Book Review: Formula of Deception

6 Sep

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

Carrie Stuart Parks is an ECPA Christy Award and multiple ACFW Carol and Inspy Award–winning author. An internationally known forensic artist, Carrie draws on her extensive experience with actual criminal investigations to write authentic, true-to-life fictional suspense. Carrie lives in Idaho and travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada, teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. She has won numerous awards for her fine art and is the author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting.

Connect with Carrie

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My Impressions: 

Carrie Stuart Parks has given her wonderful character Gwen Marcey a break from mayhem and has written a novel with a totally different feel, characters, and setting, yet with all the wonderful suspense that readers have come to expect from Parks. Formula of Deception takes the reader on a wild ride into remote Alaska. So strap on your seatbelt, you will never know where this trip is going to take you. I loved this book and highly recommend it.

Kodiak, Alaska is the setting for Formula of Deception. I’ve never been, but Parks descriptions of the town and its environs and the uninhabited islands nearby vividly filled my imagination. Main character Murphy Andersen is a wounded soul searching for her missing sister while dodging a serial killer. She finds herself in the middle of a crime investigation when she lies about her experience as a forensic artist. And she continues to lie her way through all the attacks and murders that cross her path. It’s not a coincident that deception is part of the book’s title. This novel confronts the reader with lies others tell us, lies we tell others, and lies we tell ourselves. While I loved the action and danger of the twisting plot, I was intrigued with the inner workings of Murphy’s mind. Be prepared to question every characters’ words and motives. Things are definitely not what they seem. But don’t worry about figuring it all out — this one provided surprise after surprise, even up to the end. I loved that! Parks incorporates Alaskan culture and history into the book to great effect. Her references to little known events from the WWII-era will have you scrambling for Google. The combination of historical fact and fictional conspiracy works very well.

While Formula of Deception is described as a standalone novel, I really hope Parks will revisit Kodiak along with Murphy. This could be the start of a great, great series. Sorry, Gwen! 😉

Highly recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson for the complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

6 Responses to “Book Review: Formula of Deception”

  1. Policeartist September 6, 2018 at 9:24 am #

    Thank you so much for that lovely review! blessings.

    • rbclibrary September 6, 2018 at 2:40 pm #


  2. Lual Krautter September 8, 2018 at 9:40 am #

    Hi! Sounds like a high drama book. If you have a giveaway, would love to enter and win a print copy of “Formula of Deception”! Thanks! Lual Krautter

    • rbclibrary September 8, 2018 at 9:57 am #

      Sorry, no giveaway for this one.

  3. Heather J. @ TLC September 14, 2018 at 9:16 pm #

    Thanks for being on the tour!


  1. Carrie Stuart Parks, author of FORMULA OF DECEPTION, on tour August/September 2018 | TLC Book Tours - September 21, 2018

    […] Thursday, September 6th: By the Book […]

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