August 20, 2014

Good Grief and Bad Memories: a review of Kelli Owen's "Deceiver"

by Kelli Owen
DarkFuse (2014)
142 pages

I thoroughly enjoy Kelli Owen's horror fiction, so it is no stretch for me expect the same level of quality when she has a crack at a psychological thriller. And Deceiver is just as good, if not a bit better than any of her horror titles.

The premise feels somehow familiar, with a grieving widower growing more and more suspicious his dead wife led a double life, and yet the unraveling of the mystery left me unable to think of anything quite like this story. If there was an obscure Hitchcock film with that premise, I'd totally buy it. This is a new one though, and it just ratchets up the tension after he finds his murdered wife's diary in her suitcase.

The atmosphere is great and how the veil is lifted on just what his wife had been up to all those years is so expertly done that when the big finish comes around I was just about as close to the edge of my seat as I could get while sitting comfortably in my recliner.

From what I've read of Kelli Owen's work, she has a real knack for honing in on one or two characters in a book and just putting them through an emotional wringer to the point where you expect them to fall of the floor like a piece of discarded loose leaf paper. If taut thrillers are more your thing than straight-up horror, you'll definitely want to try this one out.

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