AUTHOR: Nancy Mehl
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
Kate O'Brien has been leading a quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas, for the past four years when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and it was her drawing of the attacker--along with some last-minute evidence--that convicted the suspect.
She's been in witness protection ever since, but new evidence suggests the convicted man isn't the murderer and she's been subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Nervous about the risk, she'll only agree if the same marshal who protected her during the original trial escorts her to St. Louis.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Tony DeLuca accepts the assignment to bring Kate to the trial, remembering how her strength impressed him. While in Shelter Cove, however, he gets a call from his chief, advising them to stay in Shelter Cove until a new development in the case can be straightened out. But when Kate's safety is threatened, Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.
Tight prose, intriguing characters, and a fast-paced plot combine in Dark Deception. How could I not get caught up in a story that begins, “Playing dead was harder than she ever could have imagined.”? Horror held me in the grip of this story and kept me up late to finish it.
Kate is an admirable heroine as she is forced to face her nightmares, and Tony is a worthy hero, determined to protect Kate no matter the cost. Twists and surprises kept tension high, and while I did guess the identity of the mastermind, more plot turns made me second-guess my conclusion.
The violence level in this story is higher than I prefer, but those who love tense, action-packed suspense/thrillers will enjoy Dark Deception. My copy of this book came via NetGalley and the publisher, and I award it four stars.