Deceived – by Irene Hannon (2014)


Kate Marshall is a successful counselor who works with women who have been traumatized by abuse or difficult divorces. She helps them work through their emotions, then prepares them for interviews and work situations. Although the work is fulfilling, Kate has a deep sadness. Three years previous, her husband and four-year-old son died in a fishing accident. Her son’s body was never recovered, so she has a hard time convincing herself he is really dead.

One day while at a local mall, she spots a child on the escalator who looks exactly like what she thinks her son would look like at the age of seven. The boy even says something unusual that her son used to say. Kate freaks out and tries to get to the boy, but he and the man he’s with are gone before she can get to the upper level of the mall. She is so shaken by the incident that she hires a private investigator to find the boy, in the hope that it is her son.

This novel is part of Irene Hannon’s “Private Justice” series. This author is best known for her romantic suspense books, and has won a number of awards. Her books are “clean reads”, meaning you will not find any gratuitous violence or sex, or any foul language. I have to say that although I enjoyed this book, there was not a whole lot of suspense. It was pretty obvious from the beginning what the truth was. So if you want a book with lots of twists and turns, and a surprising ending, this isn’t your book. But if you want an easy read with a happy ending, this is an enjoyable one.


The Courage Tree – by Diane Chamberlain (2001)

The Courage Tree

“The Courage Tree” is the story of two mothers and two daughters whose lives intersect. Janine has an 8-year-old daughter, Sophie, who has gone to summer camp for the first time, despite having kidney failure. On the way home from camp, Sophie goes missing. The other mother is Zoe, who has a grown daughter, Marti, who is a prison convict. Zoe has orchestrated an elaborate scheme to free her daughter, who she is certain is innocent.

Both mothers love their daughters unconditionally and would do anything for them. But the actions of one mother may mean death for the other mother’s daughter. Throughout the story, the question is: how far would you go for your child? To say more about the story-line would give away too much of the plot. Suffice it to say this was a book I had a hard time putting down.