Thursday, 3 July 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Prime Deception by Carys Jones

I was intrigued when I received a review copy of Prime Deception, the recently-released novel by Carys Jones. Published by Carina in the crime/thriller genre, Prime Deception focuses on Deputy Prime Minister Charles Lloyd, whose affair with an intern is about to be made headline news...

Investigative journalist John Quinn has spent years waiting and working to get a story that will shock the nation. Working for a notorious British tabloid, he finds himself extremely close to the story of his dreams - a kiss-and-tell with the young intern mistress of the Deputy Prime Minister. However, just before the story is printed, John receives a call that quickly puts an end to his dream. The intern, Lorna Thomas, is dead.

Charles Lloyd is devastated when he hears of Lorna's death. However, with his job as the Deputy PM, his feelings have to be kept strictly under wraps. Charles is regretful about the affair with Lorna - mainly because he was never able to admit his true feelings for her. And now it's too late. Having to put on a brave face for his wife, for his colleagues, and for the nation, is a difficult feat, because Lorna won't ever be coming back.

Meanwhile, convinced that her twin's death was uncharacteristic, Laurie Thomas leaves her quiet life behind for a while and heads to London with a mission in mind: to finally find out the truth about her sister.

Successfully getting into the Downing Street internship programme, Laurie puts herself in her sister's shoes in a bid to find out what truly happened. Ambitious, confident and lively Lorna would never have killed herself - so why did it happen?

Knowing about the affair, Laurie gets close to Charles to try and work out her twin sister's motives. Yet it becomes difficult for Charles when, after the initial shock of realising his lover had a twin, he begins to fall for Laurie.

Just what - or who - made Lorna Thomas drive to her death?

When I first started reading Prime Deception, I couldn't put it down. The book begins with reporter John, finding out that the story he's worked so hard on has fallen through. Lorna has been killed, and Charles has no idea why - and no way to find out without being caught out about the affair - a secret that'd make news across the nation if it was ever to be found out...

However, I couldn't help but find that a lot of the book focused more on the feelings of the characters, and less on the mystery of Lorna's disappearance. Throughout the book, the reader is given an insight into the feelings of Charles - his guilt, his love for Lorna, the thoughts that do not seem to go away. And there's Laurie, now an outsider in her family home now that her perfect sister has gone, and unable to let Lorna go until she unearths the truth. Even though I enjoyed reading about these characters and their obvious struggles at the start, I felt that it continued for too many chapters, and that information that could have made Prime Deception an even more addictive read, was left out. I wanted to read even more about John, for example, and more into the life of Faye, secretary to Charles.

I noticed quite early in this book that Prime Deception seemed to be a mix of the crime and romance genres, which I thought would work very well, though about halfway through I found that it was more confusing; there was no real romance besides that of Charles and Lorna. The ending of Prime Deception was surprising and great, although I felt cheated in some way by one of the minor characters turning up right at the end, and having not known that much about him, I was unsure about his motives. (I don't want to say too much as I do not want to spoil this book!) The book ended well, though a lot of the suspense happened mainly towards the end.

I enjoyed reading Prime Deception, and I will definitely read any future novels by this author as I feel that she is a very good writer with a great writing style. As someone who enjoys both the crime genre and romance, this was an interesting read. However, I did get the feeling that it might disappoint those who are looking for a fast-paced crime novel.

Rating: 4/5

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