The Deceiving Look
reviewed by Pam Guynn
The Deceiving Look by Victor Methos is well-plotted, twisty, and filled with characters that felt real and emotionally rich. This crime and legal thriller is the third novel in the Shepard and Gray series and features Solomon Shepard and Billie Gray. In this novel, Billie asks Solomon for help investigating the death of a local criminal defense attorney who is the former mayor of Tooele, Utah. The death looks like murder to Billie, but is it?
Solomon is on indefinite leave from the county attorney’s office after being attacked in a courtroom. He has isolated himself from others and suffers from anxiety, but he can’t say no to Billie. Billie is the local sheriff. She’s efficient, charismatic, confident, and gets things done. However, not all deputies and detectives view her as a strong leader.
The backstories of the two main characters as well as a couple of others give readers additional insight into their behaviors and actions. Even though it is the first book in the series that I have read, there was enough background for it to work as a fantastic standalone read. However, I believe I would have enjoyed it even more if I had already read the first two books.
This novel is impeccably written with engaging characters and a deeply involved plot. While the story is very character driven, the author does a great job of building momentum and suspense until it culminates in a disconcerting conclusion. This unsettling thriller has some graphic scenes and some twists that keep you hooked. Trying to understand the fallout from events kept me turning the pages rapidly. Relationships with colleagues, friends, family, and others help drive the narrative.
The author did a great job of balancing the shocking scenes in the novel against the suspense and mystery aspects. Gripping scenes and a well-crafted and riveting plot hooked me from the very beginning. The dynamic plot came alive with the well-defined characters and the significant amount of conflict. Hints and clues are dropped, but it took me a long while to guess who the antagonist was. What a shock! There are also a few sub-plots that add layers to the story. Themes include relationships, mental health, power, death, and much more.
Overall, this tense, suspenseful, and tragic novel gripped me from the beginning. The author brings strong characters, a great plot, and fascinating relationships to the novel. I can’t wait to read what the author writes next.
Thomas & Mercer and Victor Methos provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. The publication date is currently set for January 9, 2024.
More Legal Thrillers