Cover Image: Trail of Deception

Trail of Deception

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Member Reviews

The writing in this book was phenomenal. I would never believe this was the author's debut novel. The writing style has such a perfect flow with a great combination of dialogue and internal monologues. I also loved the way the plot unfolded, Beautifully written with good characters and dialogue. It's a very detailed book with interwoven characters with good character development. The driving force behind this though is the story, it moves effortlessly and is so engaging
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Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book. Having already read one of Ms. McKinney's books and enjoying it, I was excited to read this one. I almost stopped after the first paragraph, which was lurid and made my stomach turn. I managed to ignore the sensation and continued.

There's a serial killer targeting women and using their blood to paint their bodies. Although the initial blow renders them unconscious, they are not technically dead when this unspeakable act comments. As explained, "The women weren't raped or tortured before or after their deaths." I would argue it sure sounds a hell of a lot like torture to me.

The murders are more or less incidental to the romance between Beckett and Jo. Beckett is an ex-marine and part of a special independent task force specializing in search and rescue. Jo is a psychiatrist who ends up counseling an autistic girl found adjacent to the most recent victim. Beckett was already intrigued by Jo, but they find themselves pushed into close proximity by this case. Believing Jo has seen him, the killer becomes focused on Jo as his next victim. Beckett is determined to save her. 

There's a good deal of psychotherapy involved in this story—the killer, Aria, the autistic girl, and Jo and her mother Melinda. Beckett, though not a psychiatrist, is adept at cutting through appearances to the heart of Jo's insecurities and loving her despite them (maybe, because of them).

Is the identity of the killer a shock? Not entirely. Nevertheless, the clues are subtle and slowly lead to his identity—although the connections between some of the suspects are surprising. And although it's not exactly my cup of tea, the murders being too grisly for my taste, I can affirm this is well-written and paced, and I recommend it to those who enjoy this genre.
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I have been provided with a review copy of Trail of Deception from NetGalley for an impartial review. Oh my gosh this story was just epic. I just couldn’t put this story down and I was just captivated by everything that was taking place. The author truly outdid herself with this story. This story just had my emotions all over the place and I am so sad to see this book end. I just can’t wait to see what’s next from this author.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this book.

A good, solid read, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This book could easily be read as a standalone.
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"Trail of Deception" , the second book of "On the Edge" series by Amanda McKinney, expands on the dark and slightly creepy atmosphere McKinney had already built in the first book "Buried Deception". What I didn't expect to see, however, was the story of Jo Bellerose, the slightly taciturn and brutally honest psychiatrist working along with Mia in her clinic. 

McKinney had indeed hinted at the inner turmoils of Jo in the previous book; in this book, we are given an insight into her varied facets and what are her life experiences which make her the person she currently is. In comes search and rescue expert,  Beckett Stolle, closest friend to the CEO of the tactical and rescue company, Easton Crew. He had always been intrigued by the slightly aloof doctor; when the serial killer terrorising the east coast of the country kills a resident of their town, Easton uses that opportunity to get closer to her and know her. 

And amidst these dark and purely evil happenings, two lovely souls starved for unconditional love and affection, learn to let in a person into their crazy lives and show them love. 

I must say I enjoyed this book more than the first, the main reason being this book features a lot more light-hearted moments between the couple. There are definitely some completely scary, crazy and dark moments in this book too but they are well offset by these sweet moments. Not only that, the platform for the reveal of the identity of the killer has been so very well set that, inspite of it being slightly easy to guess, we feel a small moment of shock during the reveal. 

This is yet another well-written psychological thriller by Amanda McKinney which you could buy if you are heavily into dark and crazy psychological thrillers.
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I really, really wanted to love this book, but sadly, I didn't. My main issue with the book was the representation of Autism. As a psychology graduate, I find it slightly misleading. The plot also had potential, but the execution was subpar. I did like the writing style of the author so I will be reading more of her books in the future.
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Sorry this was a DNF. I thought I would enjoy it but it was not for me. I was hoping for a quick read.
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The second novel in the 'On the Edge' series, 'Trail of Deception' takes readers back to the small town of Skull Hollow, Texas (sounds like a fantastic place to live, right) where we pick up with two characters we were introduced to in the initial book. Beginning with a bang, the plot opens with the search for a missing teenage girl. Tactical tracking expert, Beckett Stolle is deeply enmeshed in the investigation - and gets an unpleasant surprise when he finds her next to a dead body. In comes Jo Bellerose, a psychiatrist. hired to treat the traumatized girl, who, because of her different mannerisms due to autism, is a suspect in the murder. When the tracker and psychiatrist meet, sparks immediately fly, and we follow them on their journey to find a killer and clear Aria's name.

As with the first book, I enjoyed the mixture of suspense and romance; Amanda McKinney is skilled at bringing the two entirely different genres together. I also like that the suspense never gets lost in the romance - the mystery is always at the forefront and the relationship between Jo and Beckett enhances and builds on it.

I took away one star because the 'whodunit' aspect of the thriller was easy to solve for me; and while I still liked the overall storyline, it didn't hit the way I expect a thriller to do. I also felt there needed to be some more character development for Beckett - we learned a lot about Jo, which helped to identify with her, but I never felt like I understood what made Beckett tick.

All in all, 4 stars out of 5! The main characters carried the plot well, and I loved that we saw some more of Easton and Mia. While the conclusion of the suspense was easy for me to see coming, it did not take away from my overall enjoyment of the novel. 

I definitely recommend this to those who love having some romance in their mysteries! Triggers include: violence against women and violent acts (murder). I am definitely eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series.

*A great many thanks to Netgalley, Amanda McKinney, and Montlake for this ARC. It is important to note that I was under no commitment to provide a positive review, and all opinions are undoubtedly my own.*
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In this heart-stopping installment of the On the Edge series, secrets turn deadly as a search and rescue expert and a psychiatrist team up to catch a killer during a dangerous winter storm. Powerful writing and a wonderful premise make this a novel you’ll simultaneously want to savour and race through.
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Excellent book, my only complaint is that it seemed too short. Characters were well developed, not a single likeable person amongst them all, but their sheer awfullness keeps you hooked and reading to the end.
I would like to read more by this author. Highly recommended.
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I love Amanda McKinney and her writing style so much and this was not an exception.  This was fantastic and one of the few I haven’t read yet but I loved it so much and kept turning the pages.
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I couldn’t really get into this book I did try and finish it but really didn’t find anything that intrigued me at all
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I am not 100% sold on this story and the characters have me a little confused at times.  Traill of Deception is told from several different viewpoints one being the killer. The author uses the different viewpoints to move the story forward so readers are not reading the sometime just from a different viewpoint. 

Readers will figure out the killer and their motive pretty easily which I found to be disappointing since the characters really didn't jump out at me and I was unable to connect with the male and female leads. 

The author tried to keep away from the steamy romance side and focus on the "getting to know you before we jump into bed together." That was a nice change from the typical romantic suspense. 

Trail of Deception isn't a great read and its not a terrible read.  Its just average.

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of Amanda McKinney Trail of Deception.
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EXCERPT: I wasn't always like this. In fact, I was quite normal once.
Though, I know now, the signs were there.
I was nine years old the first time I imagined killing someone. My father, to be exact.

ABOUT 'TRAIL OF DECEPTION': When Aria, a young girl with autism, goes missing, search and rescue expert Beckett Stolle ventures into the swamplands of Texas to track her down.

When he finds the girl, she is alive, sitting next to a corpse painted in blood. Accusations fly, including suspicion that Aria was involved in the macabre murder. Beckett, however, fears this is the work of a notorious serial killer, turning his rescue mission into a hunt for a murderer. But every clue leads back to Aria, who has secrets of her own—something her psychiatrist, Jo Bellerose, sympathizes with on a very deep and dangerous level.

As an ice storm descends on Texas, Jo partners with Beckett, a handsome ex-military outdoorsman, to prove Aria’s innocence and find the real killer before another victim is slain. The two get trapped in the wilderness, where their professional relationship morphs into something intensely personal.

And the danger headed their way is one they never saw coming.

MY THOUGHTS: Well, they may not have seen it coming, but I figured out who the killer was quite early on, and was delighted to be proved right.

Trail of Deception is an intriguing mix of genres that worked well for me. The characters are unpredictable but relatable. There's an element of steamy romance, but it doesn't overwhelm the main threads of the storyline, instead complementing it.

Set in Texas, Trail of Deception is the second in the 'On the Edge' series, but the first that I have read. I'm not sure if any of the same characters or even location featured in the first book in the series, but I had no trouble in reading this as a stand-alone.

The storyline deals with, amongst other things, autism, domestic abuse, self-esteem, addiction, mother-daughter relationships and PTSD. But until the very last chapter the author doesn't take to her soapbox over any of the issues.

Trail of Deception is a good, solid read, but not the best I have read by this author.


#TrailofDeception #NetGalley

I: @amandamckinneyauthor @montlake

T: #AmamdaMcKinneyAuthor @Montlake

#contemporaryfiction #crime #detectivefiction #murdermystery #romanticsuspense #thriller

THE AUTHOR: Set in small, Southern towns, Amanda’s books are page-turning murder mysteries peppered with steamy romance She lives in Arkansas with her handsome husband, two beautiful boys, and three obnoxious dogs.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Montlake via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Trail of Deception by Amanda McKinney for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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This is the second in the On the Edge series for Amanda McKinney.  A young autistic girl, Aria, goes missing and is found sitting next to a dead body.  While Aria is considered a suspect, Beckett feels this is more of a serial killer scene than something a young autistic girl could have done.  Jo and Beckett have a solid chemistry and the book opens up additional evolutions of their characters.  I would have liked to see more detail and the storyline expanded a little more (maybe the next in the series), but I did really like the book.  I would recommend the book and the author.
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4 1/2 Stars
Trail of Deception was an excellent romantic suspense that I couldn't get enough of. I haven't read book one in Amanda McKinney's On The Edge series, but this was a great way to enter the series. I didn't think that I was missing anything having not read book one, Buried Deception, but I definitely plan to go back and read it. 
I found that once I started reading Trail of Deception I really couldn't put it down. I was in it for the long haul and I NEEDED to find out what was going on between the female lead, Jo, the male lead, Beckett and I really wanted them to figure out who the killer was.
I find with a lot of books you as the reader know everything about the main character, so you know all of the secrets that the main characters are keeping. So I really enjoyed the fact that for a good portion of the book I couldn't get a read on Jo's character. She was keeping secrets from Beckett and you as the reader didn't figure out those secrets until she reveled them to Beckett. 
One thing I wished I got was a little bit more background on Beckett. I felt that I really knew Jo by the end of the book but Beckett was a little bit more one dimensional than Jo. I don't think it would have taken much to beef up his character.
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An engaging story that keeps you on the edge of you seat.  I have really enjoyed this new series by Amanda McKinney.  She isn't afraid to broach some hard topics/feelings and does it in such a way that pulls you in that you dont want to put down the story until the very last page.  She gives you insight into the baddie that you aren't sure if you want. She took a risk, and pulled it off.
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I read the first book back in October through Netgalley as well and I was dying to get my hand on the next book right away I finished that book. Who thought romantic suspense is my jam? Yeah, it is and I am still mad that I haven't picked up Amanda McKinney's other books.

Just for one day, I want to live inside Amanda's head. Like for real. I just n to know how she comes up with the crime scenes, all the plot and twists and emotions and actions because I just can't get it. She is the reason I was up 4AM to read one more chapter because I was so invested.

Beckett is one of my favorite grumpy man alive, and I loved reading about his mind, and how it works when he was at the crime scenes, how he described all the tracks he found. I love watching crime shows but seems like I love reading about them even more. And I loved his obsession with Jo. (I'm still laughing whenever I think about the moment he found out that the love of his life smokes. It was so funny the way it was written.)

Jo suffered enough in her life and again I loved how the author described her addiction and her development was absolutely outstanding. I was so happy to see how she has grown herself out and become a better person for herself. And again here comes Beckett and his supportive boyfriend side, I just love this man.

There were two things that I couldn't get my head around. 1 - Aria was obviously knew everything and she desperately tried to get Beckett's attention and maybe tell him who is the murderer, but Beckett never once go to her to ask that simple question. Like why not? Jo did good with the therapy but it was clear that Beckett needed to talk to Aris. 2 - When the murderer first attacked Jo and Becket got there in time, there was a huge chance to catch the guy, but Beckett just stood in front of Jo instead of stepping to and put chain to the killer who laying on the floor. But no, Beckett let him go. Again why?

Nevermind. Overall I loved it and I am sure sooner or later gonna purchase the physical copies of this series and hopefully Amanda McKenney's other books. 4.5 stars.
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Another fantastic story by Amanda McKinney.

I enjoyed her combining romance, suspense, secrets, and intriguing characters + backstories to create magic. The plot made me guess if I knew what was happening more than once.

Now I’m hoping to see more of these characters in other books. Here’s to hoping one of the side characters mentioned will get their book next!

[I got an eARC of the book from the publisher, but as I didn’t finish it before the release, I paid for the audiobook version myself. I can highly recommend it!]
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Trail of Deception by Amanda McKinney is the second book in the On the Edge series. It can be read as a standalone with sufficient detail to understand the protagonists and supporting characters further. Leave it to the author to create a fast-paced, fleshed-out plot with beautiful characters. Jo, the main protagonist, is a mix of fiery, passionate, and complex and is plagued by scattered childhood memories. This character was well-developed, and her evolution was realistic, and I couldn't help but cheer for her. Beckett is book boyfriend material; he is strong, driven, ambitious and doesn't play games. Amanda's ability to create memorable banter, sizzling chemistry, and beautiful yet poignant memories of trust and vulnerability made this one of my top romantic suspense reads. The element of suspense and a tense atmosphere lingers throughout the pages, and I devoured this book in one sitting. I loved the theme of the ending that focussed on a new beginning and empowerment. I can't wait to read more of the author's work. 

Thank you, NetGalley & Montlake, for giving me an ARC. This honest review is left voluntarily.
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