By Irene Hannon
Private Justice Series, #3
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 by Irene Hannon has it all - the romance and breath-taking suspense one would expect, but also the kind of rich characterization that is not always found in suspense novels. It's obvious that Deceived is well researched, and Irene also pens a narrative filled with dialogue that swiftly moves the plot along, with exactly the right balance between suspense and romance.
I'm not a big fan of suspense . . . so why do I enjoy Irene's writing so much? In Deceived, the level of suspense is high, but not so much that I was terrified to read. Painstaking, methodical investigation is highlighted here, which is something I really like. Connor and Kate were able to spend a lot of time together, and it was so enjoyable to watch their feelings for each other develop. Also, while suspense is very much present, the story feels character-driven - and to me, that's what sets Irene's novels apart.
Connor and the male leads from the previous two books, Dev and Cal, formed a private investigation company called the Phoenix Group, using their previous experience to help see that justice is served. All three make great heroes - not perfect by any means, but strong, dependable, committed to helping, and they know how to laugh. Connor is especially likeable and easy to relate to. I couldn't help but be drawn to Kate - strong, having faced unimaginable losses in her life, and all the stronger for it.
One spiritual theme that stood out to me was the idea of coincidence - or divine appointments, as I often call them. Referring to coincidences, Connor tells Kate, "I like that old saying about them being small miracles in which God chooses to remain anonymous." That's pretty much how I feel, for I suspect that what we are quick to term coincidence is actually something that has God's hand in it.
Irene Hannon has become a "must read" author for me. Although Deceived is book #3 in the Private Justice series, it works well as a standalone story. Highly recommended.
Deceived can be purchased online at CBD, DeeperShopping, Amazon, and B&N.
Irene Hannon is the author of more than forty-five novels, including Vanished, Trapped, and the bestselling Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Daphne du Maurier Award, two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers' Choice Award, and a National Readers' Choice Award. In addition, she is a Christy Award finalist, and Booklist included one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011.
Connect with Irene online at irenehannon.com, Facebook, and Twitter.
Thank you to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.