Deceit by Brandilyn Collins
Published 2010 by Zondervan, 320 pages
Genre: Christian suspense
Joanne Weeks’ best friend Linda vanished six years ago. Linda’s husband remarried, and now the second wife is dead too, ostensibly from a fall down the stairs.
The husband, Baxter Jackson, looks like a murderer to Joanne. But not to others, apparently–he’s a successful businessmen, well-respected in the town, an elder in her church.
Joanne’s a skip tracer, someone who tracks people down who don’t want to be found. On a dark and rainy road, a mysterious predestrian nearly causes Joanne to wreck her car. He gives her a message: find Melissa, who saw Linda’s murder and knows where she is buried.
Melissa was a foster teen who lived with Baxter and Linda when Linda vanished. Where is she now? Can Joanne find her? Will Melissa cooperate and help land Baxter behind bars, where Joanne knows he belongs?
I am not normally a suspense fan, but I decided to read this book anyway. I’m glad I did. It’s masterfully plotted, with wonderfully real, flawed characters. The faith element works into the story without preaching. It’s a good book.