Title: Sense of Deception Author: Victoria Laurie Published: July 7th 2015 by NAL Format: ebook; Hardcover, 368 pages Genre: Paranormal Mystery Series: Psychic Eye Mystery #13
You have to give it to Victoria Laurie for starting this book smack dab in the middle of things and having her main character regretting the decision to go commando that morning. Abby Cooper is being hauled out of the courtroom, when she outted the judge in the middle of a trial. She knew that the prosecutor was going to lose the case and decided that using her charm and quick wit when she should have used diplomacy would end thing quicker. What she did not count on was being thrown into a cell with a woman coming up on her final appeal in the murder of her own child.
Skylar Millar has declared her innocence since the night ten years ago, that she was found with her son’s blood all over her. Having a past of drug and alcohol abuse has led authorities to look no further than her as the only suspect in this horrendous murder but Abby is sensing something different.
With Skylar’s final appeal in less than two weeks and the knowledge that Texas executes death row inmates within in hours of their final failed appeal, Abby with the help of Oscar Rodriguez, an FBI investigator currently on vacation leave and Abby’s best friend Candice Fusco, the trio are racing to clear Skylar before it is too late.
Knowing that you are someone’s last hope spawns you into directions that you did not intend and tends to kick up a lot of dust. Dust that someone else has wanted to keep down and when you tick off the wrong people, especially when you are dealing with corrupt officials and people closer to home. Things tend to get messy very quickly.
There are secondary storylines involving the investigator in Skylar Miller’s case that is asking for help with a murdered college student named Tuyan Pham and recently released Don Corzo, a serial killer that has murdered at least three women in two states. The author ties these up quickly leaving a few questions but with the main plot taking center stage, the reader did not want to keep bouncing back to the unimportant. There were points that I began to wonder if Victoria Laurie had second thoughts as to where the lesser parts were going, but she seemed committed so I had to follow.
Abby is too attached; the odds are too long and with seconds to go and a Hail Mary pass thrown trying to save Skylar that had just gone wildly out-of-bounds this team is in trouble. They need to find that one play that will save her and they are running out of options.
I am not too sure that I liked how Ms. Laurie was tying up her loose ends. I understand that she was trying to make the reader feel the same frustration, but throwing in people and parts that were never previously mention is frustrating. Keeping the reader in suspense is fine, but pulling in things out of nowhere is annoying.
Comparing this to the last previous books, I think readers will enjoy it. Other than a little bit of silliness, the book was a very quick read. Not sure that you have to read all of the previous books to understand where she is going with this one since there is a bit of backstory in each book, the reader would catch up quickly.
I have a curiosity when it comes to some of the subtext within this book. Parts came across to me as if the author was trying to work out a couple of personal issues. For instance, you have Abby describing how to be the perfect wife. There is also specific background history as to whom in Abby’s life has alcohol or drug abuse issues. Even a couple of paragraphs in regards to having to protect herself from clients and how they needed to acknowledge the recording of their sessions. Is the author venting some of her issues through Abby? I found it all to be very curious.