A must-read for anyone who loves a good murder mystery, romance, suspense, and thriller all rolled into one


Kat Martin

The Deception

HQN Books

Hardcover (also available as an e-book, audiobook, and on audio CD), 978-1-3350-0769-8, 384 pgs., $26.99

September 10, 2019


After Kate Gallagher is called in to identify the brutally battered body of her estranged younger sister, Chrissy, she wonders how things had tumbled so far out of control. She is also unsatisfied with the little progress the Dallas Police Department is making on identifying her sister’s killer. Apparently, investigating the death of a prostitute strung out on drugs is a low priority.


Kate walks into Maximum Security to hire a private investigator, and her life is turned upside down when she comes face to face with smoking-hot Jason Maddox. This encounter is actually not their first, and their physical attraction and sexual tension are off the charts. Can they keep their hands off of each other and put that lust on the back burner long enough to solve Chrissy’s murder? As they dance around their undeniable captivation for each other, both Kate and Jason find that they work well together as they uncover clues and rush headlong into a world of intrigue, deception, and danger.


Jason “Hawk” Maddox is a bounty hunter and a licensed investigator, and Kate owns her own consulting business. These two highly successful alphas often butt heads as they kick their investigation into high gear, adding more intensity to an already tense relationship; however, they are both determined, in top physical condition, and intelligent. Failure is not an option, but when they start digging deeper and discover the horrendous world of sex, drugs, and human trafficking, their own lives are now in the crosshairs of more than one bad character.


While some characters overlap from the first book in the Maximum Security series, The Deception can easily be enjoyed as a standalone. Kat Martin spins a tale that begins with a murdered prostitute and quickly spirals into a high-stakes drama and a sexy romance. While the two main characters, Kate and Jason, are almost too perfect, both physically and intellectually, they are emotional wrecks when it comes to committing to a serious relationship. Watching these two interact, give and take, and grow as characters is delightful from start to finish.


The action is pretty quick and exciting all the way through The Deception, as Martin pries the lid off of the ghastly reality of human trafficking and perverse greed and then pushes that reality into the harsh light of day. The author also highlights the upsetting truth of runaway children who are seeking freedom from a distressing homelife, only to fall victim to people who see them as an opportunity to use, exploit, and eventually destroy and discard. These events and situations may be difficult to read, but they are legitimate issues in today’s society that must be addressed, even if it is through works of fiction.


While the web of all this dark intrigue can be complicated, Martin presents engaging characterization and an easy-to-follow plot that never loses steam. The author also shows immense expertise in foreshadowing, gilding The Deception with a literary layer that ratchets up the entertainment level.


While the ardent sexuality between the two main characters and the dark, disturbing plotline will not appeal to all readers, they do make for an absolutely riveting and alluring story that will send you deep into despair one minute and then restore your faith in humanity the next. The Deception is a must-read for anyone who loves a good murder mystery, romance, suspense, and thriller all rolled into one fine novel.


New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she majored in anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five historical and contemporary romantic suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next romantic suspense novel. Visit her online here.