Deceit, a mystery by Brandilyn Collins, attacks dishonesty to reveal truth about friendship and love. As a missing persons detective, Joanne Weeks is required to lie to reveal truth, but as a Christian she is required to love. These obligations divide Joanne between helping others through lying and loving the liars.
Deceit carries two stories. As Joanne meets new people in one chapter, we learn about these people's past in the next chapter. We want to shout warnings to Joanne that the people she is trusting are dishonest because we have seen their true character.
Joanne has never accepted the death of Linda Jackson as a mere accident. Her best friend was murdered, but the only suspect is the town's philanthropist and Linda's religious husband. This tangled network of suspicion leads Joanne’s search for the couple’s lost foster daughter and the murder’s witness, Melissa. However, Melissa's past action puts this young woman’s integrity into question.
Joanne Weeks has the stuff of a plucky woman. Even after her husband passes away, she has continued to enjoy her work and life. Unfortunately, whereas Joanne’s character comes vividly to life, the secondary characters never leave the page. Shallow relationships leave the readers wading in waters in which they would prefer to swim.
Women will find Deceit as satisfying as a glass of water – its Christian flavor may be tasteless, but its plot is refreshing. Clever construction seasoned with intense scenes and a dash of romance makes Deceit a truly good overall story. – Micah M. Hancock, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Sometimes the truth hides where no one expects to find it. Joanne Weeks knows Baxter Jackson killed Linda—his second wife and Joanne’s best friend—six years ago. But Baxter, a church elder and beloved member of the town, walks the streets a free man. The police tell Joanne to leave well enough alone, but she is determined to bring him down. Using her skills as a professional skip tracer, she sets out to locate the only person who may be able to put Baxter behind bars. Melissa Harkoff was a traumatized sixteen-year-old foster child in the Jackson household when Linda disappeared. At the time Melissa claimed to know nothing of Linda's whereabouts—but was she lying?
In relentless style, Deceit careens between Joanne's pursuit of the truth— which puts her own life in danger—and the events of six years' past, when Melissa came to live with the Jacksons. What really happened in that household? Beneath the veneer of perfection lies a story of shakeable faith, choices, and the lure of deceit.