“Tonight is about finally having some damn fun!”
That’s what Vanessa Paige thought on her way out the door after an argument with her fifteen-year-old niece, Simone.
Vanessa took her niece in a few months ago after the sudden death of her half-sister, Monique. The transition from single life to parental guardian is beyond difficult. They share a small apartment above the bookstore she co-owns with her best friend, Whitney Brown, and butt heads and bump into each other daily.
Vanessa has been looking forward to the Hope Ridge High Twenty Year Class Reunion for weeks, mainly because her best friend’s older brother, Will Brown, is picking her up.
The night of her dreams turns into a nightmare when she returns home and discovers Simone has gone. There’s not a trace of her left in the apartment. It’s as if she vanished into thin air.
While the good folks of Hope Ridge come together to search for Simone, Vanessa is distraught. Simone’s disappearance leaves her with more questions than answers. Someone is lying. Someone knows where Simone is, and what happened the night of the reunion. Someone has committed the ultimate deception.
PUBLISHER NOTE: A Small-Town Murder Mystery containing adult language, violence, and sexual themes. 71,000 words.
Killer Deception, A Hope Ridge Mystery, by Rosemary Willhide is book two in a trilogy. I recommend reading Killer Fiction before reading this book.
“One thing I’ve realized is that evil comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors…and so does kindness and decency.”
Vanessa has taken in her 15-year-old niece, Simone, after the sudden death of her mother. Both of them are trying to adjust to life as a new family, but it’s difficult and hard on both of them. They share a small apartment above a bookstore that’s too small for an adult and a teenager, but Vanessa is trying her best to make it work because it’s what she has. Simone is unhappy and wants her former life back and Vanessa just doesn’t know what to do.
Vanessa has been excited for the Hope Ridge High Twentieth Class Reunion where she’s hoping to find out where she stands with her friend and crush, Will. She’s ready for more, but she’s not sure if they’re going to move forward and become a couple or just be friends. Before she leaves with Will, she and Simone do not see eye to eye. But this is nothing unusual for them.
When Vanessa returns home from the reunion, there’s no sign of Simone in their apartment. Even her suitcase is gone. Vanessa rightfully goes into panic mode. What has happened to Simone? Where did she go? Vanessa is scared and worried and full of guilt.
This story is quite fast paced and kept me reading. There were a lot of twists and turns in this story to keep me wondering what was going to happen next. I would think that I knew what was going to happen and then I was taken by complete surprise!
Even though this is mystery that makes me never want to live in Hope Ridge (because I’m nervous that something bad will happen to me) it is an intriguing and enjoyable storyline that kept me thinking and questioning about what would happen next to these characters! This story also has humor that made for a good balance while reading. There are some very heavy moments while reading, so it was nice to have a lighter side to parts of this story too.
“When I was young, I’d tell my mom rainbows meant good luck was coming our way. She’d counter with, “Rainbows are signs of hope.”
Each character has very distinct character traits that make you think one way about them and then you find out even more about them and it would completely throw me for a loop. Every character was an intricate part of the story. You may think you know these characters, but you find out that you really don’t. I love Caroline from the first book, and I still love her in this book. She is a great friend to Vanessa, and I enjoyed watching their friendship grow.
This book is a true mystery that keeps you guessing until you find out what really happens and why. Then you get hit with another shock at the very end of the book! Oh my! I can’t wait for the final book in this series to see how this all wraps up!
“Tomorrow is never promised. Live for today.”