The death of her husband and young son in a boating accident three years earlier had plummeted Kate Marshall into a depression, Unable to understand why her son's body is never found but his little life jacket is found near the overturned boat, she numbs her pain with too many pills. Finally, able to pull herself up and rebuild her life as a career counselor to abused women, Kate moves from New York to St. Louis.New friends and a new church help her begin again, until the day she hears a young boy's voice on the escalator and sees straw blond hair so like her own.. In an instant she calls Kevin's name and the boy turns toward her voice, and then disappears into a crowded store hustled along with by the man at his side. While mall security and local police assume Kate is just seeing what she'd like to believe is her son, the still grieving mother cannot let the sighting go.
Connor Sullivan, former Secret Service agent turned PI, doesn't seem much merit in Kate's case, but her earnest plea and her beauty cause him to start a preliminary investigation. Soon it appears Kate might be right, her son might be alive. But how would a boating accident in upper New York state end with the little boy being in St. Louis three years later? Could the boy be in danger? And what about Kate herself?
From a the first words of the riveting prologue to the ending scenes,Irene Hannon keeps the suspense high in this novel, mixing it with just enough romance to satisfy those readers expecting both in their novels. I liked that this tale did not bounce back and forth across settings and wild chases. Instead, little bits of new information build, never enough to give us a complete picture, but enough to stir apprehension and unease. Despite its length at just under 400 pages, I rushed through this puzzling tale, wanting to make my way to the conclusion. I received a copy of DECEIVED from Revell Publishing for review purposes.
Explosive romantic suspense you won't be able to put down!
October 18, 2014
Kate Marshall is finally getting to a place in her life where she can accept the heartache of three years ago when her husband and four-year-old son were killed in a boating accident. Every day she heals a little morewith the help of her move to St. Louis, a wonderful job, and friendly church community. Everything changes when she spots a young boy at the mall who looks and speaks exactly as her son Kevin did. When the authorities chalk her crazy theory to her being a grief-ridden mother and decide not to investigate, she turns to a private investigator as her last hope. Connor Sullivan knew from the moment he met Kate he would do anything to help her. As the former Secret Service man starts investigating the boat accident that killed Kates husband and son, he begins to find several anomalies that make him think that maybe it wasnt an accident after all...and Kevin could still be alive. Further investigations bring Kate and Connor closer, as well as bringing old secrets to light.
I would have to start by saying that Irene Hannon is a master storyteller, especially when it comes to the suspense variety. Deceived has everythingpowerful mystery, hold-your-breath suspense, swoon-worthy yet realistic romance, engaging characters, and a bad guy that wasnt one-dimensional. When I first began Deceived, I was worried that it was impossible for it to have a truly happy ending considering the plotline. And Im a girl who likes happy endings *wink*. But there was no reason for hesitation, as Hannon weaved the story intricately peeling one layer after the other until we the reader saw everything as a whole. The ending was perfect, as I should have expected from this talented author. Another main thing I loved about this book was that it was very much character-driven, with a lot of attention into building the character's relationships. This made reading along as Kate and Connor grew closer all the more lovelier. The suspense had me on the edge of my seat, sporadically holding my breath until the conclusion. For the last half of Deceived, I literally couldnt put it down.
If you enjoy inspirational suspense novels, this book is for you! This is my first experience with the Private Justice series, but Im practically jumping to get my hands on the others as soon as I have time. For fans of Ronie Kendig, DiAnn Mills, or Lynette Eason, Deceived definitely makes it onto my top suspense novels Ive read thus far this year...maybe even onto my top suspense reads ever!
**I received this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.
Deceived is a romantic thriller well-worth the time spent reading, except for one small flaw. First, what did I like. The story starts 15 miles from my home near the Rochester, NY, metropolitan area. Hilton is a township with a population of 6000 located on the shores of Lake Ontario. The death of Kate Marshalls husband and son had sent her for a tailspin - including an addiction to valium.
But life was about to change when a young boy, about her sons age, crossed her path as she rode down the escalator. Her life again took a tailspin, but this time she found the help she needed in the person of Connor Sullivan, former Secret Service agent and now a partner of Phoenix, Inc. Four the next four weeks life went up and down as Kate, Connor, and other members of the Phoenix staff looked for answers in the past and the future.
The book will hold the readers attention - a bit of healthy romance will draw in the attention of whose interest lies in that direction, the thrill of the hunt will draw in those looking for a more thrill centered experience. A hint of faith will also draw the Christian readers attention to the book.
If this is the readers first look at a book by Irene Hannon, he or she will not be disappointed. On the other hand, that is exactly where I found disappointment. The plot of this third book in the Private Justice series paralleled her second book (which I previously reviewed) so closely, I found myself anticipating much of the book before I read it. Had I not read an earlier book, this book could have received a five. With the very similar plot lines of the two books, I will give this book 3.5 stars.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Honestly, with Irene Hannon you simply can't go wrong! This is the third in her Private Justice series and I'm sad to say goodbye. Deceived reads well as a standalone so no need to worry if you haven't read the other two. If you have read Trapped and Vanished though you'll enjoy connecting with Cal and Dev again.
A really unique read in the way the author develops the suspense. We know early on who the villain is. We are treated to scenes from his viewpoint. We don't know all the wherefores and whys but we know whodunit. So you might ask, where's the suspense and I'd reply, 'oozing from every page'. There was something so edgy about knowing more than Connor and Kate while watching them slowly piece fragmented clues together. As they get closer to the answers they are seeking Hannon revs up the pace and I was on tenterhooks the whole read. And the last fifty pages? Didn't even breathe! Whoosh!
And on the romantic side. Swoon. Best kiss ever!!!!!!!!!!! Just sayin'. And the way the author creates a push/pull to their growing attraction...blissful sigh. So basically, if you love romantic suspense (and who doesn't when it's this good?) Deceived should be on your must read list.
Wow! Irene Hannon has hit another one out of the park with this splendid novel! Its the 10th book of hers that Ive read, and she hasnt ceased to delight me. This book was certainly not an exception! Again, she managed to pack each page with suspense and constant action, pulled together with a sweet dose of romance and plenty of love and not just the romantic kind, but that of a mother for her child. I savored every page. I was never sure where the story would end up next, except that I knew it had to end happily because Irenes books do. Trust me, I would be heart-broken if they didnt. The ending did not disappoint! Im sorry to see this series end. Highly recommended for anyone who is a fan of romantic suspense. I cant wait for Buried Secrets, her next book!
**Revell sent me a free copy of this book in return for my honest review. I was not recompensed for this review, nor was I required to write positively. All opinions are my own honest ones.