34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2007
Ever read a book that affects you at a deep level? I mean more than entertainment or tugging at your heartstrings? Deceoption does.
Ollie is a real character who struggles with the events happening on earth because we live in a fallen world. I admit, I've struggled with some of those same questions. Why didn't God step in a stop the baby from dying, why is my mom dead when a child killer still lives? Why? And, Ollie tries to numb the pain of his everyday torment with alcohol. Although I don't do that, I do, on occasion have a bit more sedative food than I should, to sort of lure me into a forgetting mode. But, all is not lost for Ollie, or me, or you. And, two characters from previous books in this series - Jake and Clarence try to explain the great love and sacrifice of our God who isn't sitting in a far off corner twidling his thumbs, but involved in our everyday lifes, patiently waiting for the time when he can be with his created beings on the new earth (Revelation 2:7)
Maybe it is because I'm reading his Heaven book too....and the two sort of blend that I am so changed by the book. Maybe it is because the Holy Spirit moved Mr. Alcron in a manner that his words would reach the bottom of our hearts and begin to apply a healing balm.
Anyway..even if you're not into the police pocedural mysteries, you auhta read this one. It's an eyeopener and a must read if you're into intricate plots and great characters and if you ask the big 'what if' questions about life.
I cannot wait to get more copies to give my family.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2007
First off, if you haven't read Randy Alcorn's other two books Deadline and Dominion, you just need to go and buy them right now. Go ahead, I'll wait.....I'm serious. His books are so good that they will make every other book you read seem bad, honestly.
Deception's main character is Detective Ollie Chandler. He was a minor major character in the above mentioned books, but we get to know him so much better in the pages of this book.
Ollie is a son of a gun, no frills, let's fry the bad guys, Jack Bauer and Chuck Norris worshipping kinda guy. Alcorn makes Chandler instantly likeable, and molds his character like someone out of a 30's detective novel.
Clarence Abernathy (main character of Dominion) and Jake Woods (main character of Deadline) both make appearances in Deception. They added some very deep, soul-searching dialog to match our loveable homicide detective's cynical and dark thoughts on life.
Alcorn does not handle the problem of evil and living in a broken world with kid's gloves in this novel. Ollie is on the forefront of a lot of bad stuff, thus his very cynical look on life and God. He just can't believe there's a God while so much evil goes unchecked.
What ensues through the novel is Ollie's journey through a very complicated murder, always delving for new clues and always not sure who he can trust.
Alcorn is a master wordsmith, and his mastering of the 1930's detective novels is suberb. This book is a must have for mystery lovers and people who just love a good book.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2007
I found Alcorn when I moved into an office and someone left a copy of "Dominion" on the bookshelf. Since then I've read at least a dozen of his books and recommended them to many others.
"Deception" is an excellent example of a tongue in cheek hard boiled detective story where nothing is quite what it seems, but it's not so unreal you want to slap yourself and then the author for writing the drivel.
The twists and turns keep you on your feet and the tongue in cheek references to many things kept my attention with the occasional chuckle e.
There are several points where you think, "hey, it's solved", but the book has many pages left, so you think, "how could that be? Well how sharp are you? You're not explicitly invited to solve the case, but hey, it'a sn entertaining thing t think of when you have a new detective novel.
A previous reviewer labels this book "Jesus junk". Well, Ollie admits in the first five pages that he's not sure if there is a God, and the characters from two previous books that the author wrote are in there and they are Christians, so if the concept of Christianity offends you, then maybe you shouldn't read the book. IF YOU'RE NOT A Christian, then read can still read it and and see what a fun read it is. If you want to read the series in order, Read "Deadline" then "Dominion" and then this one.
It's a fun read, but one that stretches your brain. And Randy Alcorn is a director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries, which tries to get people to see beyond today into their life in heaven. If Christianity is the thing that offends your tolerant heart the most, then you probably won't like his novels, though you could still learn something. Enjoy
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
DECEPTION by Randy Alcorn had the potential to be a breakout, transcending Christian novel. It is a sequal to Deadline and Dominion, two novels I haven't read. In DECEPTION, Detective Ollie Chandler is on call when a professor is found murdered in his home. Chandler arrives at the scene and notices many things, but perhaps none more surprising than a Black Jack gumwrapper. No one chews Black Jack any more, except for Ollie Chandler. Also, Ollie can't remember where he spent the previous evening because he'd been drinking. Could he be involved in the murder? Chandler soons find evidence linking the murder to several of the ten homicide detectives and figures the killer had to be one of their own. The novel follows a predictive pattern of Chandler suspecting all of his fellow detectives at one time or another. This becomes tedious at times when it is hard to tell the detectives apart.
Detective Ollie Chandler is a great lead character. Alcorn has a definite voice as a writer. Chandler is witty, sarcastic and stubborn, yet gets the job done.
The plot is an indepth police procedural full of twists and great characters. And, perhaps most importantly, Alcorn attempts to answer some heavy spiritual questions, the primary one being why does God allow bad things and suffering to happen on earth.
Like I said, it had great potential, but was way, way, way to long.
Ollie Chandler has had a rough life. His wife had recently died and he blames God for not allowing her to live.
His friends Jake and Clarence, from previous novels, meet with him weekly and are constantly debating Christianity with him. These arguments are entertaining, moving and enlightening, but in the middle third of the book seem to be repetitive. Ollie is fighting a battle with God and this battle remains the same for too long, and the investigation also seems to stand still for awile. This novel could have been cut 150 pages and been one of the best I've ever read. Alcorn also adds scenes where characters that have died are looking down on what is going on on earth. I don't know if this was just a fiction technique or if Alcorn believes that Christians that have died before are allowed to look down from Heaven upon the pain and suffering of their loved ones. I hate to say it, but the extreme spirituality of the book might be a turn-off to the exact people this book was trying to help.
Overall, I enjoyed DECEPTION, even though it was way too long. Alcorn is obviously a good writer. But his occassional foray into fiction results in an unpolished, overly ambitions novel. I had hopes of recommending this book to non-Christian fans of police procedurals, but the sheer repitiiveness of the gospel will surely be a turnoff to anyone but Christians.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I love sarcasm and clever writing. Man, did I hit the jackpot in "Deception." Chances are that if you pick up a book that carries the picture of an eye surrounded by jagged glass, you wouldn't expect humor.
I laughed out loud... several times. From author Randy Alcorn's use of trendy Chuck Norris jokes, to a spotlight loving police chief who uses more clichés that Carter has pills (sorry, couldn't resist), to clever references subtly mocking commercialism, this novel is hilarious.
If you'd think that a novel, first person, classic crime detective Sam Spade-style, chock full of humor couldn't be a true mystery, well, you'd be wrong on that count, too. Multiple plot twists, red herrings and some creative surprises await mystery lovers.
Finally, the book is the third in a series, and they all center around lost people needing Jesus. Ollie puts up a fight, and it feels as realistic as, well, as talking to people who are angry with God, looking forward to the big party in Hell, and a few dozen other issues non-Christians have with Christianity. The truth is handled well, and honestly. Hypocrisy is a fact of life. Bad, awful, tragic things happen, and people carry around some serious complaints against God. Deception handles these issues with work gloves rather than kid gloves.
The only thing I didn't fall in love with were the very few scenes where different point of view characters shared from heaven. These scenes pulled me from the story, and in my opinion, didn't add to the unfolding story. But because this is a book in a series, I believe Alcorn stuck close to the original design of the books.
I recommend "Deception." If you don't like classic detective novels or characters you may not love it. If you find Ollie's quote above at all amusing, I think Chief Lennox would tell you "Deception" is right down your alley. And if nothing else convinces you, Chuck Norris "strongly recommend[s] that you read [Alcorn's] books."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2007
Be warned, this novel deals with real issues that effect us all. Who hasn't at one time thought' Why would a God allow this evil to happen? Or allow my family member to die? This novel addresses such issues around a gripping thriller. To gain maximum enjoyment from this novel, I would recommend that reader's search out, 'Deadline', and 'Dominion' from the same author, as the characters mentioned here and their relationship with each other is explained. I was gripped with excitement with this novel, and enjoyed how Mr. Alcorn worked a great story around important life issues. I also loved getting to know Ollie Chandler better as a person, and also catching up with Jake Woods, and Clarence Abernathy. A rewarding read.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2007
This is well written fictional first person detective mystery that combines present day life, life in heaven and even a small glimpse of what life may be like in hell. Ollie Chandler is the detective we follow throughout the book. Jake, a fellow detective and long time friend and Clarence, a newspaper reporter and friend because of a previous case, are Christians who are active in trying to evangelize Ollie. The dead guy is William Palatine, the suspects are the entire detective department of the Portland Police, including Ollie. Ollie has the job of convincing the others in the department that he is correct in thinking one of them was the murderer and the twists he takes in his thinking through and following the evidence are many and complex.
This is a page turner, exciting book to read here are a few quotes of interest:
Ollie speaking to Jake and Jake sounding off about friendship found on p 113
"Pardon me for not agreeing."
"You don't need my pardon," Jake said. "But you're my friend, and friends tell each other the truth. I'm asking you, Ollie, take your focus off the church and off the Christians you've known, and just look at Jesus. Read the Gospel of John, and judge Him by what He said and did, not by everybody who claims His name. Who did He claim to be? Investigate. Then make up your own mind about him. And stop assuming things as they appear."
Conversation between Ollie and Jake on justice found on p 231
". . . I do what I can to bring justice now. God seems to wait around a lot."
"He says He waits and withholds judgment to give us time to repent and get our lives right with Him," Jake said, "Justice has been restrained. What you're mad at God about--that He's been withholding judgment--is what`s kept us all alive, giving us opportunity to repent and accept His grace."
On p 408 Alcorn shares a conversation between Carly, a girl who died of cancer, in heaven, with the Carpenter, (also referred to as Lord, the One, and Elyon in other conversations with other deceased characters in heaven):
"There's so much confusion and deception there," Carly said. "Why can't they see things as they really are?"
"For the same reason that so often, when you lived there, you didn't," the Carpenter said. ""There's a veil of blindness over that dark world. It goes far deeper than you realized."
"It's insanity," she said.
"They long for light, but hate it because it hurts their eyes. They prefer the comfort of darkness to the pain of sight."
Carly walked beside the Carpenter . . . "They complain about evil and suffering," the Carpenter said, "yet commit acts of evil and inflict suffering on others and themselves. They ignore My warnings, then wonder why I permit what they choose."
"I'm amazed at Your patience, Lord."
"Earth under the curse is about to end. The day of judgment, and of deliverance, draws near. Justice comes as surely as sunrise--the question is which of them will be ready for it."
Ollie writing about a conversation with Kendra, his daughter, about the death of her mother found on p 476-77
"And when Kendra told me how angry she was that her mom had been taken, I said I understood and felt the same way. But maybe, I said, we couldn't own her any more than you can own a comet or a sunset or fresh rain on a dry dusty day. You're glad to experience them, they make you happy, but when they're gone, instead of feeling mad, maybe you should just be grateful they were there for you in the first place."
Good detective work is about observing the evidence and following it to its conclusion. On p 195, Jake is talking to Ollie about faith and because Ollie is a good detective Ollie thinks he should be able to follow the evidence to the truth about Jesus, and Christianity.
"My point is, faith shouldn't be about what suits our tastes, but about the truth the evidence points to."
This was my first time reading a book by Alcorn but it will not be my last, he is an excellent writer, the turns and circles in thinking throuout the book are complex but enjoyable to work out.
If you are debating and wondering is it worth buying: YES GET IT!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2007
Randy departed a bit from his usual fiction-writing style in the writing of "Deception," which is yet another spinoff of "Deadline"(Randy doesn't call them sequels or a series.) He wrote Deception from the first person--from the point of view of hardened, cynical police detective Ollie Chandler.
The story begins grippingly, as Ollie arrives on the scene of a murder that portends a lot of troubling questions for him personally.
From that point on, the story doesn't let you go. As a reviewer once said about a book, and I'm paraphrasing, "Don't plan on doing much else while you're reading this book."
It's to Randy Alcorn's credit that we ended up liking the character of Ollie Chandler very much. Randy told me in a radio interview that he took pains to make the hardbitten, skeptical, world-weary cop a lovable character...and most of that had to do with giving him a terrific sense of humor.
"I did labor to make Ollie likable...and part of that is his sense of humor. I think that's so important, because if you're going to spend an entire book inside of someone's head, so to speak...it's important that they have flaws, that's part of what makes the conflict that makes the story work...BUT, they've got to be, in some respects, likable."
Thanks to Randy spending many hours hanging out with, and picking the brains of, real-life police detectives, "Deception" has the unmistakable ring of authenticity.
The book does have the occasional glimpses into heaven, and there are conversations among Ollie and his two Christian friends that delve into issues like atheism and apologetics. But unlike "Deadline" and "Dominion," the book doesn't often depart from the main story--the mystery that's propelling the plot forward.
And the best news for people who love the character of Ollie? Randy Alcorn is probably not done with him. Randy told me,
"After each of my previous six novels, I have had no inclination whatsoever to repeat someone in the role of the viewpoint character. Now, in a couple of cases I've done a spinoff, where Dominion is a spinoff of Deadline. Jake Woods, the main character in Deadline appears in Dominion, but he's in a secondary role--the main character is Clarence Abernathy, who was in a minor role in Deadline. Ollie was in both of those. This was kind of Ollie's turn, and Clarence and Jake are in support roles to him...BUT when I fnished the book this time, for the first time I thought, 'You know, I'm not done with this character.'"
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2007
Randy Alcorn's latest novel, Deception, is a masterfully written story. The detailed and meticulous plot takes several very interesting and surprising turns as we watch homicide detective Ollie Chandler untwist the lies, deceit and arrogant attitudes of the characters around him. Simultaneously, Alcorn forces Ollie to face and ultimately deal with his own pain and relational failures. As in his past novels, Alcorn also effectively weaves significant spiritual truth throughout the chapters as he inches Detective Chandler from cynic to skeptic to...well, I won't give it away. I would highly recommend Deception to any murder mystery fan, but its potential spiritual impact is the reason I will be buying several copies for friends and family.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2007
I couldn't stop reading this book! As a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I loved the chapter headings with quotes from Sherlock. But the best part was the main character, Ollie Chandler. Ollie is a many-layered piece of work, and his funny side was very funny indeed. This book never became predictable or shallow. I hated to finish it because then it would be over!