- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 9, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446531863
- ISBN-13: 978-0446531863
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Deceit Hardcover – August 9, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Contemporary thriller master Siegel (Detour) will doubtless have another bestseller with this superb novel. His flawed protagonist, Tom Valle, is a journalist in exile after writing more than 50 fake stories for a major New York City newspaper, a scandal that led to criminal charges for him and disgrace for the respected editor blamed for not having caught his lies. Now, Valle toils for a small California paper, covering mall openings and the birthdays of elderly locals. One such fluff assignment, which entails a visit to a senior citizen home whose oldest resident just turned 100, gives Valle a chance at redemption when he suspects that the woman's recollection of a recent visit from her long-dead son is more than a senile delusion. Using his atrophied investigative skills, Valle finds a connection to a 50-year-old catastrophe, even as twists in the trail echo elements of his own faked reports, causing him to question his sanity. The word play and atmosphere of paranoia will remind some of Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island. Even those new to genre will find it hard to stop turning the pages.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In his fourth outing, thriller writer Siegel seems to be fine-tuning his technique. His inventive plotting and delicious humor are in the forefront, while his fluid writing masks a multitude of sins in characterization and dialogue, resulting in first-rate entertainment. Reporter Tom Valle once worked for the most storied newspaper in the nation (read New York Times). But it seems he had a small problem with fabrication in some of his stories--56 to be exact. Now he's doing penance, covering bronco-busting tournaments for a small-town newspaper in California. That's when he stumbles on the biggest story of his life--but who will believe him? A car accident morphs into a case of stolen identity, and the next thing Tom knows, his phone is tapped and his colleague is shot. A reclusive ex-reporter and a very scary psychiatric hospital seem to hold the answers, and they all point Tom toward a nuclear reactor out in the desert. Siegel keeps the paranoia level high even as he imbues his story with ethical overtones and a hilariously snarky sense of humor. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
Anyway, in "Deceit", a paranoid James Siegel fumbles and stumbles around a tired theme - make that multiple tired themes - in this disjointed yarn of yet another case of black ops and government conspiracies. Yawn. But not to be outdone by an endless gray line of similar literary gruel, Siegel tries to spice this pabulum up with an (unintentionally) annoying reporter Tom Valle, a plagiarizer of Jason Blair caliber. The disgraced Valle, like Blair, is banished from The New York Times for making up stories published as fact. Unlike Blair, Valle finds himself exiled in a Podunk southern California desert town, covering car dealership openings and birthday parties. But when a fiery car crash begins looking more sinister than a common - if horrific - accident, the fearless Valle is on the case like Bob Woodward on a Pulitzer. Will anybody believe confessed liar Valle with a story of this magnitude? Will Valle gain back his honor, and win the fetching Anna Graham? Will little green men finally emerge from Hanger 51?
Well, if you've got more time on your hands than sense, you can hang with James Siegel and Tom Valle for some 408 pages to find out most of these answers - however lame they may be. Siegel peppers his tale with needless and misplaced political yammering, while his Tom Valle, never truly repentant, falls back on worn out excuses of a tough childhood and, therefore, is apparently justified in his transgressions. "Not my fault, folks - blame `society'." But hey, I'll overlook some James Lee Burke-like political ranting for smart prose and tight plots. Regrettably Siegel forgot those attributes from his earlier works and this time spins an incredibly unlikely story that is just plain silly, and stumbles on some major incongruities that pretty much blow the whole premise of the plot. So I'm bummed. I really liked Siegel, and was looking forward to this one - not sure that, unlike Tom Valle, I'll give him another chance.
Most recent customer reviews
While it is not quite the page turner that DERAILED was, DECEIT is a gripping thriller.Read more