Summary and book reviews of Deception Cove by Owen Laukkanen

Deception Cove

Neah Bay Book 1

by Owen Laukkanen

Deception Cove by Owen Laukkanen X
Deception Cove by Owen Laukkanen
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2019, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2020, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jordan Lynch
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About this Book

Book Summary

For fans of CJ Box and Michael Koryta, a thriller about an ex-Marine, and ex-convict, and a rescue dog caught in the crosshairs of a ruthless gang in remote Washington state.

Former US Marine Jess Winslow reenters civilian life a new widow, with little more to her name than a falling-down house, a medical discharge for PTSD, and a loyal dog named Lucy. The only thing she actually cares about is that dog, a black-and-white pit bull mix who helps her cope with the devastating memories of her time in Afghanistan.

After fifteen years--nearly half his life--in state prison, Mason Burke owns one set of clothes, a wallet, and a photo of Lucy, the service dog he trained while behind bars. Seeking a fresh start, he sets out for Deception Cove, Washington, where the dog now lives.

As soon as Mason knocks on Jess's door, he finds himself in the middle of a standoff between the widow and the deputy county sheriff. When Jess's late husband piloted his final "fishing" expedition, he stole and stashed a valuable package from his drug dealer associates. Now the package is gone, and the sheriff's department has seized Jess's dearest possession--her dog. Unless Jess turns over the missing goods, Lucy will be destroyed.

The last thing Mason wants is to be dragged back into the criminal world. The last thing Jess wants is to trust a stranger. But neither of them can leave a friend, the only good thing in either of their lives, in danger. To rescue Lucy, they'll have to forge an uneasy alliance. And to avoid becoming collateral damage in someone else's private war, they have to fight back-and find a way to conquer their doubts and fears.

PROLOGUE

Certain moments came back to her, or maybe they never left. Images, sounds. Marshall fumbling around on some shale slope at daybreak, looking for what was left of his leg, trying his best not to scream and give away their position. Hawthorne, dropped by a sniper as he came out of the latrine, dead before he could fasten his belt, the sound of the shot coming across the valley a split second after he'd fallen.

It was Afia, though, whom Jess saw most of all.

Sometimes it was different. Sometimes it wasn't so bad. Sometimes, when Jess saw her partner again, it was when the sun was still shining. No snipers, no RPGs, no Taliban ambush.

Sometimes it was Jess and Afia bonding over back issues of Betty and Veronica in Jess's bunkhouse at the OP. Afia had confessed, teasingly, that she'd seen Jess as Veronica at first—the dark hair, sure, but she'd confused Jess's quiet reserve for something more judgmental, condescending.

"Of course, you're Betty," she told Jess six or seven ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Deception Cove has plenty of adrenaline and edge-of-your-seat moments, but those moments are balanced with the deeper emotional connections between Jess and Mason, as well as by their love for Lucy. Not your typical thriller, Laukkanen has crafted a story of forgiveness, loyalty and love with interesting characters and a beautifully wild landscape that brilliantly sets the stage for follow-up novels...continued

Full Review (804 words).

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(Reviewed by Jordan Lynch).

Media Reviews

Associated Press
Superb...A first-rate thriller with plenty of action that Laukkanen masterfully controls while also delving deep into the personas of Jess and Mason.

Booklist
A promising beginning to a new series...Fans of C.J. Box and Michael Koryta will enjoy the authenticity of this gut-wrenching story.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A crackerjack plot enhances the moving portrayals of the leads' inner lives. Laukkanen has never been better.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Laukkanen's thrillers go beyond bloodshed and giving bad guys their due. His protagonists show a level of humanity that makes his stories a real pleasure.

Author Blurb Nick Petrie, national bestselling author of The Drifter
I could write pages singing the praises of Deception Cove's vivid characters and ruthless pace--but here's the short version: Owen Laukkanen sure as hell knows how to tell a story. Read this one, you won't regret it.

Author Blurb Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse
In Deception Cove, Owen Laukkanen gives you everything you could want in a thriller -- rich setting, breakneck pacing, thrilling action, a ton of heart, and a great dog. This is a cancel-your-plans-so-you-can-stay-in-to-read book.

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Beyond the Book

Puppies and Prisoners

Group of incarcerated men with their prison training dogs In Owen Laukkanen's thriller Deception Cove, protagonist Mason Burke participated in a prison dog training program that brought meaning to his life during his incarceration. The origin of these programs can be traced back to a 1925 Boston Daily Globe news item. This article claimed that Pep, a Labrador owned by Governor Gifford Pinchot of Pennsylvania, was accused of murdering the governor's cat, and sentenced to life in the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia for his crimes. Despite the apparent drama of the case, however, the governor's wife Cornelia shared the truth in a later interview with the New York Times: Pep was innocent, and his incarceration was actually an attempt to help boost inmate morale by providing a canine ...

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