Book Review: Formula Of Deception by Carrie Parks

formula of deception carrie parks book review

The synopsis on the back of the back: 

An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and requests her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

  • Genre: Christian Suspense
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • Published: 7/2018
  • Pages: 320
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.20
book review formula of deception by carrie parks
Rich characters, a forensic artists’s eye for detail, and plot twists- Carrie Stuart Parks hits all the right notes!
— Mary Burton

Why I Chose This Book

I am participating in the TLC Blog Tour today for this book! I am sure some of you remember me mentioning before that I have been wanting to read more Christian suspense. So I thought I would give this one a try! 

First Initial Thoughts

Murphy (interesting name for a girl) recently escaped to Alaska after her sister's murder. She changes her name and tells a fake story to get a job with the local police department as a forensic artist. I found it kind of odd that the police never bothered to check her credentials and just hired her out of the blue -based on her talent? 

Murphy meets Bertie - a detective at the local Kodiak police department. Bertie and Murphy become fast friends. Bertie sees the talent and intelligence in Murphy when others are skeptical about her talents. I also think Murphy needed a friend after all that happened. 

In the beginning, Murphy is hired to draw what a man named Vastly saw when going to Ruuwaq island. Ten years ago he found several bodies- dead. Before she could get information, Vastly and his wife are killed. As the investigation continues more people are killed. Is it Clinton, the man who killed her sister? Did he find out where she was? 

While investigating the murder, Bertie and Murphy go to Ruuwaq Island to retrieve some evidence. There they find an old bunker that was built during WWII. In the bunker, they find an old skeleton/body. Who is the deceased? And are they connected with the murders in some way? 


I have always wanted to visit Alaska. It just looks so beautiful from pictures. I didn't know too much about Kodiak before reading this book. I didn't know it was one of the largest islands in the US. The image on the book just fits the setting perfectly! 

Final Thoughts

Whew, this was an intense read! Carrie kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what would happen next. 

What I did like about this book is that Carrie intertwined the past with the present. I always enjoy reading mysteries where the past catches up with the present. 

Speaking of the mystery. I was kind of underwhelmed. Albeit, I was very surprised and I never guessed who the killer was! The only gripe I had was it didn't seem plausible - after so many years. And I was a little confused on how it all tied together. The mystery about the Ruuwaq Island, however, I could see happening, unfortunately. 

I actually found the mystery of Ruuwaq island to be more interesting than the modern day mystery in the story. I won't say much about it - to not spoil the story but it's very controversial! 

Would I Recommend? 

Yes, of course. I think anyone that loves a good mystery would enjoy reading this one. 


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

carrie parks

Connect with Carrie

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Have you ever visited Alaska? I want to visit there someday! It just sounds and looks so beautiful! 

the caffeinated bibliophile

Note: I was provided a copy of this book to review by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

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