Author: Heena Rathore P.
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Page Count: 270
“Denial. It’s the only thing that keeps most of us from losing our sanity.”
A girl struggling to cope with the murders of her mother and five-year-old brother.
A journalist chasing the ghost of a potential serial killer.
A thirteen-year-old girl who slaughtered her parents.
And a revenge-driven psychopath who is about to destroy everyone’s life.
After 9 years, a young writer is still coping with the brutal murders of her mother and five-year-old brother, as she moves into a house of horrors, to start a new life with her lover. Will friends and family be able to redeem Ally out of the impending doom in time? Will her infallible love become the key to the destruction of her already fragile world? Will madness prevail over love; true love over revenge?
Deceived is a gripping psychological thriller that mazes through the deepest, darkest emotions of human mind through the story of a vulnerable girl who treads in the mist of deception bred from a long unforgiven betrayal.
**I was sent an ARC of Deceived to read and review. This in no way affects my opinion on the book**
Going into Deceived, I had relatively high expectations. This was due to the fascinating sounding synopsis and the high ratings/praises it was receiving on Goodreads. After finishing the book, color me disappointed. Perhaps part of it had to do with my high expectations, but I simply wanted so much more out of the book in general.
First of all, even though this is a psychological thriller novel, it never got particularly creepy until the very end of the novel (last 20 or so pages). The majority of the novel reads more like a contemporary crime book. The story focuses on solving who committed a series of murders in the past, and lacks a certain “oomph” for it to truly classify as a thriller for me.
I wouldn’t have minded the slow contemporary read if the characters didn’t feel nearly as bland as they did. Even though I just finished the book a few days ago, the characters have already begun to dissipate from my mind. You have our protagonist, Allison, who is haunted by the murders of her mom and younger brother. Overall, Allison felt whiny, WAY too trusting, and just not that interesting of a lead. There’s Steve, the journalist who is tracking a serial killer (which is ridiculous, but we’ll get there). He had qualities I liked, but then again he would also constantly make degrading comments against women, was obnoxiously self centered, and a bit rude. Our last main character is Elizabeth, the 13 year old girl who murders her parents. This is the story line I actually cared about the most, because it was somewhat creepy and actually interesting (for the most part).
I found the side characters way more fun to read than the main characters. Sam, Allison’s best friend, is the only reasonable character in the whole book. She was a joy to read. Allison also has her trusty companion, Max. Yes, Max is a dog! I love dogs, and his relationship with all of the characters was so cute (spoiler, highlight to view: I was horrified when I thought Rathore killed off the dog, thank goodness she didn’t).
In this paragraph, I would like to rant about one of the characters. About Steve in particular. Steve is a journalist who has obviously never seen an episode of a cop/crime/murder-solving TV show in his life. He is determined that he can catch a serial killer on his own, when the cases he is looking at have almost nothing in common. Let’s see… victims all different ages, appearance, profession, location, and choice of murder weapon. Oh, they’re all women? Serial killer! No, Steve. No. The ridiculous assumptions and conclusions that he comes to (all without very little evidence, mind you) just bothered me more and more and the book progressed.
The last thing I have to pick at is the writing style. The whole story doesn’t follow the idea of “showing, not telling” at all. Everything is told to the reader very bluntly, even when what was stated was obvious already. Take for example the character’s emotions. It’s often stated that Allison could tell what emotion someone was feeling by blah blah, even when the reader can clearly infer what the character is feeling. Having more description, and a less of a direct tone could’ve helped the creepiness aspect so much. Also, I don’t know if the copy I was sent is the final copy or not, but there were a lot of grammar/writing mistakes that got on my nerve. Things such as names not being capitalized, obvious questions being ended with a period instead of a question mark, and similarly spelled words that mean different things (cast vs. caste). Again, this may just be the ARC, but I hope they get fixed.
Overall, Deceived is a book that has promise, it just needs a little more work. Once again, these are my own opinions, and who knows… maybe you’ll love this book! If you are in the mood for a quick, contemporary thriller-esque novel, perhaps give this book ago once it’s published. However, unless the synopsis is too intriguing for you to pass, I would recommend trying something else.