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Many thanks to the author for gifting me this book in exchange for an honest review!

SWAN DECEPTION is a story about Shelby Cooper, a woman with a hidden past and an enemy. Her perfect life is disrupted when a stalker contacts her and eventually gets her thrown in jail for the alleged murder of her ex lover. The  family is in turmoil, her husband Jason doesn’t know if he should believe her or not, her daughter Abbie is being stalked by the same person as well, and Cooper’s best friend is all too willing to offer comfort Jason.  Jason and Abbie must work on things in their own way to try to figure out what is going on, what is the truth, and what is a lie.

This is a convoluted read with unreliable narrators, twists and turns, double and triple crosses, and a major surprise when you find out who the stalker really is. The psychological tension builds as the deceptions are peeled away, like the skin of an onion. I truly felt as if I were reading about a family torn apart; the dialogue is authentic and their pain is real. Like the titular swans who mate for life, Shelby and Jason Cooper must remember their love for each other and stay strong.

Occasionally dialogue was not attributed to a specific person during long conversations, and thus I had to go back to see who was speaking, which I found bothersome. Each chapter is told from a different person’s perspective as well, and you may have trouble switching from one mindset to another. There were also times when the story went back in time without adequate warning, and even though I appreciated the backstory, the narrative was a bit jarring until I realized that it was a flashback.

These quirks of the writing should not dissuade anyone from reading this, however. The plot is riveting and I was very curious to see how things would turn out. The stalker discusses how Cooper ruined her life, but never explains what it is until we find out at the end, so there are no clues to be gleaned from knowing the name of the mastermind.  Her character is excellently written as an evil psychopath on a mission, and Shelby alternately had my sympathy and disgust as the story unfolded.

The author slowly doles out bits of information here and there, and eventually the larger picture is revealed. This held my interest throughout the book, and I liked that I was kept guessing, that I could not figure out where things were going right away. Thanks to the rich detail, I was able to understand how it must feel to have a parent behind bars, to be missing from the daily family life.

This was a good read. You can pick up your own copy [easyazon_link asin=”0692249729″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”gimmethatbook-20″ add_to_cart=”yes” cloaking=”default” localization=”yes” popups=”yes”]here[/easyazon_link].