Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Heart of Deception by M.L. Malcolm

Reviewed by Mirella Patzer

In the throes of World War II, Leo Hoffman is tired of his life as a spy, but he cannot retire until he successfully concludes the political intrigues he finds himself embroiled in. In Morocco, he must help prepare for the allied invasion into North Africa. Only when he has completed this task, will he earn himself a legitimate passport so he can return home to New York. There he hopes to reunite with his daughter, Maddie, whom he had sent to New York under the care of his paramour to protect her from the falling into the hands of the Nazis.

Born of Jewish roots, Maddie is separated from everyone she knows because of the war. All Maddie knows is that her mother is dead and her father has abandoned her for some unknown reason. She does not know of her father’s secret life or of her mother’s family. Unwanted by her father’s lover, Maddie is sent to live with her best friend whose mother cares for her and provides her with a loving home. Then one day, her aunt, her mother’s sister, locates her and takes Maddie to live with her and her husband. There Maddie gets a sense of family. Her life is comfortable, her needs seen to, however, as she matures, she grows bitter at her father’s abandonment of her. As Maddie grows to womanhood and enters into personal liaisons of her own, she must learn who to trust as long buried secrets resurface.

Although Heart of Deception is the sequel to Heart of Lies, the book can be read independently of the first. The reader will have no troubles following the plot or picking up the story.

The plight of Maddie riveted me. The fact she is alone and innocent in the world except for a few people who truly care about her, endeared her to me. As Maddie grows to womanhood, she finds herself in love with two very different men and must choose between them. It is these relationships that I found intriguing. The author introduces characters slowly, revealing their personality and motives slowly, creating suspense as I read along, fully engrossed in the tale.

The author’s prose and style of writing made the story easy to follow and hard to put down. If you like tales with a touch of intrigue, strong in family ties, and with colourful, unpredictable characters, this story is sure to satisfy. I found myself turning pages late into the night and highly recommend it.

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