Book Review: Anne O'Connell's Deep Deceit
Hello everybody! It’s been a rather slow week after the frenetic excitement of the Dubai Lit Fest. But it was a week of reading and relaxation, what with all the books I picked up during the festival! My bookshelf is once again lined up with almost ten books, enough to keep me out of trouble for quite a while.
Well, in any case, let me present my first book review for The Written Chakra, a novel by Anne Louise O’Connell titled Deep Deceit.
Let me start at the very beginning- the cover. It shows a woman in an abaya, her face and head almost totally covered up, except for her eyes, which look down fearfully. But hold it! Those eyes are blue, not brown! And the cover is an indicator of the tale within. It is the story of a mother’s worst nightmare coming true, when her beautiful 18-year old daughter disappears. And her husband of 19 years, whom she has never really got on with, starts behaving erratically. Into this mix, throw in an unfamiliar landscape and culture, in this case the emirate of Dubai and the kingdom of Saudi, and you have all the ingredients of a thriller or a who-done-it.
The mother in this story is Celeste, whose daughter, Tamara, mysteriously disappears. The boorish husband, Ryan, pooh-poohs his wife’s fears, saying it was her overbearing protectiveness from which the daughter was fleeing. The cracks, which were already present in the marriage, widen after this event. Tamara is not Ryan’s real daughter, but his best friend and business partner, Donald’s. After Donald’s mysterious death nineteen years ago, Ryan had married his pregnant widow, Celeste.
The story unravels with remarkable skill, as one layer after another is peeled off like the skin of an onion, only to reveal an unpalatable truth. Celeste sets out to find her daughter, aided by the irrepressible Susan Morris, a former psychiatric nurse who befriends Celeste and accompanies her everywhere in her quest for her daughter.
The author, Anne O’Connell, deftly weaves the plot with mystery and suspense so that we want to keep turning the pages. And although the cities of Dubai and Riyadh have the outward visage of modernity, old ideas of justice and revenge prevail. I finished this book in two sittings, reading far into the night, so engrossed had I become in the story.
I highly recommend it to all lovers of thrillers as well as those who love women’s fiction for it is also the story of a woman’s journey from helplessness and victimhood to freedom and decisiveness.
Deep Deceit is Anne O’Connell’s second novel. Her earlier novel, Mental Pause, won a bronze medal in the 2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards. This book (in my opinion) is even better than the earlier one.
And watch out for more reviews and tips (and maybe just plain rantings) in my next blog. Until then, adios.
Deep Deceit is available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback. Amazon.com link - http://amzn.to/1zZrxEUand the Amazon.co.uk link - http://amzn.to/1BXWpXB
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