Molly Saint hires new PI's Greg and Jill McKenzie to check into her husband's background, then disappears. It starts them on a tangled trail of deceit.  Complicating matters further, Greg gets drawn into a troubling police investigation stemming from the assassination of the Federal Reserve Board chairman at a Nashville hotel. The case resurrects old problems with a Murder Squad detective and his colleagues among Nashville's finest. The deeper the McKenzie's dig, the more deadly illusions they face, and the fear for Molly's life grows. 
Read A Review:

Greg and Jill McKenzie have opened an investigations firm and are working cases together.  In walks Molly Saint.  She wants them to look into her husband’s past.  The McKenzie’s, especially Greg, are initially skeptical about taking this case.  Molly has been married to Damon Saint for five years.  But, Jill has a feeling that something isn’t right and convinces Greg to do some preliminary investigations.  If they don’t find anything alarming, they will stop.

They are already working for Leisure Foods Group investigating missing funds from a King Cole specialty restaurant.  Jill goes undercover as hostess in the restaurant.  Greg gets friends to eat there so that they can determine if the money they pay to the restaurant is actually accounted for in the deposit the next day.

The day they met with Mr. Logan from Leisure Foods Group in the Opryworld Hotel, Dr. Elliott Bernstein, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, was gunned down at the hotel.   Since Greg used to be an investigator for the DA’s office, he knows some officers.  But since he left that job after some comments he made about Detective Mark Tremaine ended up in the newspaper, he doesn’t get along with many of the officers.  The one officer that is still his friend is Detective Phil Adamson.

Once Molly disappears, the McKenzie’s begin to delve deeply into Damon’s background.  They never lose sight of their other cases, but this one has become priority.  

The Greg McKenzie series is fast becoming one of my all-time favorite series.  Mr. Campbell has a great way of telling a story while weaving the various cases that Greg and Jill are working on.  I find his characters to be very believable.  I like that they don’t just center on one case.  That’s not how it is in real life.

I like the Nashville setting.  And the fact that Jill is a pilot and owns a Cessna allows them to travel to gain additional information and not lose much time. 

The only complaint I’d have is that they turn off their cell phone too much, especially during important cases.  But, since they are older, this is still believable.

I can’t wait to read the next Greg McKenzie mystery.  I highly recommend this book and the whole series.

Dawn Dowdle

Jill and Greg McKenzie, married nearly 40 years, still find a spark in each other and in their new-found detective agency in Nashville, Tennessee. First they meet a potential client, Logan, who has been recommended by a friend in the Atlanta police department, and are glad of the business.

Logan needs to have them investigate the shenanigans taking place in his restaurant business. Restaurant theft seems to be part of the problem and they hatch a plan as to how Jill will be able to flush out the perpetrators.

When they return to the lobby, more bedlam exists when the influential chairman of the Federal Reserve Board is murdered. Their next client is a young woman who wants a background check on her husband, Damon Saint. He is a former Vietnam veteran and things are happening that do not make sense.

All three of these cases tie together with a relatively easy flow. The most interesting for me of the three is the Damon Saint sketch. He is a man of multiple bank accounts. Damon is a quiet person, a loner and appears to be an accomplished liar. For a teaser, I will tell you that not everything is as it seems. Molly Saint knows limited information about her husband but she does know enough to be uncomfortable and fearful about their current life.

I have not read either of the previous books in the series, DESIGNED TO KILL and SECRET OF THE SCROLL. But DEADLY ILLUSIONS works as a standalone book and I never felt out of sync. Even though there are references to past cases, the author has done a commendable job in tying everything together.

I like the two main characters but did not particularly warm to any of the others. The McKenzies are solid and realistic. Jill is my favorite of the two. Formerly, she conducted a charter service and piloted people. She is bright and humorous and yet, she manages to show her vulnerable side. I will read the next installment in this series.

Rita Ratacheck

...a fabulously quick read, a page-turner.

Roundtable Reviews