Seattle police psychologist Daphne Mathews has her hands full with a pregnant, addicted, runaway teenager, a murder victim's brother whose strange behavior unnerves her, and a deputy sheriff she once treated who's now stalking her. She's frightened enough to move in with Detective John LaMoia, a development that doesn't exactly thrill Lou Boldt, their boss and Daphne's ex-lover. But Lou's too busy with his own cases to brood over John and Daphne: the recent disappearances of two local women, and the death of Billy Chen, the nephew of Mama Lu, an old friend and a powerful figure in Seattle's Chinese community, which appeared to be an accident but turns out to have been murder. The only thing the disappearances and murder have in common is location; all three victims were last seen in a part of downtown built over the Underground, a dark and dangerous warren of buildings abandoned after the fire that leveled Seattle more than a hundred years ago. While Seattle's Underground has been the setting for several mysteries by other authors (Earl Emerson, J.A. Jance), Pearson makes the most of its creepy-crawly atmosphere in a gripping thriller whose solid plotting pulls all of Daphne's, LaMoia's, and Boldt's cases together. It also wisely reconfigures the personal relationships among the three central characters, which bodes well for their future adventures in this long-running series (Middle of Nowhere, The Pied Piper).|
Source: Jane Adams, Amazon.com.
Friendship comes at a cost. For beautiful Mary-Ann Walker, who struggled with the challenges of a difficult family history, that cost proves to be her life. With Mary-Ann's past as its only guideline, the Seattle homicide unit must delve into the relationships between a misguided young woman, her family, friends and lover.
Let the psychological duels begin.
Seattle Police forensic psychologist Daphne Matthews, who volunteers as a teenage runaway counselor, is haunted by the loss of a suicide, a "jumper," of a year earlier. When a woman's body is found beneath the Aurora Bridge, Matthews is one of the first at the scene -- and begins a puzzling investigation that is entangled with the pasts of Matthews, the victim, and even Seattle itself.
Mary-Ann's boyfriend has a record of physical abuse, and an attitude that Matthews finds difficult to crack. When the victim's grieving brother surfaces, throwing blame onto the boyfriend and craving revenge, Matthews gains an unstable ally she does not want. Then the stalking begins: the eerie phone calls, the noises outside the house, the shadows that move in the night. Someone has their eye on Matthews -- but to stop her, kill her, or to help her solve the crime? While her colleagues, police lieutenant Lou Boldt and sergeant John LaMoia, pursue a hotel room peeper in hopes of solving a series of disappearances, the police and Matthews herself are led into the "Underground" -- a perfectly preserved city-under-a-city, hidden beneath present-day Seattle.
Faced with the stalking that is wearing her down and terrifying her, Matthews engages in a mental game of cat-and-mouse, never knowing whom she can trust. She knows that she is caught up in something that could kill her if she can't solve the homicide. Crisscrossing Seattle, diving below the streets to ancient tunnels, running for her life, Matthews must unlock the psychological secrets behind Mary-Ann's death, before she herself is buried alongside her. Matthews' very survival will depend on her skills at the art of deception.
Filled with the kind of research and an eye for detail that has made Ridley Pearson's novels national best sellers, The Art Of Deception takes his writing and plotting to a new level. Spine-tingling, fascinating, and impossible to put down, The Art Of Deception is a novel not quickly forgotten.