Jones, Carys - 'Prime Deception'
Charles Lloyd is the Deputy Prime Minister and is in a childless marriage to the very ambitious Elaine. He has been having an affair with a beautiful blonde intern, twenty years his junior, called Lorna Thomas. He recently realised the affair had to stop. His Personal Assistant, the efficient Faye Smith knew of it and disapproved. It was only a matter of time before it became public knowledge he reasoned.
Lorna is then found dead having driven her car at speed into a tree. Verdict suicide. Charles is grief-stricken, can't sleep or concentrate and misses Lorna more than he could imagine. Did she kill herself because he finished the affair? He thinks he's hallucinating when she seems to appear again, but it is her twin sister Laurie. She is not as sweet as Lorna, she knows that Lorna was her parents' favourite and that she is a constant reminder to them. She demands Charles's help in proving that her sister's death was not suicide. She knows her twin and she would not take her own life. She also reveals that Lorna intended selling her story of the affair to a popular tabloid newspaper "the Shadow" and had met with one of their journalists - John Quinn. Charles appoints Laurie to an internship in his office and together they embark on trying to establish whether Lorna's death was an accident or not.
A good part of the book is spent with Charles lamenting his loss and his unhappy marriage. We also have Laurie tearfully remembering her sister and the things they got up to. She misses her and is unhappy that her parents shun her. These issues are described in some detail meaning the book veers towards being a romance novel at the expense of the mystery element.
PRIME DECEPTION is not a bad debut novel and the descriptions of the people are good. Perhaps we could have seen Charles interact with the Prime Minister and other members of the Cabinet more. As a crime thriller it was somewhat lacking, but I'm sure that the author, once she has decided on the genre, will have a best-seller on her hands.
Geoff Jones, England
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