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Feature book: Death by Disguise

3 February 2016

Death by DisguiseDeath by Disguise by Helen Goltz

Jesse Clarke works as both a public relations consultant and a private investigator. Her PI credentials are only six months old. She has recently begun to cohabitate with her boyfriend Dominic (three weeks ago). They refer to their boxer dog as the beloved furry child, wonder dog or Atlas. Ed is Jesse’s partner in the publicity business, and he’s supportive of her PI work. Jesse has commitment issues with Dominic and worries he will tire of her more readily now that they live together. She likes their relationship to be low-key.

Dominic is a personal trainer and fitness instructor. He is quite good looking and has excellent body tone due to his profession. Dominic wants to get married, but Jesse is reluctant, and he’s more inclined to want to hold hands than she is. He feels the need to be wanted by Jesse, especially as a protector. He is becoming increasingly concerned with Jesse’s personal safety in her PI work. Dominic is also a little jealous of the amount of time Jesse is spending with police detective Jason.

Dominic and Jesse have to weather a few trials in their relationship: the butt load of women trying to chat up Dominic at work, Jesse’s PI work exposing her to potentially dangerous situations, police detective Jason being sweet on Jesse, and Kelly trying to insert herself into Dominic’s life. They manage to overcome these trials, although I’m not sure the Jason situation is entirely finalised to Dominic’s satisfaction.

Book 2 in the Jesse Clarke series is, in the main, enjoyable. The opening is a little pun-tastic, and the kissing in the kitchen scene at the cocktail party just feels too forced and jarring. While it is clear this confrontation has been coming, it feels out of sync with the rest of the book, and Dominic’s response feels a little flat. Why doesn’t he hustle the ‘kisser’ out of the cocktail party, instead of letting her linger to be one of the last guests to leave? Overall though, Jesse is a sensible, not TSTL, PI and the two mysteries she is investigating cover a lot of ground from mortician make-up artist through to cos play costumer. The combination of PR and PI was unexpected and provided humour to the story which moved at a good pace. It’s a light hearted look at a PR cum PI with a commitment issue.

Reviewed by Gina

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.


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