Reviewed by Dale Lewis
Deceived by James Scott
"Every fan of Mr. Bell will want to make sure they pick up a copy of Deceived to add to their collection."
Liz Towne, a stunning blonde, and her devout husband, Ardy, are hiking near their home in Park Canyon. They stumble upon a body in this isolated canyon on the edge of Los Angeles finding saddlebags with stolen diamonds reasonably close to the deceased man and his motorcycle.
Immediately Liz is faced with a simple choice: agree with Ardy’s decision to call the police or take the diamonds and walk away wealthy beyond her wildest imagination. What follows is a game of deception as she wrestles with the nagging truth or easy lies. Liz believes she knows who she is and what she wants, but she is haunted by a less-than-perfect childhood and a desire to prove herself worthy.
Bell includes interesting characters to complete this tale. "Mac" MacDonald, a Gulf War vet who's done time in prison for a stupid mistake in his past, also happens to be Ardy’s friend via the church. Mac attempts to walk the straight and narrow in spite of a vengeful probation officer. Liz's sister-in-law, Roxanne "Rocky" Towne, struggling with her own self-esteem and lack of purpose, begins to suspect things about Liz she cannot prove. These two are suddenly thrown together in Liz’s tangled web after the tragedy on the hiking trail.
James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Presumed Guilty and The Whole Truth offers this new fast-paced suspense thriller. In Deceived, I appreciate the fact that Bell does not glorify “evil,” (sadly, a reality of life). Although riveting in other James Scott Bell titles, there are no courtroom scenes in Deceived, which I found refreshing. This story could be ripped from the headlines or be featured on any prime time television episode. The author creates flawed characters the reader can identify and empathize with in their real life situations. You’ll find no super heroes in this storyline. The emotional ranges experienced in daily living are vividly expressed through his words.
Every fan of Mr. Bell will want to make sure they pick up a copy of Deceived to add to their collection.