Deception by Lesley Pearse

It’s two years since I last featured lovely Lesley Pearse here on Linda’s Book Bag when I reviewed Liar. Today I’m delighted to share my review of Lesley’s latest book Deception. My thanks to Courtney at edpr for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.

Published by Penguin imprint Michael Joseph on 7th July 2022, Deception is available for purchase through the links here.


What happens when the person closest to you has led a life of deception?

After the funeral of her mother, Sally, Alice Kent is approached by a man named Angus Tweedy. He claims to be her father and tells her that he served time in prison for marrying Sally bigamously.

What does he hope to gain by telling her this now, thirty years on?
How can her adored dad Ralph not be her true father?
And why did her mother betray her so badly?

She had accepted Sally’s many faults, and her reluctance to ever speak of the past. But faced with this staggering deception, Alice knows she must uncover the whole truth about her mother.

Whatever the cost.

As Alice journeys into the past she discovers her mother may never have been the woman she claimed to be . . .

My Review of Deception

Alice’s mother may not have been who she thought.

Deception has a seemingly simple plot as Alice tries to find out about her mother’s past, but told through Alice’s modern 2015 perspective interspersed by her mother’s decades of life, there’s a gradual uncovering that draws in the reader and makes them experience the truth in the same way as Alice uncovers it in a very satisfying narrative.

Raunchier than I’m used to from Lesley Pearse, Deception conveys the eras, particularly of Fleur’s experience, to perfection. Touches of realism such as the musical Hair add a sense of authenticity and the sexist, male dominated world feels so convincing.

I loathed Sally at the start of Deception, but as she transmogrified into her different personas and Alice found out more about her, I felt I had come to know a real woman. Her life choices may have been forced upon her, unwisely chosen or even criminal, but what Lesley Pearse does so well is to show the reader why Sally behaved as she did so that there’s a reality to her actions and an understanding In the reader.

Whilst being entertaining and engaging, Deception tackles some very weighty issues. It’s tricky to allude to them without spoiling the story, but I thoroughly appreciated the harsh reality Lesley Pearse depicts of life for women throughout the middle decades of the last century. At the same time, Deception doesn’t feel dated so that the modern reader can relate to what happens completely.

I found Deception more thought provoking and deeper than other Lesley Pearse books, although her central themes of identity and self-resilience endure. As a result, Deception feels substantial and rewarding to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

About Lesley Pearse


Lesley Pearse was told as a child that she had too much imagination for her own good. When she grew up she worked her way through many jobs – from corsetry sales in Cooks of St. Pauls (featured in Dead to Me), to bunny girl to nanny; from gift shop owner to dressmaker – finally finding her true vocation when she became a published author age 49. Since then Lesley has become an internationally bestselling author, with over 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide.

A true storyteller and a master of gripping storylines, there is no set formula for a Lesley Pearse novel although strong heroines and difficult circumstances are pervasive. Whether historical adventures such as Gypsy or Never Look Back or the passionately emotive Trust Me, Lesley is inspired by stories of courage and adversity and often gives voice to women lost in history. She is passionate about her research and her stories have taken her far and wide; from Alaska to the Crimea. Lesley now lives just outside Torquay in Devon where she loves to spend time walking on the beach with her grandchildren and dogs.

A fantastic speaker and committed and passionate fundraiser for the NSPCC, Lesley is a much sought after guest at literary lunches, library events and festivals up and down the country. Lesley was also selected as the first Ambassador for National Libraries Day in 2014.

You can follow Lesley on Twitter @LesleyPearse, and find her on Facebook.

There’s more with these other bloggers too:

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