Thursday, June 9, 2016

"Mirror Image" by Michele Pariza Wacek

Mirror Image
by Michele Pariza Wacek

Mirror Image by Michele Pariza Wacek is currently on tour with Worldwind Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Which would be worse, knowing that your dead sister has come back to life and is now a serial killer or that someone else is the killer ... and that person is you?
Six months after Linda's sister Elizabeth killed herself, Linda has finally gotten her life back to some semblance of normalcy. Until a killer appears who is stalking men ... a killer who resembles Elizabeth ... a killer who seems somehow familiar to Linda.
And, to make matters worse, Steve, her old high school crush and now a detective, is assigned to this case. He's asking Linda all sorts of questions, questions Linda couldn't possibly have an answer to.
There's no reason for him to be investigating Linda. She couldn't possibly have anything to do with this.
Could she?

Silver eyes, sharp as blades, tearing through him, leaving his body shredded and bloody.
He blinked. Where the hell did that come from?
Joe took another look at the girl who accompanied him to his apartment. The harsh lights of the hallway made her look more pale and tired than she had appeared in the bar, but she smiled at him nonetheless, and he felt reassured. He grinned back, realizing it likely looked more like a lopsided, drunken leer than a smile. He lightly pressed his hand on her back, bumping into her slightly, alcohol blurring his brain.
"Your eyes are gray," he said, his voice slurred.
The girl looked at him, surprised. "What color should they be?"
Joe laughed, thick and hoarse. "Silver. I thought they were silver."
"Oh," the girl smiled at him. "That happens a lot. Reflections."
Yeah, reflections, that was it. Her eyes were such a pure gray - no hint of green, brown or blue. The color seemed to reflect more light than other gray combinations, making them appear silver.
Joe stumbled, banging his knee into the wall. He felt nothing, his legs heavy and numb. She laughed slightly, putting an arm around his waist to help him walk, her purse bouncing off his leg.
He nuzzled her hair, her neck. She smelled of sweat, beer, cigarettes and perfume - very strongly of perfume. In fact, he realized her perfume all but obliterated those other scents. He usually didn't like it when women used so much, but at this point it made no difference.
"Why won't you tell me your name?" he asked again.
For an answer, she turned her face toward him and gently bit his lip. He felt a sting and tasted blood, which excited him even more. Rough. He'd never had it that way before. He could feel himself getting hard.
Everything about the woman was different. First off, he hadn't had to convince her, cajole her, like all the other women. "Of course, I really like you. Of course, this is special to me. I've never met a woman like you before. I don't normally do this either." The gray-eyed woman seemed to want it as much as he did, and she needed no promises or lines. They both knew exactly what tonight represented - a good fuck and nothing more. When he picked her up in the bar, she seemed a dream come true.
They reached his door. He fell heavily against the frame while fishing for his keys. She tightened her grip, steadying and surprising him. When he had first looked at her, under the lights in that little white dress, he had thought her delicate. Insubstantial. But now, he know he had been incorrect. There was clearly more to her than he originally thought.
Joe struggled briefly with the key. The keyhole kept eluding his drunken, trembling hands, but he was finally able to slide the key in.  He unlocked the door with a click.
"Gee," she said. "I hope you don't have that much trouble tonight."
Moving toward her, he answered by kissing her on the mouth. She tasted sour - of beer and something else, something he couldn't identify. As her tongue slid into his mouth, he quit trying to figure it out.
The door creaked open when they leaned against it, and they quite literally fell into his apartment.
She got to her feet first, pushing his clumsy hands from her body. "Where's the bathroom?" she asked.
"Down the hall - first door to your left," he said, fighting to get up. The room whirled and dipped beneath him. Alcohol churned unpleasantly in his stomach. He couldn't be sick. Not now. Slowly he hoisted himself to his feet, hanging on to the doorpost, blinking his eyes to focus.
"I guess I'm drunker than I thought," he said out loud, pulling the door shut and locking it. Then he remembered the joint he had smoked before hitting the bars, and figured that probably had something to do with it, too. He didn't usually smoke pot, but tonight he had allowed his roommate to talk him into it.
Joe took a couple of deep breaths, still hanging onto the door. The room settled, ceasing to spin. He let go of the door, stumbling across the living room and into the hallway.
He saw his bedroom door open, the light on. She was sitting on the bed, her coat off. "I hope you don't mind," she said. "I decided to make myself at home."
Joe shook his head, shed his coat and crossed the room to sit on the bed next to her. The little white dress clung to her large breasts. He leaned over to kiss her, his hand creeping onto her lap. She let him, but barely responded. He stopped and looked at her. "What's wrong?"
Her eyes were that weird color again. Silver. He couldn't keep her face in focus. Her features kept blurring, melting together into one undistinguishable mess.  Had he totally misread her after all?
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"This was a super story! Every other chapter or so tells about Elizabeth's home life and how it affected everyone around her. By the time the ending was near, I couldn't tell what was real and what wasn't. The first chapter was terrific ... grabbed hold and didn't let go until the very end. I read this one in one sitting ... just could not put this one down." ~ booklover
"I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but I loved it! The first chapter pulled me in immediately. It was well-written and intriguing from the start. The plot was intense and well laid out. The book tells about Elizabeth (the MC) and her life. The story-telling really leaves you wondering what exactly is going on, what is real and what isn't? Super intense, super suspenseful. I highly recommend to fans of psychological thrillers!" ~ Amazon Customer
"The psychological terror of the unknown keeps you reading page after page. Dealing with the suicide is more than any one person should have to handle but when you think your sister may have faked it and is now a serial killer, can you imagine how that would make you feel?! The mystery is held together with a little bit of supernatural attributes that, if heightened, could have added another dynamic to the book." ~ Lynchburg Mamma - Shelly
"This book grabs you at the very beginning and refuses to lessen its grip through the very last page. [...] The book is filled with psychological suspense. It shows us a family of violence, bitterness, and post traumatic stress of the victims. [...] It's a thriller, and a mystery with a wee touch of romance. All I know is when you pick the book up, you cannot put it down until you're finished. Hoorah to the author. Lifetime needs to make this into a movie." ~ Vicki L. Gooding
"WOW!! This book took you on a roller coaster ride. I meant to start this book on takeoff of a plane trip to California. Put it down to watch the scenery and then pick it back up for the descent. That didn't happen. I ended up finishing it on the plane. The story of family history and how it can lead to enough psychological trauma to make a serial killer with a dose of the supernatural thrown in for effect makes for a bumpy ride that left you satisfied but wanting more." ~ Hope Mitchner

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Linda can't eat or sleep and is plagued by vivid nightmares in which she sees men getting killed before reading about them in the paper. Detective Steve Anderson - Linda's high school crush and her sister Elizabeth's ex-boyfriend - seeks Linda out with the possibility that Elizabeth might be committing these crimes. The only problem is that Elizabeth died six months ago. Then Linda starts having blackouts and losing time. Could she herself have something to do with the deaths?
Mirror Image is a combination of family drama and psychological suspense, with a slight supernatural element. The story is told mainly from Linda's perspective. However, the first chapter is told from the point-of-view of the victim, and there are a couple of chapters in which past acquaintances detail the strangeness of Elizabeth as a child. The author uses scent to great effect, as well as the recurring symbolism of mirrors and reflections. She deftly maintains the suspense throughout, constantly keeping you guessing as to the true identity of the serial killer.
This one is sure to hold your attention from beginning to end.

About the Author
When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly.
As you can imagine, writing has been a driving passion throughout her life. She became a professional copywriter (which is writing promotional materials for businesses), which led to her founding a copywriting and marketing company that serves clients all over the world.
Along with being a copywriter, she also writes novels (a psychological thriller/suspense/mystery called The Stolen Twin and her second novel Mirror Image published in May 2016) plus, she is also the author of the Love-Based Copy books, which are a part of the Love-Based Business series, and cover both business and personal development.
She holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and her border collie Nick and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of The Stolen Twin by Michele Pariza Wacek.