Saturday, March 31, 2007

Randy Alcorn - Deception

Title: Deception
Author: Randy Alcorn

ISBN # 1590526163

Publisher: Multnomah Books

First Published: 2007

490 pages

Format: Hardback

Rating: 8/10

Who Done It... and Why? Ollie Chandler is a brilliant and quick-witted homicide detective who lives by Ollie's First Law: "Things are not what they appear." So when a university professor is found murdered and the motive looks like revenge, a stunning discovery leads him to an unimaginable conclusion. Could the murderer be a fellow homicide detective? As Ollie probes deeper, another detective is murdered. What is the root of this jumbled, deceptive mess of lies and secrets? Jake Woods returns from Deadline, and Clarence Abernathy from Dominion in this heart-pounding murder mystery bristling with tension and suspicion. Deception will take you to heaven and hell and back again... breathless to discover the truth.

Although billed as a sequel, this felt more like a spin-off novel – the main characters from Alcorn’s previous novels featured heavily in the plot, the main focus here is on Detective Ollie Chandler (who appeared in the previous novels) and it works very well as a stand-alone novel that, if you haven’t already read them, will quite probably make the reader want to go back and read the others too as it’s so very good!

This harks back to the style of the old detective novels featuring such famous sleuths as Sam Spade, Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, and references them throughout, as well as sticking to the ideals of those heroes. There is very little in the way of “bad language”, as you might expect from a Christian author, but despite the modern setting, this all seems very natural as Ollie Chandler (although most definitely not believer himself) is a man of principle and honour.

There are frequent bible and religious references from Chandler’s very Christian friends, but they don’t intrude on the story – quite the opposite, the actually enhance it and the frantic pace builds as the mystery and danger deepens.

All the characters have very human flaws, making them very easy to identify and sympathise with them from start to finish, the plot is sufficiently winding and intriguing to keep the reader hooked, yet still gives just the right amount of clues to keep those “little grey cells” ticking, and the writing is tight. It has everything you could possibly want from crime fiction and more.

(Includes reading group questions at the end of the book.)


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