Deception by Denise Mina

Deception by Denise Mina is described as “a masterly psychological web of people on the edge and the devils that lie beneath their apparent respectability.” (Guardian)

I picked up the book in a remainder bin based on the blurb which tells the story of Lachlan Harriot whose pyschiatrist wife, Susie, has just been convicted of the murders of Andrew Gow, recently released serial killer, and his new bride, Donna. Lachlan spends time in his wife’s private office going through her files and trying to piece together evidence for an appeal. He spends a fair amount of time reminiscing about his courtship with Susie, their early married life and the hundreds of ways he believes her to be innocent. He also tries to hold things together for their daughter, Margie, who is not quite two.

The book cranks along at a good pace and the character of Lachlan is well written and sympathetic. I won’t spoil the ending by telling you of the deception of the title- only that it’s slightly more complicated than you imagine it to be when you start reading.

Deception is a smart, well-written and ultimately satisfying thriller.

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MY QUESTIONS
1. The author sets this novel up as though it was based on a true event, with a prologue and epilogue referncing ‘real life events.’ How does this change the reader’s expectations?

2. Talk about relationships in the book: Susie and Lachlan versus Lachlan and Yeni; Stevie Ray and Lara Orr versus Susie and Lachlan; Lachlan’s relationship with his parents; Lachlan’s relationship with Margie versus Susie’s relationship with Margie

3. The final deception isn’t what we first imagine it to be. How does the ultimate truth of what happened change Lachlan’s perception of his wife? Are you more or less sympathetic towards Susie once you know the truth?

Reading Guide

FOOD
Sun Dried Tomato Dip

8 oz cream cheese
2 T mayonnaise
1 T Lemon Juice
1/4 c sun dreid tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced

Mix together, but do not over blend. Let sit for an hour before serving with sliced baguette.

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