Mirror Image
by Michelle Pariza Wacek
Creative Concepts and Copy writing

"Linda didn't answer. She picked at the carving. It reminded her of a scar – an old wound that had never been allowed to heal."

Linda lives a fairly mundane life yet hides a difficult and troubled past. After her sister Elizabeth, the icy cold sibling, commits suicide six months ago, the death haunts Linda and fractures familial relationships. Her mother remains trapped in a perpetual daze while her father barely speaks and her own brother Peter accuses Linda of directly causing Elizabeth's death. Linda's endeavors to defend herself and heal are further complicated with the arrival of old high school crush, Steven Anderson, as he begins to investigate a serial killer preying on men.

It is soon clear that Steve wildly suspects Elizabeth is not really dead, laying forth his theory and evidence that point to Elizabeth as the culprit. Crippled by nightmares and horrific hallucinatory visions of the murder victims, Linda questions her sanity while desperately convincing herself her dead sister isn't lying in wait in the shadows. Under increasing pressure and suspicion from Steve, Linda takes matters into her own hands. With the help of her friend, Terri, the search for the killer becomes personal and reveals repressed memories, leading Linda to a shocking truth.

There are moments in Wacek's novel with just enough hints and clues where if you blink or read too quickly, you'll miss them. On the surface, Wacek teases with information and red herrings to throw you off course, but hidden within the layered and complex history of Linda's past lies the answers. Mirror Image, her second novel to date, has all the prime elements you might expect from a psychological thriller: mystery, high tension, family secrets, murder, and an evocative villain whose silver eyes and supernatural-like manipulations personify evil. This well plotted and unsettling tale is reminiscent of Basic Instinct (which Wacek coyly references in her novel) and satisfying for mystery and crime novel readers.

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