Randy Alcorn, Deception Reviews

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“Deception ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 24/02/2007

Randy Alcorn
Multnomah, Apr 2007, $19.99
ISBN: 1590526163

Police officer Ollie Chandler is irate that Portland Police Department Chief Lennox cut a deal with the Oregon Tribune that enables a reporter to join him when he and his partner Manny Dumast work a homicide investigation. Ollie has not forgotten that fifteen years ago, the Tribune, with no real facts and no attempts to hear his side, ruined his reputation by accusing him of racially motivated police brutality; though he was exonerated for his use of force, having saved lives, people still think of him as a racist pig.

Reporter Clarence Abernathy is to be Ollie's shadow though they are friends, or as close to that as a journalist and a cop can be. The case turns out to be the murder of Portland State University Professor William Paletine. As the clues mount, Ollie begins to believe a cop is the killer and that this peer knows him as some clues are to set him up to take the eventual fall, and that his previous too perfectly resolved arrest of Lincoln Caldwell on a homicide might also have been a cop frame. When another detective is murdered, Ollie feels even stronger that a cop is behind all three murders, but who that person is and proving it seems impossible as the evidence initially targets a detective with iron clad alibis and himself.

DECEPTION is a well written police procedural starring a crusty alcoholic cop who pays homage to Rex Stout and others. The religious elements are brought forth during breakfast between Ollie, Clarence (see DOMINION) and Jake Woods (see DEADLINE), but are handled deftly to allow insight into the lead character still mourning the death of his beloved "Saint" Sharon and the estrangement with his two daughters; though there are some heavenly scenes that feel intrusive to this earthbound mystery. Still this is a delightful whodunit as Ollie chewing his black juicy gum investigates a complex homicide with the media watching his every move.

Harriet Klausner

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