Last Updated on February 18, 2014
Portrait of Conspiracy by J. M. Davis is a really great romantic suspense mystery novel that I couldn’t put down once I started reading it. It is the first book I’ve read by this author and didn’t know what to expect and what mystery genre it would turn out to be.
The story follows Philip Lewellan who has lost his pregnant wife (who disappeared) some 7 years ago. He never gave up on her and literally drove the police crazy with all the leads (most of them false) that he gave them over the first few years. He spent millions on an army of private investigators who had the unsuccessful job of finding Renee, his wife.
7 years after her disappearance, Philip came across a new lead in the form of a brochure which had a painting with someone who looked just like his wife, now with a small child. Philip now is sure that this is his wife indeed, and asks the previous police investigator, Sandra Copeland, to help try to find his wife.
Sandra was the main detective on the case back in the day and was literally flooded with tons of false leads he kept her busy with, so she was not too thrilled to hear from him again after all these years.
This time, however, something tells her that this new lead worth following up. The more she investigates, the more she really wants to help him find his wife, hoping that she can finally close this old case of hers. So the two of them embark on a journey that takes them across the ocean to France, a country she desperately wanted to see as a child.
Philip is a wealthy – a very wealthy man who couldn’t care less about money when it comes to finding his wife. He lives an expensive life, he has a dedicated chauffeur who is totally loyal to him, and he oozes that confidence that only money and a seriously good character can give a person (which is truly a seldom combination). No wonder Sandra is soon attracted to him, even when things look like he is the bad guy, afterall.
At the beginning, I have to admit, I was a bit confused by the many different characters that were introduced in the various chapters. For example I had no idea who Angela and Wanda were and how they were related (if at all) to Philip, and why was Carla so crucial to the storyline. However the plot itself was gripping enough that I kept on reading – and it turned out to be worth sticking to it as the lose ends got tied up really well and each character had its place and contribution to the highly rewarding outcome.
And speaking of the outcome, the last few chapters had more action and suspense than the entire book put together, and they were my favorite chapters in the book. And boy the surprise (although I did suspect some of it, but not all)!
A well played twist at the end turned things around, and just like in a real Agatha Christie novel, the bad guys were revealed along with all the background of how the plot on catching the criminals was put together.
And the last chapter…yes! Just like I wanted it to end. As I was reading the book, I was not entirely sure of the romantic suspense element, however the last chapter closed the deal quite nicely.
Overall I loved the book and I wouldn’t hesitate to read more by this author. A well written mystery that keeps you at the edge of your seat while rooting for the main characters, along with getting to a conclusion that doesn’t disappoint. What more can you want from a book in your favorite genre to entertain you?
To read more about Portrait of Conspiracy by J.M Davis or to get the book, visit Amazon