Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My review: Deceived

Deceived is the final book in Irene Hannon's Private Justice series - I'm a huge fan of Ms. Hannon's and was super excited to read it!  I also couldn't wait to find out what happened with Connor!  May I also add that I love this cover and the rest of the series?
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 a 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 secrets.
As Irene Hannon's many fans have come to except, Deceived is filled with complex characters, unexpected twists, and a riveting plotline that accelerates to an explosive finish.
About the author:
Irene Hannon is the author of more than forty-five novels, including Vanished and 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 a Booklist included one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011.  Learn more at
(Cover photo from Deeper Shopping.  Description and about the author copied from the back cover.)
My review: 4 stars
Great finale!
Deceived is the final book in Irene Hannon’s award-winning Private Justice series. I was very excited to read this book, but also disappointed with the knowledge that when the final page was turned, I would be saying “goodbye” to characters I had come to love. I was drawn into the story from the first, though, and quickly forgot my plans to savor it as I rushed to find out what was going to happen next and how everything would play out.
As always, Ms. Hannon does a fabulous job with the minute details and descriptions, drawing readers into the story with the first sentence. It’s obvious a lot of research went into this book, but she doesn’t overwhelm it with random or useless details. There were actually a couple things I kind of wished she had expounded on a little more, but if she had, it may have been too much and become annoying. While this book is the third one in the series, you technically don’t have to read them in order. It does help, since Conner, Dev, and Cal are in each book and there are a few references made to the previous stories that may not make much sense. But the mysteries don’t overlap the books or anything like that.
Kate Marshall is the “heroine” and I loved her almost immediately! She is very realistic and I was able to easily relate with her. I loved her strength of character and how she managed to get back up after facing a horrible tragedy. While she is strong, kind, stubborn, and persistent, she is also flawed and broken. I actually found that to be my favorite thing about her. She isn’t made out to be perfect, but rather we are shown her flaws clearly. She often has to lean on the Lord. She is a great balance of strength to stand on her own, but also the wisdom to know when she can’t continue on her own merit. 
Conner Sullivan is a great hero! We met him in each of the previous books, but we still don’t know him well. He is more of a background character in them, so I was very excited to get to know the last member of the Phoenix team. He is the most guarded one of the team, keeping his personal life as private as possible. Though to be honest, he doesn’t really have much of a personal life, prior to meeting Kate. He has had trouble with relationships before and feels guilty for how the last one ended. I loved his care and kindness toward Kate, how he looked beyond her seemingly crazy story and her appearance to really get to know her. He had me sighing and feeling slightly jealous of Kate, that she has such a wonderful guy in her life. I also loved his strength, honesty, and determination, as he attempted to ferret out the answers Kate needed. 
The romance between them was excellently handled. There were sparks from the start, but they each had their own reason for ignoring them. Kate wasn’t sure she could love again, after losing her first husband, and for Conner, there was an unspoken rule about getting personally involved with clients. I loved the chemistry between them, but I also appreciated the self-control they both exerted to keep everything above-board. True love includes putting the other person first, which they both tried to do. Also, a lot of the story focuses on the mystery and what is going on there, so their relationship wasn’t always in the forefront, which I think helped too.
I really enjoyed the spiritual aspect of this book. In many of Irene’s books, it is fairly light and stays in the background. While that is true of this book as well, it was woven into the story a bit more than usual, but was in no way overwhelming. I enjoyed that it pointed to God through out and encouraged readers to look to Him. Much of it focused on God’s plan for our lives and learning to trust in His leading. One particular sentence that grabbed my attention was this one: “We have one plan for our life, but God often has another.” Pauline Andrews, page 97 This sentence just struck me for some reason and I love the truth in it.
One thing I did find a little surprising is that I actually didn’t hate the “villain,” for a change. I almost always do in Irene’s books, but I actually kind of sympathized with them and found that while I didn’t like them for what they did to Kate and her family, I couldn’t hate them. I guess that was both a good and a bad thing. It was just a little weird for me to be able to relate to a villain, but it also made them a bit more realistic.
My only complaint is that I was somewhat disappointed with the suspense. I’m used to Irene’s edge-of-your-seat suspense and there actually wasn’t that much in this book. I was quickly engrossed in it, as usual, it just wasn’t overly suspenseful. The story focused more on the investigation and the characters’ relationships than anything else. I wasn’t that upset about it, because I found the other things very interesting, but I know some of her other fans may be a little upset at the deviation from her usual pattern.
I highly recommend this book if you enjoy romance and mystery, with a side of suspense.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
*Quotation used with permission from the publisher.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my review!  I hope you enjoyed it!
If you're interested in looking into the book some more, or perhaps purchasing a copy, here's a few links to get you started:


Barnes & Noble

Christian Book

1 comment:

  1. Once again a great review. I have never read one of her books, so maybe it wouldn't bother me too bad about the suspense part.