DeceivedDeceived by Irene Hannon
Series: Private Justice #3
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Revell on October 07, 2014
Pages: 416
Also by this author: Buried Secrets, Hope Harbor, Tangled Webs


Kate Marshall had accepted the fact her husband and son had drowned in a boating accident three years ago. But upon seeing a little boy in a shopping mall who looks and sounds like her son Kevin, she grasps onto a slim hope that he is alive.

When Kate walks through the door of ex Secret-Service agent Connor Sullivan with a far-fetched case, he thinks the biggest challenge will be keeping their relationship professional, not personal.  But as evidence starts to unravel and the pieces start fitting together, they soon find that a case considered dead and buried has definite life and danger left in it after all.

Deceived is the third book in Irene Hannon’s Private Justice series. This is the first book I’ve read of hers and I have to say I’m ready to read more. I would recommend Deceived without hesitation to anyone who enjoys romantic suspense.

The plot is handled with great skill. I especially enjoyed the fact we get to see the story from all angles: from Kate’s, Connor’s and even the villain’s perspective. This shifting between the characters’ points-of-view meant I always knew more than they did, and this heightened the sense of tension as the case progressed. It also caused me to empathise for all the characters, even the ‘bad guy’, which I think is important for us to remember when considering criminal activity.

The investigation is written very well, unfolding in a combination of obstacles and breakthroughs, which makes the mystery all the more believable.

The writing is wonderfully fresh – I often get frustrated with writers who use too many clichéd expressions, but I came across very few, if any. The expressions and thoughts of the characters were often light and witty, a nice contrast to the intense situation they found themselves in.

There is no moment of salvation for the characters – both Kate and Connor are Christians from the start of the novel – and God is hardly mentioned.

Some readers may rue this absence of Christian content, but I think it is good to have books that are light on faith content.

You could lend Deceived to a non-Christian friend and know they will be able to enjoy the story, and they might even learn something from the subtle Christian themes that they otherwise would not be willing to receive.

The only thing I would change in this story is perhaps the way the criminal gives up his story too easily. Mysteries often culminate with the villain spilling all the details of their crime to their next victim because they believe that the victim will not live to tell the tale – this is hard to believe and it does annoy me when it happens.

I also have to admit that while the romance is fun and sweetly-handled, the end is a bit cheesy…but it made me smile, so who cares!

These minor gripes are hardly worth mentioning because Deceived engaged me from beginning to end. It grabbed my attention, made me laugh and hold my breath, and sigh with indulgence at the end of it. Highly recommended and thoroughly enjoyable.


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