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Deceived [Paperback]

By James Scott Bell (Author)
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Item Number 191265  
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Item description for Deceived by James Scott Bell...

Liz Towne, her sister-in-law Roxanne, and Mac, a Gulf War veteran recently released from prison, must discover the truth behind the two dead bodies and a bag full of diamonds they discover at the bottom of Pack Canyon.

Publishers Description

She thinks she knows who she is and what she wants, but when the web gets terribly tangled, is her game of deception a clever lie or a deadly trap? Two bodies in an isolated canyon on the edge of L.A. One with saddlebags filled with diamonds. That's how it begins for Liz Towne, a stunning blonde with a devout husband who has given up a prime job for reasons Liz cannot understand for "Mac" MacDonald, a Gulf War vet who's done time in prison and is just now finding his way back to normal life and for Roxanne "Rocky" Towne, Liz's sister-in-law, who suspects things she cannot prove. All three are thrown together after a tragedy in Pack Canyon. After finding the stolen diamonds, Liz is faced with an escalating set of choices: Truth or lies? Stop or keep moving? All in or played out? A stunning suspense thriller from bestselling author James Scott Bell."

From Publishers Weekly
Former trial lawyer and Christy Awardwinner Bell (Presumed Guilty) hits his stride in this twist-filled suspense thriller with punchy dialogue and a resurrection ending to keep readers awake at night. When Liz Towne and her husband, Arty, find diamonds and a corpse along a trail in Pack Canyon, something takes over Liz that one doctor calls sin dissociation. She stops at nothing to get rich and take a gift to her role model, who taught her to kill. When her sister-in-law Roxanne Rocky Towne suspects foul play, Rocky calls on a tortured but praying and faithful Gulf War veteran to help her track down Liz, who is on the run. Dialogue carries the book with rich characters and flashbacks, but time stamps and a confusing wraparound narrative device feel tacked on and unnecessary in this fast-paced thriller with its Los Angeles music scene, creepy canyons and a slew of cons. Bell, who also writes nonfiction books on writing, is a master of the cliffhanger, creating scene after scene of mounting suspense and revelation in this heart-whamming read. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Deceived by James Scott Bell has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Romantic Times - 03/01/2009 page 73
  • Publishers Weekly - 01/12/2009 page 31
  • Library Journal - 02/01/2009 page 60

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.43" Height: 0.95"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 15, 2009
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310269040  
ISBN13  9780310269045  
UPC  025986269043  

Availability  0 units.

More About James Scott Bell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! James Scott Bell is the author of the Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure, a top-selling WDB title, as well as the recently released Write Great Fiction: Revision & Self-Editing. He is also the author of more than fifteen novels and a Christy Award winner. His fiction has been reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, and the Library Review. His recent and forthcoming novels include Try Darkness (July 30, 2008, from Center Street), Deceived (Feb 2009), and Try Fear (July 2009). He currently teaches fiction writing courses at Pepperdine University and is a regular on the conference circuit, speaking at such conferences as the Mid-Atlantic Writers Conference, Glorieta Christian Writers Conference, and the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Conference. His Website is

James Scott Bell currently resides in the state of California.

James Scott Bell has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Elements of Fiction Writing
  2. Write Great Fiction Series

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction > Suspense

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Suspense

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Reviews - What do customers think about Deceived?

Twists and Choices  Feb 9, 2010
This is my 2nd James Scott Bell book. The beginning of the book was difficult; a lot of characters, each with a definite personality; a plot that was disjointed. I kept reading and true to form, the plot came together and captured my attention. This book clearly depicted how our current life is built on our past and just as clearly shows that we have choices to make throughout our lives that can be life altering. A parolee with a twisted, damaged parole officer; a daughter mauled as a child left with visible scars that created psychological scars for both her father and her; a brother whose light shone brightly and whose light was removed from those depending on his strength; a wife whose choices supported the lessons of her past. A good book and with a final twist of irony that makes me want to get another Bell book. Are these final twists a trademark of James Scott Bell?

Christianity at its best; life at its worst. A good read without being a glossed over, watered down picture of life.
Confusing  Sep 27, 2009
I have read other books by James Scott Bell and have liked his writing. The book Deceived was very confusing in my opinion jumping between characters and plots. There wasn't any real depth to the charaters thus the story was not worth continuing to read. Maybe I'll try another of his books in the future.
James Scott Bell's "Deceived" is yet another in his growing list of classic mysteries  Sep 4, 2009
"One of the best writers out there, bar none" is an excerpt from an analysis published by the Library Review. High praise, indeed, but richly deserved. I totally agree with this assessment of the special skills which James Scott Bell utilizes to create his extraordinary novels. DECEIVED is certainly no exception. It has mystery and intrigue, delivered with shades of a well-crafted film-noir motion picture--one made in the golden era of the 1940s and '50s. The fact that Mr. Bell injects references to Christianity in many of his books is a plus for most, if not all readers. One of the reviews posted on this this site website characterizes these references as "garbage," and adds that, "Books like this should carry a warning label." A great number of people find such comments interesting, if not hypocritical, since 'liberal thinkers' tend to believe that 'anything and everything goes'... everything, that is, except anything to do with religion and spirituality. The works of James Scott Bell are a fine blend of such references to faith, woven within his basically secular plots. And, as stated in the Library Review article, he is "One of the none"... a great testimony to this uniquely talented writer. Without reservation, I highly recommend DECEIVED, along with the other outstanding novels by Mr. Bell!

Deceived- a great book  Aug 15, 2009
I just finished to read Deceived and I love it! Such a great thriller! I could not put the book down until I finished, so the best time to start reading this book is Friday after work. The characters are very complex and well developed -I fall in love with Mac, Rocky and Arty, and did not like Liz a tinniest bit. I hope there will be part two to this book. After I finished reading this book I went online and order the last 5 books written by Mr. Scott Bell that were missing from my collection. I start reading Try Fear now and I know I won't be disappointed.
Deep Characters  Aug 13, 2009
James Scott Bell writes wonderful, character driven stories, consisting of characters that are believable and flawed. They are "everyday people" trying to get along in life. As we read about them, they draw us into their stories and cause us to cheer for them. We ride shotgun, living their life events as they do. Deceived is no exception.

When Liz Towne and her husband, Arty, stumble upon the body of a dead motorcyclist in a canyon, they find the discovery of a lifetime--diamonds. Lots of them. Priceless. And stolen. She argues with her husband on what they should do with the hot ice, and decides to take a path that leads her ever-deeper down a path of deceit, in which she must continuously make choices to keep up the deception, or jump off.

Arty's sister, Rocky Towne, is an insurance fraud investigator and suspects foul play with Liz, but she's unable to find proof. We also meet Mac MacDonald, whom Liz takes an interest to and to the church life that Mac now lives. But is her interest real, or part of the deception?

Liz lived through a traumatic childhood. Mac is a veteran suffering from Gulf War Syndrome. Rocky has a scarred face, damage caused after being mauled by a dog as a child, which has a negative impact on her self-esteem, in turn negatively affecting all she does. Bell has breathed depth into each character, bringing them to life on the page. They could be the guy mowing the lawn next door, or the lady putting gas in her car while you're cleaning your windshield.

This story hit home for me, as my wife and I worked at a children's home for a few years. Many of the kids suffered some form of abuse. In most of those cases, their parents had in turn suffered abuse, and so the cruelty climbs down the family tree. Love and hope can break the chain, but the effects can manifest in different ways. In Deceived, they lead to the absence of a filter in the mind that allows for the discernment of right and wrong.

There are multiple twists in the storyline and plausible tension throughout. What you expect to happen doesn't. What does happen is another thought-provoking, wonderful story by James Scott Bell.

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