Publisher: Multnomah Fiction (April 17, 2007)
Homicide detective Ollie Chandler has seen it all. Done more than he cares to admit. But when he's called to investigate the murder of a Portland State University professor, he finds himself going places he's never gone before.
Places he never wanted to go.
Because all the evidence is pointing to one horrific conclusion: The murderer is someone in his own department. That's not the worst of it, though. Ollie has nagging doubts...about himself. Where was he during the time of the murder?
Joined by journalist Clarence Abernathy and their friend Jake Woods. Ollie pushes the investigation forward. Soon all three are drawn deep into corruption and political tensions that threaten to destroy them -- and anyone who tries to help. But they're in too deep to quit. They've got no choice. They have to follow the evidence to the truth.
No matter how ugly -- or dangerous -- it gets.
A gripping story of murder and spiritual struggle. Deception proves, as never before, the truth of Ollie's first law: "Things are often not what they appear."
I love sarcasm and clever writing. Man, did I hit the jackpot in "Deception." Chances are that if you pick up a book that carries the picture of an eye surrounded by jagged glass, you wouldn't expect humor.
I laughed out loud... several times. From author Randy Alcorn's use of trendy Chuck Norris jokes, to a spotlight loving police chief who uses more clichés that Carter has pills (sorry, couldn't resist), to clever references subtly mocking commercialism, this novel is hilarious.
If you'd think that a novel, first person, classic crime detective Sam Spade-style, chock full of humor couldn't be a true mystery, well, you'd be wrong on that count, too. Multiple plot twists, red herrings and some creative surprises await mystery lovers.
Finally, the book is the third in a series, and they all center around lost people needing Jesus. Ollie puts up a fight, and it feels as realistic as, well, as talking to people who are angry with God, looking forward to the big party in Hell, and a few dozen other issues non-Christians have with Christianity. The truth is handled well, and honestly. Hypocrisy is a fact of life. Bad, awful, tragic things happen, and people carry around some serious complaints against God. Deception handles these issues with work gloves rather than kid gloves.
The only thing I didn't fall in love with were the very few scenes where different point of view characters shared from heaven. These scenes pulled me from the story, and in my opinion, didn't add to the unfolding story. But because this is a book in a series, I believe Alcorn stuck close to the original design of the books.
I recommend "Deception." If you don't like classic detective novels or characters you may not love it. If you find Ollie's quote above at all amusing, I think Chief Lennox would tell you "Deception" is right down your alley. And if nothing else convinces you, Chuck Norris "strongly recommend[s] that you read [Alcorn's] books."