The Creation of a Protagonist

Deceived by Irene Hannon:  A Book Review

With Deceived there is no deception when it comes to Irene Hannon’s portrayal of her main characters.  Kate Marshall, a young widow, still grieving the three-year-old sorrow of losing both her husband and son in a boating accident, glimpses a boy who looks and sounds remarkably like her son.  Her suspicions haunt her until she, against her own misgivings, searches out a private investigator, and, thus, a cadre of male protagonists join the story, their office banter, “I’ve got your back” camaraderie,  and quiet competence whisking the plot along to its satisfying and surprising conclusion.

I have had very little exposure to the genre of Romantic Suspense — but, truthfully, what is more suspenseful than romance?  Add to this the agonized longings of a mother to be re-united with her son, factor in the dangerous process of uncovering the secrets of another person, and set the cast of characters in a very believable world where what we think and believe about God, about love, and about other people shapes the course of our lives, and the result is a book that I am eager to  recommend to the women in my church as well as to their high-school age daughters.

Irene Hannon’s protagonists are not flat “good guys.”  Rather, they are punctual, compassionate, moral, competent, hard-working and dedicated individuals who, also, at various times in their lives, make impulsive decisions, experience lust, exhibit impatience, suffer from fear, selfishness,  insecurity,  and addictions.  Her descriptions defy cliche:  for example, Connor Sullivan, P.I. has eyes, “dark as obsidian; they searched, discerned and reassured . . .”    And as Kate begins to trust Connor professionally, she begins to notice how “those dark eyes warmed like the volcanic origins of the black glass whose color they mirrored.”  Poetic imagery such as this  takes “tall, dark and handsome” to a whole new level.

Because in our fallen world no one is all wrong and no one is all right, Deceived gives us three-dimensional characters who  act out their need and brokenness according to their acceptance or refusal of God’s grace.

Because the Word of God is living and powerful, a chance encounter with Ephesians 4:31,32 in a pizza joint during the day triggers a  middle of the night spiritual wrestling match between the antagonist and the God He has misunderstood.

Because God is at work even when He chooses to remain anonymous, small miracles happen, and this truth is most satisfyingly demonstrated in Deceived.

I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.   The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


6 thoughts on “The Creation of a Protagonist”

  1. I notice you’ve reviewed a few books by this author, Michele. Do you think she’s worth reading or can you compare her favourably with another author??


    1. In on of my reviews, I compared her ability to create a space and then populate it with inspiring and quirky characters with Jan Karon’s writing. I think I linked to an author interview in one of the reviews I shared at Semicolon’s link up. That gives some of the author’s thinking about life and writing. Hope this helps, Carol. Happy weekend!


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