The Dordogne DeceptionThe Dordogne Deception by Sherry Joyce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When a romance novel opens not with a crime of passion but a conspired, premeditated murder, there should be no doubt that the book is not your typical boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love and live happily ever after fairytale. The Dordogne Deception is a sordid, dark romantic thriller.

Most of the book is told from two perspectives; Brett who is investigating the death of his friend/mentor and Cherise who is living a fairytale life in a French chateau. These two have never met and have no idea that their lives will unexpectedly clash together which may cost both of them their lives. The two different viewpoints occur concurrently which gives the readers the advantage of knowing much more than the characters making the convergence of the perspectives that much more exciting.

Sherry Joyce gives enough backstory for each character so that readers will understand their personalities and motivations. Cherise is trying to overcome the shock of her sudden divorce and trying to make a fresh start by buying a bed and breakfast in the French countryside. Francois is looking for an unsuspecting, vulnerable, wealthy woman to target next in his lifelong scheme of acquiring wealth. Brett is a retired Scotland Yard detective who is trying to get back in the world after the death of his wife. Diana is a young opportunist whose goal in life is to find a rich man to take care of her. Joyce does an amazing job of weaving the lives of these four people together in a wonderfully surprising mix of tragedy and getting another chance at love.

The pace of the book is a bit sluggish at times but the primary reason for that is because the reader can feel the anxiety of the characters and you want to beg for relief from the tension. You will be eager for the story to peak when all of the secrets get revealed and the characters show their true colors.

The Dordogne Deception is a masterfully written plot which will appeal to readers who enjoy books of the romance and suspense/thriller genres, alike. The combination of lies, conspiracy, betrayal, murder, heartache, and love with a touch of the whimsical, all set against the backdrops of the English and French countryside’s is a wonderful surprise and delight for readers.

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