Thursday, September 20, 2018

Book Review - Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

Book Synopsis
An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden. 

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

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My Review
Formula of Deception tells the story Murphy Anderson, an artist who has changed her appearance and name and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, after her sister was murdered.  Murphy unexpectedly slips into work as a forensic artist with the local police department.  She becomes involved in a mysterious case involving a remote World War II Quonset hut in Alaska.  And then she learns that her sister's killer is on the loose.

I was intrigued by this novel from the start.  The World War II period mystery in the story and the Alaska setting made me want to read the book.

This is such a fast paced and suspenseful novel!  I began reading Saturday evening and finished Sunday afternoon because I could not let the book go until I knew what happened.

Murphy is a fascinating character.  I like the way Carrie Stuart Parks introduced more details about Murphy bit by bit, including some real surprises.

The pacing of Formula of Deception is exceptional.   It is so fast paced.  I am usually a leisurely reader who reads an hour or so at bedtime.  This is a novel that demands more.

I'm glad the author included a family tree at the beginning of the book.  I bookmarked it and referred several times to the character history in that tree.   

I have never read about the work of a forensic artist before and found that aspect of the novel unusually interesting.  The author has a background as a forensic artist, and the details of this work were fascinating.

There are many twists and turns in this novel as the story of the World War II era mystery, the current day implications of those events, and the murder of Murphy's sister all unfold.  Every time I thought I knew the answer there was another surprise.  The ending denouement was so unexpected!

I highly recommend Formula of Deception for fans of fast paced, exciting mysteries, and especially for anyone interested in Alaskan life.

Author Bio
Carrie Stuart Parks is an ECPA Christy Award and multiple ACFW Carol and Inspy Award–winning author. An internationally known forensic artist, Carrie draws on her extensive experience with actual criminal investigations to write authentic, true-to-life fictional suspense. Carrie lives in Idaho and travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada, teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. She has won numerous awards for her fine art and is the author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting., Facebook: CarrieStuartParksAuthor, Twitter: @CarrieParks.


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I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours.


Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being on the tour!

Carrie said...

Thank you for your lovely review!