The Art of Deception opens with the tragic death of Mary-Ann Walker. Seattle police psychologist Daphne Matthews is assigned to aid in the homicide case when Walker's body is pulled from the water. Ex-flame and boss Lou Boldt and John LaMoia are also part of the team.
Walker's abusive boyfriend is a possible suspect. Mary-Ann's brother Ferrell, assists the officers immediately after the crime. However, his behavior becomes more erratic and his inappropriate attraction to Daphne Matthews increases as the investigation continues. Could he have killed his own sister?
Lieutenant Boldt investigates another suspicious death within the "Underground" hidden beneath Seattle. The eerie location is possibly tied to a pair of disappearances and provides a haunting backdrop for this Ridley Pearson novel.
Off duty, Matthews counsels pregnant teens at a local shelter. She forms a special attachment to one girl. Soon Matthews finds all aspects of her life are violated by a stalker. A creepy deputy sheriff and Ferrell Walker are the possible suspects calling Daphne and watching her every move.
Pearson successfully combines the investigations of Boldt, Matthews and Lamoia to form a gripping tale. He provides perfect descriptions of the best and worst settings in Seattle. Pearson's haunting Underground keeps the pages turning.
The Art of Deception is the first installment I have read in the series, but I had no problem following the story. Pearson provides plenty of background information on the cast and their complicated relationships. Based on my enjoyment of this novel, I plan on reading the entire series.
My first experience with the work of Ridley Pearson definitely won't be my last. The Art of Deception is a true psychological thriller. I simply could not put the book down, which automatically puts Pearson on my short list of favorite suspense authors.