Wendy Tyson writes excellent mysteries. That much I know, from reading two of her previous books – Deadly Assets and The Seduction of Miriam Cross. When I picked up Dying Brand, I was not disappointed by the mystery that unravelled within the pages.
From the get go, it’s clear that something isn’t quite adding up in the death of Scott Fairweather. Allison Campbell, Image Consultant (and sometimes sleuth), is pulled into the fray when someone starts sending her photos of her in the midst of a heated affair with Scott, from years ago. Who is sending them, and why, is left a mystery for more than half of the book, as the mystery slowly revealed itself.
Tyson does a great job of teasing the clues out of a story. Nothing is revealed too quickly, but the story doesn’t drag. Refreshingly, the outcome remained unknown until I reached it – there was no guessing in the first few chapters who the bad guy really was.
There was quite a bit of Allison’s personal life included in this book; her family drama, her boyfriend/ex-husband, her best friend and his older lover… I liked how this was handled in this book better than in it’s predecessor; the introduction of Allison’s little sister was interesting, and she was better developed than the somewhat distant older sister, or the abusive father who has mellowed in old age. That said, I still thought there was a little too much sex (really, I think Allison and Jason didn’t share a scene without taking each other’s clothes off).
Overall, I loved the mystery in this book. It was complicated and elusive, which I must prefer over a simpler whodunnit plot where I can guess what’s happened before I’ve even settled into the read! I am still interested in where Tyson takes her headstrong character next; I feel that there’s still a little way to go in terms of character development, I just can’t quite connect with Allison at all. However, if Tyson keeps her mysteries as fresh and intriguing as she has so far, I’m excited to see what comes next!
If you’re feeling lucky, click here to enter a giveaway for Dying Brand!
I received a copy of Dying Brand by Wendy Tyson, the third book in the Allison Campbell mystery series, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion.