Book Review: Deception

2 Nov

The Natchez Trace Park Rangers series by Patricia Bradley has come to an end with the 4th installment, Deception. If you thought the other books in this series were filled with twists and turns, hold on to your seat with this one. Recommended!

After being forced to kill an FBI agent gone rogue in self-defense while working in the violent crimes unit for the Investigative Services Branch, ranger Madison Thorn is comfortable with her move to the fraud and cyber division. At least numbers don’t lie. So she’s less than thrilled when a white-collar crime investigation in Natchez, Mississippi, turns violent. She could also do without being forced to work with former-childhood-enemy-turned-infuriatingly-handsome park ranger Clayton Bradshaw.

When a woman who looks just like Madison is attacked on the same night Madison’s grandfather is shot, it becomes clear that there is something much bigger going on here and that Madison herself is in danger. Madison and Clayton will have to work together–and suppress their growing feelings for one another–if they are to discover the truth before it’s too late.

USA Today best-selling author, Patricia Bradley is the recipient numerous awards, including an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in suspense, a Selah winner, was a Carol and a Daphne du Maurier finalist. Her romantic suspense novels include the Logan Pointseries, the Memphis Cold Case Novels, and the Natchez Trace Park Rangers. She is now hard at work on the second book in her new Pearl River series set in the Cumberland Plateau area above Chattanooga. The first book in the series, Counter Attack will release in mid-2023.

She has conducted writing workshops for American Christian Fiction Writers, the Mid-South Christian Writer’s Conference, the KenTen and Scrivener retreats (where she was the keynote), the Memphis American Christian Fiction Writer group, and the Bartlett Christian Writers group. 

She and her two cats call Northeast Mississippi home–the South is also where she sets most of her books, and when she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.

My Impressions:

Deception, the 4th and final book in Patricia Bradley’s Natchez Trace Park Rangers series, marks the end of a great reading run. I enjoyed the previous 3 books, but this novel outdid them with its twisting, turning plot. I won’t spoil it for you, but hold on to your seat. You will not guess what is coming for the characters. This romantic suspense features main characters Madison Thorn and Clayton Bradshaw, both law enforcement agents with the National Park Service. I really liked the glimpse the series gave the reader into the workings of law enforcement at our national parks and historic sites. I didn’t realize all the that it could entail. Madison investigates white color crime, and that is what brings her to Natchez. There is interagency cooperation, but subsequent events become very personal and Madison and Clayton join forces to find out whodunit. There are several plot threads that seem disconnected, but a savvy suspense reader knows that most things intersect, or in this case become incredibly tangled. The mysteries, yes there are more than one, keep the characters and the reader on their toes. I liked these main characters and cheered them on as they sped from one crime scene to another. I also cheered as they moved their relationship forward. Both are Christians, as are others in the book, but on differing faith journeys. I found the support from other believers to be a great addition to the narrative. Themes such as identity, guilt, and loss are explored. The varying reactions of different characters in similar situations was interesting. The question arises why do some become bitter or turn from God, while others embrace Him?

Since Deception is the final book in the series, now is a good opportunity for some serious binge-reading. I recommend the entire series for fans of romantic suspense.


Audience: Adults.

(I received a complimentary copy of Deception through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: Deception”

  1. Cindy Davis November 2, 2022 at 2:24 pm #

    Great review! I am looking forward to reading this one!

  2. Gretchen November 2, 2022 at 3:39 pm #

    I have enjoyed other series by Patricia Bradley, but haven’t started on this one. It sounds like a good one!

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