Sunday, June 17, 2018

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

Parks is one of my favorite mystery and suspense authors. That her main character is a forensic artist is a good basis for great plots. Imagine my surprise at a new heroine in this novel. Murphy is not actually a forensic artist although she claims to be one. She is really on Kodiak Island in Alaska to find out what happened to her missing sister who she fears was dating a serial killer.

There were aspects of the plot I really liked and others that left me unsatisfied. I like that Murphy gets to help with the forensic work on a cold case. A fisherman on his death bed reveals he had found several bodies on a small island ten years ago. What Murphy and the state forensic expert find relates to World War II. I learned about the Japanese invading Alaska, trying to distract the Americans from Midway. I also learned about Custer's Cutthroats and their work in thwarting the Japanese army.

The novel also had an intense psychological aspect to it. All is not as it seems nor is everyone who they claim. There were many twists and turns to the plot, many relating to the psychological aspect. At times I felt a little jerked around and definitely deceived. I am just not so sure all of those psychological twists work.

I really like Parks' writing style. She has a way of having tension run continually through the plot. I do recommend this novel to readers who enjoy learning about WW II in Alaska and forensic art while being entertained with a mysterious cold case and a suspenseful current mystery.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy and Carol Award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband across the US and Canada teaching courses on forensic art to law enforcement professionals. She is also the author and illustrator of several books on drawing and painting. She lives in the mountains of Idaho. You can find out more at

Thomas Nelson, 320 pages. This book releases July 3.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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