Formula of Deception

Formula of DeceptionAuthor: Carrie Stuart Parks

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: July 3, 2018

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A troubled past, a prideful family, a government conspiracy, and a serial killer all collide for an incredible mystery!

Murphy Anderson’s sister’s body was never found, but she knows that she died at the hands of a serial killer. A killer that she helped put in prison, but not without having a scar left on her face from his knife.  But she’s changed her name and escaped to Kodiak, Alaska to try to piece together where her sister’s body might be and hide from the killer should he ever escape.  When the police learn that she has worked as a forensic artist (little white lie), they ask her to help draw up a sketch that a dying man remembers from ten years ago concerning five bodies he found on a remote Aleutian island.  She reluctantly agrees to help diagram the island scene for the police and discovers an Quonset hut from World War II with a body still inside.  As she finds herself pulled deeper into this cold case, people around her begin to die.  What is someone trying to protect?  And how many will they kill to keep it secret?

Any book set in Alaska automatically intrigues me. Maybe it is just someplace that I want to visit.  Maybe it is because my grandfather was stationed in the Aleutians in World War II doing work that still hasn’t been declassified.  Either way, I was ready to read this book.  I’ve read several of the Gwen Marcey series and figured this would be a standalone book, which it is to a point.  However, having read the other series, there is a tie in that only followers of Parks will see for what it is.

Murphy, very much like the character Gwen Marcey, has a troubled past that seems to follow her wherever she goes. She is also an artist like Gwen and would not have been in this situation to help solve the mystery were it not for Gwen.  If I haven’t got you interested in the other series, then what more do you need?  Right off the bat, I took to Murphy; however, I felt that something was amiss that is quickly discovered early on in the book as well as something that is discovered late in the book.  The supporting characters quickly rotate through the book and I never really got to know any of them well enough before they were either dead or somehow removed from the storyline.  Even so, the story flowed well and I enjoyed the overall mystery of what happened during World War II that continued to set events in motion seventy years later.

The only drawback I had was that the ending gave me some whiplash with twist after twist. I would have like to have seen it tied up a little more firm.  But it is a great book that has clean content that several readers will enjoy.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

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