cover image Formula of Deception

Formula of Deception

Carrie Stuart Parks. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-7180-8385-4

Artist Murphy Anderson, the protagonist of this promising series launch from Parks (Portrait of Vengeance and three other Gwen Marcey novels), is keeping a low profile in Kodiak, Alaska, after her twin sister’s murder when the local police ask her to draw a crime scene. Details come courtesy of a hunter’s deathbed confession, with Murphy trying to envisage not only the likenesses of several victims but the actual crime scene itself—which happens to be on a remote island. Unfortunately, once Murphy completes the drawing, fresh bodies soon begin to pile up at an alarming rate. The dying hunter and his caretaker are first, followed by a twisted trail of carnage leading right to Murphy’s door. Are her buried secrets coming back to haunt her, or is a killer willing to decimate the town to protect WWII-era crimes? Parks skillfully blends a lovely yet treacherous locale into the very dark deeds of its human inhabitants. Readers will want to see more of the mysterious and sympathetic Murphy. (July)