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on 12 April 2013
`Deadly Deceit' is the third book in Mari Hannah's DCI Kate Daniels series, and is the strongest - and darkest - by far.

The main action takes place over just five days in June 2010, against a background of a sticky summer in Newcastle's deprived West End. The story opens with DCI Daniels and DS Hank Gormley en route to a fatal arson in the West End. They are delayed by a truly horrific multi-vehicle accident on the A1, at which they assist. All is not what it seems at both incidents, and these two apparently unconnected events form the basis of this intricately-plotted thriller, which builds relentlessly to a nerve-shredding climax.

Readers of Hannah's previous books will know that she is a consummate story-teller, but she has surpassed herself with the ambitious complexities of `Deadly Deceit.' The narrative has depth and meticulous attention to detail, and many surprising twists to the plot, right to the very end. Police procedures are accurate and integrated into the story, without ever making it sound like an investigator's manual.

A really pleasing aspect of this story is the continued development of characters introduced in the earlier books. All of Kate's team of murder detectives is here, and their lives and careers develop believably. Two important women from Kate's personal life play a significant part in this book in revealing to us some of Kate's emotional turmoil. Mari Hannah has also created two new and vivid principal characters, who drive the plot of `Deadly Deceit.' To avoid spoilers I shall not name them, but they are superbly realised - careful and subtle layer-by-layer creations. One character does not, initially, attract empathy (I now know what a "Scotswood stare" is!) but Hannah gives us a fully rounded portrayal. The other character turns out to be the epitome of evil: a psychotic, dead-eyed killer beyond human reasoning. Formidable achievements.

Above all, though, it is Kate Daniels who is the beating heart of `Deadly Deceit', an even stronger presence than before. She is still driven, passionate about her job, very likeable, a defender of the victims of crime and personally stricken even when not responsible for bad outcomes. And she can be exasperating, managing to sabotage her chance of personal happiness because the job always comes first. In a welcome development, Hannah spells out Kate's fear of being open about her sexuality, convinced that it would ruin her chances of promotion or, indeed, continuing at all in the police. Her ex-lover, Jo Soulsby, protested: "I'm not living my life as your secret!" Kate is a conflicted character, but one who elicits respect and affection. As someone usually to be found on the wrong side of the law said of her: "...Daniels was a top bird under all that authority."

The nature of the crimes committed gives `Deadly Deceit' a much darker feel than Hannah's previous books and the narrative demonstrates that deceit comes in many guises, both as criminal acts and also personally, when living a lie and not being true to yourself.

`Deadly Deceit' represents a major step change for this author. While retaining all her story-telling skills, there is a new authority, warmth and sureness of touch in her writing. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and the pleasure that Mari Hannah's writing gives me, makes me all the more impatient for the publication of `Monument to Murder', the fourth in the series, due in April 2014.
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on 25 February 2013
Another great instalment in this crime series from Mari Hannah. The Murder Wall introduced Kate Daniels, a strong and driven DCI, Settled Blood developed the characters in another tense plot and Deadly Deceit confirmed this as a crime series well worth pursuing. All three have pace and tension. Highly recommended. Bring on the next episode.
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on 11 April 2013
This is the third book in the DCI Kate Daniels series, and is a very strong addition. Daniels is an engaging and complex character, sometimes infuriating, especially when she puts her job before her own personal happiness. She is always willing to go the extra mile to see justice for the victims of crime, and to do all she can to lead her team effectively. Daniels is likeable, and the relationships she has with her colleagues are believable and well drawn. Above all, Daniels is 'real' - a person you could imagine meeting, talking to, liking. This, for me at least, is essential if the reader is to engage with the main character, to care about their life and what happens to them, to be interested in them, and so in the book as a whole. Hannah achieves this very effectively.

The story moves quickly, though not at the expense of detail. The plot is fascinating, original, and all the strands of the story blend together at the end of the book in an exciting and nail biting final few chapters. The dialogue between the characters feels realistic and fresh, and the characters are well drawn and believable. Hannah's descriptions of the road accident at the beginning of the novel and its aftermath are particularly effective, and so well written that the reader can see the whole horrifying scene smoking and smouldering in front of their eyes, much as Daniels and her colleague Hank Gormley can. You feel as though you are standing there with them, the smells, sounds and sights are as real to you as they are to the characters.

To summarise, this is an exciting, fast paced read that I would highly recommend. The other books in the series are 'The Murder Wall', which introduces Daniels and her colleagues, and 'Settled Blood'. the second in the series. I would also recommend them to anyone who enjoys very well written, fresh and exciting crime novels. I really cannot praise the series highly enough, and am delighted that there are more novels featuring DCI Daniels to come. She, and Mari Hannah, are going from strength to strength.
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on 7 September 2014
Deadly Deceit is the third book in Mari Hannah’s DCI Kate Daniels series, and the second one I’ve read. It was published by Pan Macmillan in 2013.

The story is set against the backdrop of England’s 2010 World Cup campaign, and kicks off with an arson attack on a terraced house that was supposed to be empty, but due to a last minute change of plans, was occupied by an estranged father babysitting his young baby there. As if that wasn’t enough, at near enough the same time, a driver loses control on the A1 causing a huge pile-up and enough carnage to make it one of the worst traffic collisions in Northumberland’s history.There is no obvious connection between these two incidents, and that is what a callous killer is banking on. Kate Daniels and her sidekick, Hank Gormley were stuck in the resultant tailback of traffic following the accident, whilst trying to get to the house-fire. Realising they can’t get through, they lend a hand to the emergency services attending the accident. They pass a car with an elderly couple inside, and Gorman shares a word with the elderly lady passenger. She is already being attended to, so the two detectives carry on, not knowing that the person attending to her had more sinister, and deadly, plans.

Mari Hannah is an accomplished story-teller, and Deadly Deceit doesn’t disappoint. The characters are believable and likeable, the plot moves along at just the right pace, and the police procedural details feel as if they are spot on (although I confess to being no expert).

All-in-all, a very enjoyable book.
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on 20 October 2014
Starts hot cools down then gets cold and then all of a sudden hot ,hot, hot, near the end ,
I feel there is to much detail and not enough story to keep the interest, but there again what do I know ! !
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This is the third in the brilliant Kate Daniels series. The story starts with a dramatic house fire moving onto a multi vehicle road traffic accident. These two incidents are linked by a deadly killer. Gormley and Daniels are on the case.

Mari Hannah tells such a great, well paced story, which makes you want to race to the end at top speed. I love how we see more of Kate and her personal life complications, as well as those of her team. I feel like we really know these characters and care about them. The continuity from previous stories is just excellent, as is the way she introduces and uses new characters. I rather enjoyed the neat twist at the end.

I cannot wait to read the next in the series and see what happens next!!!!!
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on 13 November 2015
As with any Mari Hannah book, you're out of the blocks from the word go and, as I've come to expect, Deadly Deceit held my attention from the first sentence to the last, with a couple of twists near the end leading to a mind blowing conclusion. If you like a good story, then this is a book for you. I also like the way in which the series is grounded in time and place, (in this book, in Newcastle during a hot, football world cup summer) and the characters and their relationships develop so cleverly that I believe in them and want to know what happens to them. Although Deadly Deceit contains several brutal crimes and insights into the less salubrious side of life, it's not dark or depressing, as it's peppered with laugh out loud descriptions and the author's good humour shines through. I think that Mari Hannah is the equal of the very best crime writers around today and I'm sure that any crime fiction lover will find Deadly Deceit an enthralling read.
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This is another brilliant police procedural from Ms Hannah. The plot, the investigation into an arson and a murder at a road traffic accident, seemingly unrelated at first, is first class in its detail, scope and intricacy. The characters are developing well as the series continues with snippets of their homelife included to round them and the narrative out. This is a very good read and I heartily recommend it.
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on 23 May 2015
A murderer strikes in the midst of a series of disasters. It is Kate Daniels task to sort the accidental from the intentional in pursuit of a ruthless killer. This was a thrilling and satisfying read with a number of twists and turns.
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on 14 March 2013
What another great book from Mari Hannah. A plot with so many twists and turns I did not want to put it down. What a twist at the end. The characters are interesting and specially the main one. Looking forward to seeing that developing in future books I hope. I also liked the fact places I knew were mentioned. I can't wait for the next book from this author.
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