police, but she does. Ellie is also unwillingly pulled into making documentaries about foster children and construction ground breaking despite her insistence that she isn’t a documentary maker. From there, things escalate as we learn details about the murder as Ellie digs up clues that involve the Russian version of organized crime. On more than one occasion, her life is put in jeopardy. The story is quick moving, if a bit dated from a technology point of view. Parts of the story take place at the time of the break up of the Soviet Union and parts at the start of the 21st century. The events as they unfolded kept me listening, The story line is clearly set up for a sequel, but the book is complete, there are no cliffhangers or any blatantly unfinished business..
I received this book as a gift and almost stopped listening before hitting chapter 2. Ellie came across as so incredibly whiny and dislikable, that I almost gave up. Luckily, I didn't as that only lasted for the first chapter or so. Past that point, the narrator did a remarkable job in holding my attention. Her skill with various accents is laudable.
While I was able to figure out the who behind the ending, if not the specifics, that didn't bother me. Overall, this proved to be very entertaining listen. I’ll happily recommend this to my mystery-loving friends and will be seeking out other Hellman books.
Ellie Foreman receives an unsolicited video by an unknown person at her home. She is an independent producer of industrial videos and thought it may pertain to work. Instead, what she receives is what looks like the murder of a young woman in some basement. Thus begins her desire to find the truth. Meanwhile, in Russia we learn of the lives of two friends, Mika, and Arin as the Soviet Union crumbles and their lives change drastically.
How these two stories come together, I found interesting. This is a slow moving mystery and not a fast paced thriller. As the stories development, we get to know what makes Ellis tick and what she deals with on a regular basis. But since is the third installment of the Ellie Forman mysteries, I found I was lacking in knowing her backstory and why she was so paranoid at the beginning. Other than that, I enjoyed how it all seems to mesh and make for a satisfying story.