Book Review: Deceit by James Siegel

Disgraced ace reported Tom Valle was caught fabricating dozens of stories. After going through a very public and humiliating termination, he is lucky any newspaper in the country would hire him. Small wonder he jumped at the chance to work for the local paper in Littleton, California. After a steady diet of covering mall openings and church suppers, Valle is relieved to go out on an accident call. What should have been a straightforward case of a driver losing control, crashing and burning turns into something else entirely as Valle starts noticing little details that just don’t add up.

Digging for the truth, Valle follows a trail of lies with the tenacity of a bulldog and begins uncovering much more then a simple accident. People long listed as dead either in a flood or the Vietnam War are walking around very much alive. The town is sitting on an enormous secret and eventually it’s going to come out.  The problem is who is going to believe a journalist with his background? Still, the facts don’t lie. Or do they? The closer Valle comes to the truth, the more his life is in danger and the worst part of all might just be that he is playing right into the perpetrators hands.

Siegel weaves an engaging, thought provoking thriller in this yarn involving accidents and cover-ups on an unimaginable scale. The protagonists are well developed and flawed enough to be credible, the antagonists are shadow figures, frightening in their connections. The action and tension remains steady throughout as Valle proceeds to connect the dots leading him to some inescapable conclusions.

 

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