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deception by john altman

December 4, 2007

so, last night i finished deception by john altman.

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i have read his first two books and enjoyed them immensely.  this one however left me bored, disappointed, and, at a couple of points, confused.  i finished the book because that’s what i do.  once i start a book, i have to finish it.  it helped that this book was only 260 pages, so it’s not like it took me too long to finish.

this main character in this title is a 30ish woman, hannah gray, from chicago who just broke up with her boyfriend after realizing that she had been helping him embezzle money from the company they work for.  to clear her head (and hopefully avoid the feds) she forges a passport and goes on a history cruise in the Mediterranean.  while on the cruise she meets an elderly couple who she begrougenly becomes friendly with to avoid questions of why she is on the cruise alone.  the elderly woman gives hannah a book to read to better understand the places that they will visit.  the woman, however, has given hannah a book that has an ultra secret formula that her scientist husband is trying to hide from his employers, who are trying to kill him to gain access to said formula.  events unfold from there.  hannah is whipped up in action that she could never have imagined that she would be wrapped up in.

altman never took enough time to fully develop his characters, especially the secondary characters.  after the first couple of chapters, you get to know hannah pretty well, along with another character, keyes.  beyond those two, i never felt that i knew the characters that i was supposed that pushed along the action.

he also didn’t develop the plot very well.  it felt as though altman tried to be vague, especially at the beginning, in order to build suspense.  however, i felt he was too vague and instead wasn’t never really able to hook me into the story.

this was by no means the worst book i’ve ever read.  it wasn’t terrible, but i felt incredibly disappointed considering how much i liked his first two books.  on bn.com, one customer/reviewer gave it four stars and in his “other recommendations” he listed the davinci code.  recommending something and using the line “it’s similar to the davinci code” is code for “i think you’re an idiot and if i say the book was like the code, then you will undoubtedly pick it up because you are stupid.”

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