Author Wolf Bahren
Thank you to author Wolf Bahren for providing me with a copy of Source of Deceit in exchange for this honest review.
Source of Deceit is a complex political thriller. Characters range from journalists, to politicians, to spies, to criminals. It’s all a tangled web of espionage and double crossing, like any traditional political thriller might be.
The plot is so complex, in fact, that I am having a hard time summarizing it. I can tell you who lives and dies but I can’t tell you what it was all for. When it comes down to it I am honestly unsure what everyone was fighting over.
Since the book focuses on determining the “source of deceit” a lot of the whys are left vague and mysterious in order for us to focus on the whos. But there are so many characters involved even that gets quite muddled.
Stylistically, this book is not for me. It’s way too detailed in its descriptions of setting and characters. We are given every scene down to the smallest details. Some people may like this level of world building but I find it extremely distracting. This is a story that takes place in our own present world, I can picture most of that for myself.
For example, it is unnecessary, when placing a scene in a restaurant, to describe the waiter’s uniform and then have him list off every special on the menu that day. The waiter never comes further into the plot and the details surrounding this meal are completely inconsequential. It just take up space on the page.
Source of Deceit spends the bulk of its pages describing setting when it should be building characters or tension. I knew so little about any of the characters it was hard for me to care if they were in danger. I never felt that edge of my seat suspense that a thriller should deliver.
I knew so little about the characters I was surprised when the protagonist, Anna, gets a visit from her boyfriend. Was that mentioned once before and I missed it? She doesn’t ever talk about him… why is he here now?
He does serve a purpose in that moment of the book. To create a further divide between Anna and rival coworker Raven. Their relationship is the typical women can’t be friends and must be catty to each other until they both learn the begrudginingly respect each other by the end trope.
I was disappointed to see this trope in a book that was sold to me as having a strong female protagonist. But it was also sold to me as being written by a woman. It is, just a woman that has chosen to use a very masculine pen name instead of her own.
Other than the mild cat fighting there aren’t any huge feminist complaints from me. Source of Deceit certainly isn’t a big offender on that front, just the minor things that are still worth mentioning.
If you like setting driven stories with complicated but dry spy plots you may like this one more than me. You are very welcome to give it a try and let me know what you think.
2/5 ✉✉ top secret letters
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Buy it here: Source of Deceit