A Self-Confessed Liar Accused Of Murder In A Foreign Country!
A highly unusual psychological therapy partnered with memory loss and a murder are the central themes in P. J. Mann’s intriguing novel, “Deadly Deception: Book 1”.
Told from the first person perspective, Mann’s plot line in “Deadly Deception” is about a liar who can’t seem to sort out his own homespun tales from reality and who seeks out a revolutionary and unorthodox therapy treatment to solve his rare psychological dilemma. Each event that main character, Ethan, experiences is transmitted to his psychiatric team via video-cam as he travels from one exotic location to the next. When Ethan’s daily diary is matched up to the actual camera footage, his doctors reveal the deceptions in his memories, using the comparisons to prove his lies and thereby eliminate his bad behavior.
The tale itself is a real page-turner with the character constantly questioning his own recollections and motives as he moves through his journey toward a possible cure for his unusual condition. And, Mann’s efforts to convey a sense of realism and genuineness for the characters populating this read come through well in the telling of her story.
While Mann focuses so much attention on her main protagonist’s inner dialogue, it’s disappointing that she misses the opportunity to expand on the incredible destinations, colorful landscapes, fragrant cuisines, and local cultures that are included in Ethan’s incredible itinerary. One can’t help but get the feeling that they are missing out on the overall cultural experience included in this mystery thriller. There is also an issue with the conversations between her characters that result in sentences that seem stilted—laced with a lack of contractions and an unnatural pace. When read aloud, the dialogue portion of this novel often feels as though the characters are speaking English as a second-tongue rather than their main language.
All in all, and at only around 100 pages, “Deadly Deception” is an avid short read that readers who are willing to overlook the minor issues cited above will savor. Ethan’s personal torment at not being able to figure out if his mind is betraying him at every turn creates enough doubt for the reader to allow a fully immersive experience in a tense psychological thriller. The piece-de-resistance in Mann’s tale is the shocking plot twist that lurks at the end.
Since Ethan is, first and foremost, a self-confessed liar, one has to wonder throughout the book about his general honesty in relating his own story. In the end, one question inevitably arises… Is ANY of Ethan’s story true? You be the judge.
Find “Deadly Deception: Book 1” by P. J. Mann on Amazon & Kindle here.
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