Readers’ Responses to Deception
I am a first time reader. Just finished Deception. WOW!!! Are you planning any other Ollie Chandler books? I'm on my way out the door to pick up Deadline and Dominion! —J.M.
I am reading Deception, my third Randy Alcorn book, and honestly, laughing so hard that I cannot see the words on the page. Thank you for this journey of characters and inspiring novels. I search for books which will challenge my mind and keep my heart pure...there are few on the market. —C.M.
I just finished reading Deception. I enjoyed the mystery and humor so much that I read a passage aloud to my husband, and then had to hurry and finish the book so he could read it. The most moving parts to me were the commentaries “from heaven” made toward the goings-on of Earth. Coming up this April 13th is the first anniversary of the passing of my 54-year-old mother into her new address—Heaven. To quote Ollie: “…we couldn’t own her any more than you can own…a sunset…when they’re gone, instead of being mad, maybe you should just be grateful they were there for you in the first place.” Thanks for the fun and touching read during a challenging time. — C. S.
I just finished reading Deception and want you to know that I have not enjoyed a book this much in some time. I'm usually a techno-thriller reader, but this was great. I'll be reading more of your books. —P.M.
Recently read my first book by Randy Alcorn, Deception. My mind was blown. Awesome piece of literature. Loved the Green Lantern references, along with the four guns thing. Hilarious! —B.D.
This book was one amazing read! From the hilarious dialogue of smart-alec Ollie Chandler, to the perfect dose of Christian apologetics, and finally the mind-blowing plot twist at the end. Alcorn’s presentation of Chandler is brilliant. He succeeds in his portrayal of a down-on-his-luck detective. I thoroughly enjoyed Ollie’s interactions with his dog and his two friends, Jake and Clarence. The way Jake and Clarence challenge Chandler’s faith through discussions is solid and touches on many key points an unbeliever might ask. I highly recommend this book and was encouraged in many different ways. — B. H.
See what happens as this thriller unfolds with all the twists and turns you’ll be amazed at the outcome. This book is absolutely amazing. It’s Sam Spade and C. S. Lewis all rolled into one. It’s as suspenseful as a John Grisham novel. Randy Alcorn does an awesome job with this page turner. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, even get mad as you read—you won’t be able to put this one down! It is a must read for any Christian, but great for the unsaved as the questions unfold from Chandler as he questions God’s existence. Even the discussion questions in the back of the book make it great for a book group or reaching the unsaved. Don’t miss this suspense thriller as it is a must, great read and one of the best of novels—Christian or not. — C. C.
Deception will bring you back to the style of the old detective novels featuring such famous sleuths as Sam Spade, Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, and references them throughout, as well as sticking to the ideals of those heroes. There is very little in the way of “bad language,” as you might expect from a Christian author, but despite the modern setting, this all seems very natural as Ollie Chandler (although most definitely not believer himself) is a man of principle and honour.
There are frequent Bible and religious references from Chandler’s very Christian friends, but they don’t intrude on the story—quite the opposite, the actually enhance it and the frantic pace builds as the mystery and danger deepens.
All the characters have very human flaws, making them very easy to identify and sympathise with them from start to finish, the plot is sufficiently winding and intriguing to keep the reader hooked, yet still gives just the right amount of clues to keep those “little grey cells” ticking, and the writing is tight. It has everything you could possibly want from crime fiction and more. — K. S.
Deception is definitely the best of the series in terms of Ollie Chandler solving a mystery and grappling with personal issues and the meaning of life. This time he is front and centre. The mystery and the solving of it are core to the story and the God/Heaven/suffering/sin issues are tucked in around it, rather than loaded down with specific themes (racial discrimination, gangs, personal ambition vs. God’s will, abortion, homosexuality) as in previous books.
I’m glad Ollie really gets a go this time. Although he is going through lots of personal struggles, he wants to get the job done. Clarence and Jake are his sounding boards and they have opportunity to reflect Jesus to him. The biggest catch is that the clues are mounting up against him and point to him as the murderer....and he isn’t sure of himself. — M.
Deception was one amazing read! From the hilarious dialogue of smart-alec Ollie Chandler, to the perfect dose of Christian apologetics, and finally the mind-blowing plot twist at the end...Wow!
Alcorn’s presentation of Chandler is brilliant. He succeeds in his portrayal of a down-on-his-luck detective. I thoroughly enjoyed Ollie’s interactions with his dog and his two friends Jake and Clarence. The way Jake and Clarence challenge Chandler’s faith through discussions is solid and touches on many key points an unbeliever might ask.
I highly recommend this book and was encouraged in many different ways. — M. D.
Deception is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Carly’s faith is amazing and she really inspires me to be a strong person for the Lord, like she was. Even in her physical weakness, she was strong in spirit, and that is the type of person I strive to be. — B. B.
Book Reviews of Deception
Deception is the first book of Randy Alcorn's that I've had the joy of reading. How did he pass under my radar for so long?
Deception is easy to read and keeps the reader on the edge of his seat. This book was the first in a very long time that I didn't want to put down. I lost hours of sleep as I turned page after page. I'm an avid reader (I read as many as ten or more books in a month) so my saying that Deception held my interest to where I cringed when the clock struck the midnight hour (I have to be up very early in the morning to get to work) is a compliment that says bunches.
Deception is an intriguing story that follows Homicide Detective Oliver Justice Chandler as he tries to untangle the twists and turns surrounding the death of an unpopular professor. If that isn't enough, Chandler struggles with many problems in his own life such as alcoholism, mending a relationship with his estranged daughter, his general dislike for journalists, and having to question himself when some of the clues point to him. His closest compadres, who happen to be journalists (an additional conflict) are relentless in their determination to introduce Jesus to the heart-hardened Chandler, who blames God for the death of his wife. To me (as a Christian first and a career crime fighter second), Alcorn described the personality and thoughts of a cop perfectly.
I will most certainly read more of Alcorn's books and, after reading Deception in record-breaking time, I'm sure each one will not disappoint. — Steven Hunt, author and blogger
I usually avoid modern Christian fiction, simply because most of it tends to be brain-deadening fluff with little or no spiritual substance. Thankfully, however, there are exceptions. And Randy Alcorn’s crime thriller Deception is one of them.
Oliver Chandler is a veteran homicide detective whose rule of thumb is: “Things are often not what they appear.” He’s seen more than he’d care to admit, done more than he’d care to admit. But when he’s called to investigate the grisly murder of a well-known professor
at Portland State University, he finds himself going places he never expected – or wanted – to go.
As he digs deeper, Chandler becomes increasingly certain that the killer is someone in his own department. And that’s not even the worst of it; because whenever he tries to remember where he was during the time of the murder, his mind draws a complete blank.
Joined by journalist Clarence Abernathy and their friend Jake Woods, Chandler continues the investigation, determined to unearth the truth, no matter how ugly it is. And the farther in they go, the deadlier the game becomes.
Deception is part of a “series” of thrillers (the other two being Dominion and Deadline), but it can be read independently. It has a lightning-fast pace, yet never feels rushed or skimpy. There’s actually something to chew on, something to think about. Alcorn manages to incorporate solid, biblical themes into the story without making them feel tacked on. Meaty reflections about God, justice, sin, and redemption all flow naturally from the characters and from the plot. They never feel pretentious or out of place. And that, in and of itself, is an excellent achievement, if you ask me.
The story is completely engrossing, with multifarious twists and turns; and best of all, there’s a gritty realism to it that makes it thoroughly believable. Alcorn must have done his homework. Plenty of it. Because not only does the story feel real, so do the characters involved. No cardboard, one-dimensional heroes and cheesy villains here. Each person is multi-faceted, interesting, and unique. Particularly Ollie Chandler. He’s a troubled man, angry at God and himself, struggling with the idea that there’s any real meaning in life. His philosophy is simple: there is no justice, there’s just us. The reader can feel his grief and hardened cynicism, and yet rejoice as his eyes are gradually opened to the truth of the gospel. He’s someone you can genuinely sympathize with, and genuinely root for.
Another thing that makes Chandler such a great character is his unflagging (and often grim) sense of humor. Years of active duty with Portland Homicide has given him an tough, no-nonsense nature, but he still retains a funny bone. As he casually observes on one occasion, “Messin’ with me is like wearin’ cheese underwear down rat alley.” In other words, not too smart.
Deception is a crime thriller, folks, which means it’s definitely a book I’d only recommend for very mature readers. Though he never resorts to language or sexuality, Alcorn tackles some extremely dark and edgy subject matter related to the seedy underworld. There are numerous references to drugs and immoral behavior, as well as detailed descriptions of bloody crime scenes. And the violence, while never gratuitous, is pervasive and often brutal.
So, if you’re in search of an above-averege suspense story that is edifying to both mind and soul, read this one. It’s one of your best options, without a doubt. I’ve gone through it twice now, and it was just as exciting and satisfying the second time around.
— InkSlinger, wordpress.com blogger