Deceived, inspirational romantic suspense author Irene Hannon’s latest release, begins with an intriguing question: Did job counselor Kate Marshall’s four-year-old son, Kevin, die three years ago when his physician father drowned during a weekend fishing trip?Kevin’s body was never recovered. And though Kate’s moved halfway across the country since that fateful summer in New York–and struggled to forge a new life and career in St. Louis–she’s been haunted by her son’s unexplained disappearance ever since.
Imagine the childless mother’s surprise when–as she’s descending an escalator at the local mall–she overhears a young boy on the opposite escalator asking for a “poppysicle.” Kate had never heard any child use that term except her beloved son, Kevin, in the past.
Is it merely a disturbing coincidence? Or an astonishing, incomprehensible miracle?
Twisting to scan the crowd on the ascending escalator, Kate spots a blond-haired boy of about age six or seven and frantically calls out to him. Kevin!
The boy spins toward her, their eyes meet, and … he’s gone. Though Kate races to the bottom of the escalator and then back up again, it’s too late. Her cherished son–if it was him at all--has disappeared into a throng of busy, heedless shoppers hand-in-hand with a mysterious, baseball-capped stranger.
When the authorities politely decline to pursue the matter, Kate seeks out the services of the top-rate private investigators at Phoenix, Inc. Though skeptical that Kate’s actually spotted her son over 800 miles away from where he disappeared three years before, striking ex-Secret Service agent Connor Sullivan agrees to launch a preliminary investigation. Who wouldn’t? Kate’s bright, beautiful, accomplished and loving. From there, the sparks begin to fly.
The author of over 45 traditionally-published novels to date, Irene Hannon‘s a consummate pro. In Deceived, she deftly weaves a tale so intricate in its detail–so heartrending and compelling in its premise–that the reader cannot, in all good conscience, leave the hapless Kate to fend for herself through the entire experience alone. She’s hooked from page one.
There’s Connor, of course, but–well–it’s complicated. He’s a guy. A great guy. An attractive, attentive guy. But a guy nevertheless.
The reader, on the other hand, isn’t emotionally conflicted where Kate’s concerned. She isn’t wrestling to maintain a clear head and a respectful distance. The reader is squarely on Kate’s side. Her tormenting fictional plight is the reader’s own, and someone’s got to give her answers. Someone’s got to pay.
Ms. Hannon delivers a gripping page-turner for the ages in Deceived. Christian romantic suspense fiction never looked so good. Complex, multi-layered characters entangled in a taut, riveting plot? Check. Engaging, evocative sensory details? Check. A flawed, but sympathetic, hero and heroine? Check. Check. And check.
Be sure to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the book, the author and/or your own experience with inspirational romantic suspense. Blessings!
(Disclosure Statement: I was pleased to share my honest review of this book in exchange for a complimentary copy of the same from Baker Publishing Group.)
Irene Hannon’s Bio:
Irene Hannon, a bestselling, award-winning author, has written more than 45 romance and romantic suspense novels. She’s been honored with two RITA awards—the “Oscar” of romantic fiction—and she is a six-time finalist. Her books have also won a Daphne du Maurier award, a Carol award, three HOLT Medallions, a National Readers’ Choice Award, a Retailers Choice Award, a Booksellers’ Best Award and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. One of her novels was also named by Booklist as a top 10 inspirational fiction books of 2011. In addition, she is a two-time Christy award finalist.
Irene, who holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, juggled two careers for many years until she gave up her executive corporate communications position with a Fortune 500 company to write full-time. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and singing. A trained vocalist, she has sung the leading role in numerous musicals, including “South Pacific,” “Brigadoon,” “Oklahoma” “The King and I” and “Anything Goes.” She is also a soloist at her church.
Irene and her husband enjoy traveling, Saturday mornings at their favorite coffee shop and spending time with family. They make their home in Missouri. To connect with Irene on social media, visit her website, follow her on Twitter, and like her on Facebook.