Dark Deception / by Nancy Mehl. (Defenders of Justice, 2) 11.24.2017

Bethany House ISBN 9780764217784

Adult Rating: 4

Nancy Mehl continues her new romantic suspense series featuring US marshals.

In Dark Deception, Kate O’Brien lives in witness protection in a small Arkansas town. Four years earlier, the O’Brien sisters were attacked by a serial killer, but only Kate survived.

However, Kate’s new life is not as safe as she thinks, especially when new evidence arises that might lead to a convicted man’s freedom. Kate is required to testify in a new trial, putting her life at risk. She agrees to return to St. Louis if the original deputy marshal who protected her during the first trial, US Deputy Marshall Tony DeLuca, will again provide protection. Both of them are unaware that she is being stalked by a killer, putting their lives in danger. Will they make it there alive? Is it the serial killer or is there a copycat killer at the center of the danger?

Mehl has written a plot-driven novel with a strong female character and an honorable male character. The faith element is evident but not heavy-handed. Readers will encounter good and bad cops, serial killers, obsessions, and fractured lives. The violence is appropriate for the story. The plot twists, especially concerning the identity of the mastermind behind Kate’s stalker, will keep the reader turning the pages until the book’s conclusion. All the loose ends are not tied up neatly at the end, leaving the reader wondering what will happen in the next book in this series.

Recommended for public and high school libraries. Fans of DiAnn Mills, Irene Hannon, and Dani Pettrey will appreciate this series.

Carol R. Gehringer, worthy2read.wordpress.com

Earlier Series Title Reviewed by CLJ: Fatal Frost (Jan/Feb/Mar 2017).