Deception by Lillian Duncan

Reviewed By Nike Chillemi –

Patti Jakowski’s life is super boring, until she gets a phone call from a terrified four-year-old claiming to be her niece. Although Patti feels for the little girl, she believes the claim is preposterous. She hasn’t seen her twin sister in years, but even so, she feels that if she had a niece she would’ve known about it. So, the child must be mistaken. The author’s skill comes through at the outset, as this phone call between Patti and the frightened child is both tender and heartwarming, but also heart wrenching.

This single phone call changes the direction of Patti’s life, as she determines she must go to the child to find out for herself what is going on. She learns that indeed, little Sabrina is her niece and that her identical twin sister Jamie is missing. When Sabrina’s nanny gives Patti the guided tour of Jamie’s house, which in reality is more like a mansion, Patti realizes her sister is a very wealthy woman. Patti remembers Jamie as the flighty and irresponsible, always getting into one scrape or another while growing up and living in New York City in an apartment with roaches. She can’t help but wonder if Jamie came by all this wealth illegally. When she finds her sister’s purse, she knows Jamie didn’t leave the house willingly. A woman doesn’t leave of her own accord without taking her handbag.

It’s not long before a handsome sergeant from the local police force is involved in the case. Sgt. Carter Caldwell is initially skeptical. Jamie’s job takes her out of town frequently and he’s sure she’ll turn up on her own sooner or later…though he’s got this niggling feeling in his gut that something’s amiss somewhere. Initially Pattie is furious with the police sergeant and doesn’t understand why he can’t see what’s as plain as the nose on his face…her sister is in big trouble.

In short order, an FBI agent friend of Jamie’s gets involved and Patti learns Jamie has been doing dangerous undercover work for the federal agency…thus explaining the title DECEPTION. As it turns out Sabrina’s father is involved with a terrorist cell and Jamie volunteered to help implicate him in terrorist activities. The FBI wants to find Jamie just as much as Patti does.

Pattie is nearly accosted by a jogger on the beach near Jamie’s house. Pattie finds her sister’s Bible and realizes Jamie is a believer. Pattie falls asleep that night reading her twin’s Bible. When the jogger assaults the nanny and tries to kidnap Sabrina, a full court press is on by both the FBI and Sgt. Caldwell to find Jamie. Of course, Patti insists on becoming part of the investigation. The plot takes quite a few twists and turns. The bad guys turn out to be very bad indeed, something I like in a suspense novel.

The main characters and a few of the important subordinate characters are Christians. As the story goes forward and Patti and Carter grow closer, beginning a romance, their faith also deepens. Ultimately, it is a story about the importance of strong family relationships and also about never giving up on the people you love.

This is the second novel by Lillian Duncan I’ve read in the romantic suspense genre. The first was PURSUED. I recommend both of them. This is a very talented writer.

About Nike Chillemi

Nike Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She is a member of ACFW and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers on Ning. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 and a Carol Awards 2011 judge, She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction.

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