Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A SENSE OF DECEPTION by Victoria Laurie

Publisher:   Berkley
Published:  July 7, 2015
ISBN:        978-0451473868
Genre:       Mystery
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina



Abby Rivers (nee Cooper) has never been one to hold back when it comes to meting out justice, even if it puts her at risk. So when her intuition tells her a judge, a federal judge, is engaged in something hinky, she lets loose…in open court. Not at all happy with Abby’s actions, the judge has her thrown in jail for contempt.  There she meets Skylar Miller, a death row inmate on the verge of her last appeal.  Uber protective husband, FBI agent Dutch Rivers, immediately sets about having Abby separated from the woman who is about to die for killing her child. Before she is moved though, Abby has a chance to talk to Skylar and she’s convinced the woman did not do it. Despite the clock running faster than anyone can realistically stop the pending execution, Abby takes on the case. Along with “vacationing” FBI agent Oscar Rodriguez and her best friend and partner, PI Candice Fusco, they set about to find the real killer.  Can they find him or her before time runs out for Skylar?

I’ve been a fan of Victoria Laurie’s Psychic Eye series from day one and through its various ups and downs. I’m one of those readers who also reads a book’s forward, afterward and acknowledgements. In her acknowledgements of SENSE OF DECEPTION, Laurie shares a very personal part of her life and tells the story of her puppy, Lily. I had to sit for a few minutes to absorb the very heartfelt story of Lily’s passage to the Rainbow Bridge.  Having recently had to help my 19 year old kitty cross the bridge, Lily’s story was particularly poignant.  This is not my normal review.
When I started the book I once again enjoyed reading Abby’s antics. I could see where over the years (12 prior books) she’s grown and changed. Her realization about just how very much she loves Dutch was a well-done moment. As I got into the book though, I found myself becoming conflicted. I struggle with any story where a child or animal is harmed. I continued on but the story seemed to drag. As Abby hit roadblock after roadblock I found myself thinking “come on—even I know who did it.” (without reading ahead). 

But then I realized something that had me turning back to the acknowledgements and Laurie’s words about Lily.  I’m not sure if this is what was going on when she wrote this book, but it was a cathartic moment for me and I suspect would be for anyone else who has lost a loved one, especially one who has been sick. Whether I am right or not, it is something to consider. Laurie wrote, or at least finished writing SENSE OF DECEPTION at the time of Lily’s cancer diagnosis.  Who among us hasn’t been in a situation where we will do anything to change the outcome? With a sick family member, including our pets, much like Abby keeps trying to find a way to save Skylar, even though time is running out. There are times she is ready to give up—but either one of her friends or she herself finds the strength, the energy, the wherewithal to keep going—to change the outcome. As a psychic Abby knows the limitations—but she is human enough to keep going. I was struck by what was, to me, a strong parallel between Abby’s determination to save Skylar and Laurie’s very personal story about Lily…and my own efforts to change my kitty’s outcome. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we do not. Even if I am way off base here, considering this deeper meaning to the story made it a truly wonderful read.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.



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