Deception of One

Fiction - Crime
205 Pages
Reviewed on 09/02/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Donovan Smith is a rising star in the world of crime and mystery fiction. As a United States Army Intelligence Warrant Officer and a devoted family man, he draws inspiration from his experiences and passions to craft compelling stories that captivate readers.

Born and raised in the picturesque vineyard town of Lodi, California, Donovan discovered his love for writing at a young age. He honed his craft through winning multiple California Student Poetry contests in high school and went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Intelligence Operations at American Military University. Donovan's pursuit of knowledge did not stop there, as he is currently enrolled as a graduate student at The Pennsylvania State University, earning his Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security.

Donovan is not just a writer, but also a dedicated community member. He volunteers with the Special Olympics and the Pearl Harbor Memorial Foundation and coaches his son's little league teams as well as two championship soccer teams, The Bombers, and The Cobras.

With his debut novel, Donovan brings his unique perspective as an intelligence officer to the genre of crime and mystery fiction. His writing is intelligent, engaging, and masterfully plotted, and his characters are complex and intriguing.

Donovan Smith is a name to watch in the world of crime and mystery fiction, and readers are sure to be delighted by his debut novel and eager to see what he has in store for them next.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Angela Moss for Readers' Favorite

Deception of One by Donovan Smith is a gritty whodunit with plenty of suspense. The story introduces Detective Charles Wilson, a worn-out detective with little going on except his all-consuming career. Stuck at work late, he is ordered to investigate a disturbance at an abandoned home. Little does he know that the grisly murder scene that awaits him will horrify him and the entire police force. Wilson and his partner, Cassidy Stewart, follow the leads until the clues stop making sense. The partners soon realize their prime suspects have disappeared, seemingly one step ahead of the law. Wilson quickly concludes that something far more sinister than he and Stewart thought may be at play, and he is the only one with enough access to the crime scenes to put the puzzle together.

Deception of One is a fun, fast mystery read. Donovan Smith captures your attention early and holds it through the entire book. The clues come quickly and easily (sometimes too easily), and each pulls the reader further into solving the crime. Smith takes his time to immerse the reader in his detective's world. The details of the crime are well described, leaving just enough to the imagination while conveying the horrific nature of the act. Smith does a remarkable job of bringing to life the relationship between the role players through rich depictions of their interactions. This continues with the refreshingly natural dialog laden with snarky yet supportive sarcasm that seems right for his characters. This young adult novel is perfect for the mystery lover looking for a quick escape.

Seth Richards

This was a great debut novel by Donovan Smith, which I am surprised got an honorable mention and did not place in the TOP 3 in this year's book contest. I have personally read two of the winners, and Deception of One is, in my opinion, better. I look forward to any future work this author does with the amazing Detective Wilson.