Member Reviews

Two dynamic characters who have issues and problems by varying degrees. Beckett and Jo kept me engaged throughout their tumultuous journey to catch a killer. Amanda McKinney does not disappoint.

Was this review helpful?

Trail of Deception is a great read. The storyline grabbed my attention right from the start. This is the perfect blend of suspense, romance and intrigue. This was a nonstop ride with some amazing characters. I loved Jo and Beckett and their relationship development was fantastic. This was an entertaining and interesting read.

Was this review helpful?

You'll be falling off the edge of your seat reading this book. A autistic girl is missing and with a storm brewing the pages will fly. Hold on and get ready for a long ride that you can't forget.

Was this review helpful?

Trail of Deception is the second book in the On the Edge series. This book is about Beckett and Jo.

When Aria (a girl who has Autism) goes missing, Beckett is on the hunt to find her. He finds her alive but she is traumatized and sitting next to a corpse covered in blood. Jo comes in to talk to Aria and to get her side of the story.

Beckett and Jo are racing against the clock to find the killer and prove that Aria is innocent. As they work together feelings start to develop into more than a friendship.

What happens when the truth is discovered? I loved this book so much. All of the characters. Their developmental growth. The banter. The Autism representation. I can't wait to read more in this series!

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

"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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

Sorry this was a DNF. I thought I would enjoy it but it was not for me. I was hoping for a quick read.

Was this review helpful?

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.*

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?