Book Review: Deceiver by Kelli Owen

21850397Title: Deceiver

Author: Kelli Owen

Genre: Dark Fiction, Novella, HOrror

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Matt Newman’s life is turned upside down when his wife is found murdered. The police have no leads and no suspects.

As Matt sinks further into a deep depression, he stumbles across a mysterious notebook among his wife’s belongings. Within its pages are cryptic writings revealing that she led a secret life. The more he reads, the greater his love turns to hatred for the woman he thought he knew.

How had she managed to conceal this double life? Worse, are her tales of debauchery even more terrifying than the mystery surrounding her death?

Deceiver is a short novella, and in my opinion, too short. We learn about main character Matt Newman, who just lost his wife. She was murdered, and the police have no leads. Matt struggles through her funeral and the aftermath, and coming to terms with loosing his spouse. But then he finds a diary supposedly belonging to his deceased spouse. He doesn’t want to at first, but then he starts reading it. The diary reveals a side of his wife Matt had no idea even existed.

Is she still the woman he fell in love with, or a deranged serial killer? Can he still love her if she turns out to be the latter?

The subject matter is dark, sure, but it wasn’t dark enough for my tastes. The murders are described rather superficially. It’s more about Matt’s emotional turmoil than about creepiness. There’s some sense of foreboding, but there’s no creepy atmosphere, no fear crawling up on the reader’s skin. We get a good sense of Matt, and his personality, and considering the limited amount of characters, the novella length makes sense, but it’s too short to establish suspense.

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