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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Illusion of Death by Brian Kavanagh, Belinda Lawrence is back in Australia with English friend Hazel Whitby, recovering from her broken engagement. When she bumps into old school friend Birdie, and is invited to a private screening of a film at the home of someone called Max, Belinda meets members of the cinematic group. Little does Belinda realize that Max has missing for some time, but is about to be discovered. The events that follow will plunge Hazel and Belinda into a dangerous and dark world of investigating a murder. The answer seems to involve a missing negative of an old Australian film. Someone in the group knows more than they are willing to reveal, and every one of them has a motive. Belinda must use every investigative skill she has to outwit the members of the group until she finds the murderer. Will she and Hazel solve the mystery before there is another victim?
This is my first novel in the Kavanagh series, but I have to say I am hooked. The author has an amazing ability to build tension within the first few lines of this story. The detailed descriptions of the characters and setting bring a great sense of realism to the story. I also love the development of the relationships between each of the characters, each one very unique and giving an added layer of interest to the plot. Belinda is a powerful female protagonist but her character flaws make her very likeable and easy to relate to. There are so many twists and turns in the plot as the author draws the reader into the world of the characters and challenges them to solve the murder too. The roller-coaster of intrigue and suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Highly recommended for lovers of murder mystery novels.