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Summary

The five star psychological thriller that won't let you look at passing dog walkers the same.

Through the stark and leafless trees, I see her.

I remember the first day I saw her; an instant attraction. I think she’s beautiful. She has such pensive blue eyes; they remind me of a blue sky right before the sun descends. Every time I see her I want to talk to her, I want to get to know her, and I want to be her friend.

She usually completes the lower woodland walk in six minutes and 42 seconds; she misses the deeper woodlands and goes home, I believe.

I walk down the road at the same speed as her. She reaches the crossroads at the bottom of the road, looks both ways, and then jogs across into the garden of a house. I stop walking and concentrate on which house is hers.

I can’t stare too long but I am intrigued already, I will come back.

©2016 T. J. Blake (P)2020 T. J. Blake

What listeners say about Deception: A Love of Lies

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  • CP
  • 31-08-21

Gripping, Intense and Disturbing

Firstly, I must say the narration By Christopher Pizzey really sets the tone and atmosphere of this psychological thriller from the moment I pressed play.

The story is told from the POV of the main character Billy. He seems very much a loner, but why, spending his days and nights walking the local woods with his beloved dog Ella. His thoughts are narrated in minute detail, and I found this characterisation of Billy unsettling at the start, wondering whether there was something sinister about him. However as the story progresses it becomes clear he is very lonely after the death of his wife, and projects this behaviour through grief. Billy meets Eve, after some stalker-ish behaviour, she seems perfectly normal and I wondered what Billy's intentions were towards her....but it turns out she has many deep rooted problems of her own and it becomes clear she is an equally disturbed character.

This is an eerie, dark, tense and disturbing listen, which I couldn't let go of. I never knew where the twists would lead. Totally unexpected.

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Captivating psychological thriller!

The audio version of this definitely added to the creepy vibe of the story.
TJ Blake is a fantastic writer, his detail captivates you and given this story is told from the POV of the main character Billy you actually feel like you’re in his head, every tormented and twisted part of his thought process. This detail alongside the fantastic narration transports you to every scene in the book. The story unfolds at a really good pace and I found myself counting down the hours at work so I could listen to more.
My feelings towards the characters were constantly changing as each twist and turn was revealed making this such an unpredictable read.
I don’t normally listen to audio books but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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Seriously creepy...

Deception is told entirely through the first person narrative of creepy loner Billy, who spends his days, and sometimes nights, wandering through the local woods with his dog Ella, spying out the signs that tell him all about the other woodland visitors - of both the animal and human varieties. At first he seems quite harmless, but it is not long before his true colours begin to show. Billy develops an obsession with a young woman who also visits the woods to walk her dog, going as far as to follow her around and take photographs of her that he displays on his living room wall as some kind of disturbing shrine.

As the story goes on, we come to learn something of the lonely, maladjusted life he lives all alone in his bungalow, following the death of his wife, as he drinks himself into a stupor while ruminating on their time together. His creepy antics aside, it seems that there may be some hope for him to redeem himself as he begins a relationship with Eve, the young woman he has been stalking, but as their romance develops, things start to go seriously awry. It seems that deception is tied up in both their stories, and the truth, when it comes, is truly bizarre.

I have to say this this is one seriously creepy story, narrated in unsettling detail by Christopher Pizzey as he clearly has a lot of fun ramping up all the harrowing vibes as Billy. Billy's behaviour is deeply troubling and at times it is very difficult to listen as he describes himself watching from the shadows and expressing his innermost thoughts. At first, you find yourself worrying for the safety of Eve, but soon realise that she is just as damaged as Billy - if not more so - and the tale warps unexpectedly into a twisted parody of a love story that has them locked together in a claustrophobic relationship from which they seem powerless to escape. However, I cannot go into more detail for risk of spoiling the eerie surprises!

There were lots of things I enjoyed about this one, especially the way the the story flips how you feel about the characters completely, but I did find it a bit slow at times, screwing every last ounce out the tense atmosphere to the point where it was almost unbearable - and I think you really do need to suspend your disbelief perhaps a bit much to come to terms with how the tricky situation Billy gets himself into ultimately resolves itself. The themes are nicely layered though, bringing in obsession, guilt, childhood trauma, and the legacy of violent relationships, and intriguingly you do find yourself unexpectedly rooting for Billy, despite his quirks, as you begin to understand what has shaped him into the man he has become - and his relationship with his dog Ella is very touching, showing that he is capable of more.

If you are looking for something a bit off-beat to set your spine tingling, enjoy the kind of psychological thriller that draws you in, messes with your head and gives you a visceral chill, and you don't mind a story that strays a little into the absurd, then there is certainly a lot here to pique your sinister interest - not one to listen to a night and alone though!

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A twisty read you can't pull away from

I received a gifted copy of this book to listen to in exchange for an honest review as part of a book tour hosted by Lovebookstours.

*** AUDIO BOOK VERSION ***
Deception: A love of Lies is a midbending suspenseful book about the lies we tell, the lies others tell and the lies we accept to believe.
Billy enjoys walking his dog Ella through the woods daily where he lives. One day he sees a woman and starts planning his walks to try and bump in to her. As luck would have it, they start up a friendship that turns into a relationship.
Billy has lost so much in the past and has been battling depression ever since - can he truly have found happiness again.
Then the story darkens - a man turns up claiming to be Eves other lover and confronts Billy. Is she truly who he thinks she is?
The story unfolds from here and will make your head spin and question how well you know another person. The lies and warped mind games played out in this book certainly had me looking over my shoulder!
The narrators voice was an amazing fit for this novel and kept me listening to this twisty, addictive read.

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  • KR
  • 23-08-21

unexpectedly twisty and disturbing

From the opening sentences an atmosphere is created. There’s no direct malice or anything to suggest that something sinister is there but there’s a gentle discomfort that I couldn’t shake and it sets the tone perfectly. Every single detail of the woodland areas is vividly described including smells and sounds and because it was an audio book. I closed my eyes and I was there, like an unwanted and unseen guest.

The characters are written in such manner that it feels very intimate as the reader gets to know them, mainly because of the narrations and the perspective we learn about them from. It feels like an intrusion into their privacy and cleverly, assumptions are made that are constantly questioned and changed throughout the book. Billy is the narrator (point of view) and I felt a varying degree of emotions as I read. He loved his wife and desperately misses her but there’s something not quite right with the way he goes about things. I was constantly torn between sympathy and emotion but also often being perturbed by him.

The plot is so surprising and twisty and in place, disturbing. The blurb is cleverly vague so I had no idea at all which direction the story would go but it was not where I anticipated at all. It’s a superb study of humans and trust – and just how much we ever really know anyone.

Massive mention to Christopher Pizzey too for his brilliant and atmospheric narration. His voice has a smooth and calm quality that I could listen to for hours but also provided the perfect vehicle for this atmospheric story. He even managed to portray the atmosphere in his narration beautifully.

An excellent psychological thriller that is full of the unexpected.

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  • Celeste C.
  • 20-09-21

Great audiobook

I really enjoy it. This was an audiobook and the narrator did a great job in presenting the story. It was very spooky hearing it though. I enjoyed the story as well. This story kept you in suspense and interested in the mystery that was developed. T.J. Blake did another great job in this story as well.

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  • Brindi F
  • 29-08-21

Perfectly Creepy

I liked this and the audio book gets a full 5 creepy-AF-stars alone. Within the first half hour I was definitely creeped out, but in a good thriller kind of way. So I kept listening, intrigued by the idea of this sort of "deception," but it did not go the horror route I was anticipating. This title leaned into the thriller/suspense genre a lot more, and I guess I wanted it to fall the other way, completely. (Can you tell I'm ready for some horror reads this fall??) This plot had a lot of mind-twists, and the very, very end I enjoyed. #deception , for sure, left me wondering what is wrong with people??!