Putnam, May 2003, 24.95, 272 pp.
Though Hannah Gray found the medical insurance fraud committed by Frank Anderson, she failed to report him because of the affair they were having. When he repeats his illegal activity, she realizes she is implicated by her lack of action. Her cousin tells Hannah that she is giving up her non-refundable Adriatic cruise for a better all expense paid trip to England. Hannah sees an opportunity to escape her Chicago troubles and figure out what to do next.
On the Aurora II, elderly Renee Epstein befriends Hannah, who is using the name of Vicky Ludlow. Renee lends Hannah a book that provides insight to the path the vessel is following, that of the Fourth Crusade. Renee's husband wants the book back because the mathematician has written inside the tome the formula he developed that uses black holes with a force that makes nuclear bombs look like firecrackers. However, before he retrieves the book, assassins hired by his employer kill him and his wife. Next they go after Vicky as the only logical person who could have the formula.
John Altman is quickly gaining a following for his suspense-laden novels and his latest tale, DECEPTION, will enhance that reputation. The non-stop action plot never slows down, but also insures the reader understands the motives of the heroine. Though how she escaped the country so easily seems shaky and the fraud situation back home over the edge, fans will be pleased with this loaded thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner