About the book (from publisher Revell):
A grieving mother. A mysterious child. And a dedicated PI who’s determined to solve the puzzle.
For three years, Kate Marshall has been mourning the loss of her husband and four-year-old son in a boating accident. But when she spots a familiar-looking child on a mall escalator, she’s convinced it’s her son. With police skeptical of her story, she turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan for help. As the former Secret Service agent digs into the case, the boating “accident” begins to look increasingly suspicious. But if Kate’s son is alive, someone is intent on keeping him hidden–and may go to lethal lengths to protect a sinister secret.
As Irene Hannon’s many fans have come to expect, Deceived is filled with complex characters, unexpected twists, and a riveting plotline that accelerates to an explosive finish.
Deceived is another fascinating tale by Irene Hannon featuring a good blend of romance and suspense. If you’ve read either of the other books in the Private Justice series then you already have a good idea what to expect – charming private investigator heroes, strong yet vulnerable heroines, and three dimensional villains – and you’re no doubt eager for more. If so, then Deceived is just the book for you.
If you haven’t read Vanished or Trapped yet, check out my reviews of those books too. You don’t necessarily need to read them first, as each book in the series can stand alone (though the later books do refer in passing to events in the earlier books), but if you enjoy one, why not enjoy them all?
I found the plot of this book to be interesting and I enjoyed watching the characters unravelling the mystery element a little at a time, but the part I liked the most about this book was the way the characters were fully fleshed out.
My heart went out to the heroine for everything she went through. It’s hard to even imagine losing both husband and son in one fell swoop, but the opening scene of the book where Kate finds out about the accident is well done, and you really get a feeling for what she’s going through.
The element that really made this book stand out for me was the villain, because he wasn’t your classic evil guy in a black hat who exists solely to create problems for the hero and heroine. His motivations were complex and well thought out, and he had a genuine love for the child in the story, despite the terrible things he was capable of.
In fact, one of my favorite lines in the story was a line of dialogue in which one of the characters says, “Even normal, well-adjusted, caring people can crack if they’re forced to endure enough stress or loss or grief. We all have our limits.” (From Chapter 21)
Interesting point. And disturbing too. It’s almost more frightening to read about “normal” people doing terrible things for reasons they consider good or justifiable, than to read about someone who does evil for the sake of evil. Maybe because the “normal” bad guy seems so much more… real… or potentially real?
This is a book that will bring you to the edge of your seat. If you enjoy a suspenseful mystery with interesting characters and a clean romance, I would recommend Deceived.
Thank you to the publisher, Revell for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy via NetGalley so I could participate in the Revell Reads blog tour. My review represents my honest opinion of the book.