Deceit by Deborah White

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Deceit by Deborah White

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Enjoyable follow-up to Wickedness. Claire's adventures with the past aren't yet over and Margrat's story is only half told. This is a classy version of the ancient prophecy staple story.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: January 2012
Publisher: Templar
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1848774133

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Thinking the immortal Doctor defeated, Claire has allowed her modern-day London life to return - almost - to normal. Her father has found a new girlfriend, Lindsay, and Claire quite likes her, despite a nagging guilt about disloyalty to her mother, who is depressed about the divorce and struggling to cope with Claire's new baby brother, Matthew. There's even a boyfriend, Joe, on the scene. Last year's adventure involving a girl from the past, an evil magician ancestor and an ancient prophecy, seem like old news. After all, Doctor Robert died, didn't he?

But Claire's new life disappears like a puff of smoke one fateful day. Doctor Robert isn't dead. And he abducts baby Matthew so that he can blackmail Claire into giving him the 21st spell he needs for true immortality and a new world order. Four hundred years earlier, Margrat's story continues as she escapes the evil Doctor's clutches and flees to Paris to protect her unborn daughter, with only the rope-walker Christophe to protect her...

Deceit follows on splendidly from Wickedness. As I said in my review of that book, I enjoy novels that tell parallel stories from different times. They are tricky to pull off without sounding anachronistic as you need to keep two styles of inner thoughts going and White does this particularly well. Both her heroines are credible people of their times. While their thoughts, hopes and dreams - defeating the Doctor, achieving love and security - are the same, they are expressed very differently, appropriate to the society in which they live.

I loved the examination of Claire's modern preoccupations outside of the main prophecy plot - she's coping with first love, family breakdown, school and all the things her readers are dealing with. And Margrat's part of the story delivers a vivid depiction of seventeenth century Paris, in its filth and fury and sheer vivacity.

The plot of this second story is enjoyably convoluted and, despite the subtle clues, I had no idea who I should be trusting and who would turn out to be a traitor. The climax is breathlessly great and fans of the first book will be happy to know that, although there's a satisfactory conclusion, White has left room for a third book. I'll look forward to it!

I think you'd also enjoy The Truth Sayer by Sally Prue. The Wind Tamer by P R Morrison would be ideal for slightly younger readers.

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