Deadly Deception by Cade BroganDeadly Deception by Cade Brogan is the second book in the Riley Hayes Thriller series. It is a dark and twisty psychological and medical thriller that doubles up on the tension as two separate serial killers terrorize Chicago.

Detective Rylee Hayes is still haunted by the serial killer that stalked, and nearly murdered her fiancé, Kenzie.  Convinced the killer did not perish and remains at large, she is fearful her family is still in danger. Riley devotes much of her spare time scouring the old case file, looking for clues to the whereabouts of Joanna Grey.   

However, there is little time to focus on the past when she is called to investigate a new triple homicide. The murder weapon is discovered to be a lethal, engineered virus. As more and more victims fall prey to the contagion, fear grips the population as the potential of a deadly pandemic looms over the city.

With a new partner in tow, Rylee must navigate family issues, the ghosts of a past serial killer and the looming threat of a deadly pandemic. Her time is running out as the contagion becomes increasingly lethal and the body counts continue to rise. 

The Characters

Michelle: Rylee, Kenzie and Abby are back in this sequel and there is some great relationship development between them even though the romance is more of a subplot. Rylee, being the quintessential cop, is intense and focused, utterly committed to a job that demands so much. This puts significant strain on her relationship with Kenzie and she tries desperately to balance the two most important aspects of her life. Even more stress is added to their relationship when Kenzie’s daughter Abbey falls in with the wrong crowd and Rylee lands the triple homicide investigation. I really enjoyed watching their relationship progress as they dealt with these issues.

We also get to see the return of Joanna Grey. Thwarted from her original murderous plans she is more determined than ever to fulfill her destiny. An intriguing character in the first book of the series, I found her character just as fascinating this time around.  Brogan’s exploration of her psyche is exceptional and chilling.

Rylee’s new partner Claire Robbins is a far cry from Richard (her partner in the previous book). Claire is not as humourous as Richard, but she is very sharp and willing to work hard. Fresh to homicide, she relies on Rylee to show her the ropes and I enjoyed watching them begin to build their relationship as partners. But Claire isn’t entirely honest about her relationship status making Rylee apprehensive and wary of her new partner.

Sheena: I was sad to see Richard go but delighted to find a brand new character to get to know. Brogan provided a rich and diverse cast of characters. A note though, listen to this book when you can pay full attention because the cast is so large it is easy to get lost if you are not entirely involved.

The Writing Style

Michelle: The pacing is nail bitingly intense. There isn’t just one, but two murderous plotlines running simultaneously through this book, creating so much tension that I found myself clenching my jaw until it hurt at times.  With each chapter we gain a little more insight into each set of murders, one killer whose identity we know, the other killer whose identity is a mystery. 

I loved getting the insight from the POV of a serial killer through Joanna, the killer we know. Not only is the psychology and internal dialogue fascinating, but it also exquisitely builds the dramatic tension. Add to that the mystery of who is behind the viral attacks, the killer we don’t know, and Brogan has masterfully doubled up on the tension in this book.  The race to discover the monster behind the viral attacks had me flipping pages so fast and I had to remind myself on occasion to take a breath. The plot twists are ingenious, and will keep you on your toes.

Sheena: Totally agree with this.


Sheena: This audiobook was narrated by Emily Beresford. She did a good job with distinguishing the various character voices and making males sound different without making her voice sound odd. 

I always recommend you listen to Brogan’s books on audio, it adds a dimension and makes it all the more thrilling.

The Pros

Michelle: Deadly Deception has some of the most interesting characters and relationships that I have come across in a long while.  Unconventional and brilliant, there are a few twists that definitely took me by surprise, and I love to be surprised.  I also feel that the weaving of the two storylines together is masterfully done and makes the story that much more exciting.

Sheena: I loved that Brogan takes us right into some twisted territory and there were moments that had me cringing. It’s awesome because so often authors will touch on difficult subjects rather than really taking a reader there and Brogan has never shied away from anything.

The Cons

Michelle: I am hard pressed to think of anything worth noting as a con.  This was such an enthralling book!

Sheena: Be aware that this is a thriller, so it does get intense. And *spoiler coming*…

there is a sex scene that is a rape fantasy played out – skip ahead if it’s not for you, but the story is worth it, so keep going.

The Conclusion

Michelle: This is a perfect follow up to Close Enough to Touch.  It has incredibly memorable characters and an intriguing plot full of terrific twists.  With these and the fact that it has twice the suspense and anxiety from the two murderous plots, this book will meet all of your thriller needs. 

Sheena: A great follow up to the first book. I think it may have been even more intense. You don’t have to have read book 1 in order to enjoy this, but you will miss one or two small pieces of history.

This is a great choice if you want a good lesbian fiction thriller.

Excerpt from Deadly Deception by Cade Brogan

“Can’t wait to hear what took them so long to call us.”

‘Yeah, you and me both,” Rylee answered.  “Must’ve seen something on the autopsy, that’s all I can figure.  I tried to get him to go into specifics on the phone, but he wouldn’t.  he just kept saying he wanted to talk in person.”  As she prepared herself to work a case involving poison, her thoughts swept back to the previous summer:  to Joanna Grey’s face, her eyes bulging from their sockets; to the burn of the poison, slithering through her veins, robbing her lungs of oxygen; to Kenzie, sobbing as she cradled her in her arms.

“Hayes?  Hayes, you alright?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Her eyes widened, coming up on the grounds.  “What the hell?”

“What the hell is right,” Claire mumbled.  “Don’t think I’ve ever seen that many wearing hazmats in one location, except maybe in an apocalyptic thriller.”  So much bright yellow made the scene seem like a movie set, almost surreal.  “Gotta be something contagious…But if it is, then it’s not a homicide…And if it’s not a homicide, then why’d they call us?”

“Guess we’ll know soon enough.”

“Guess we will.”

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Rylee Hayes Thriller Series

Book one: Close Enough to Touch

Book two: Deadly Deception

Bits and Bobs

  • Audiobook Publisher: KA Moll
  • Narrator: Emily Beresford
  • Cade Brogan Online

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Note: I received a free review copy of Deadly Deception by Cade Brogan. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

About the author

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I live in Ontario, Canada. If I’m not seeking out my own adventures, I am reveling in the reading of the adventures of others.

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Sheena is the founder of The Lesbian Review.

She discovered lesbian fiction when she was 19. Radclyffe and Karin Kallmaker soon became favourite authors and she spent a large part of her hard earned income on shipping books from to her home in South Africa.

Over the years she became frustrated with purchasing mediocre lesbian fiction feeling like it was a waste of her money and time. And so she decided to share only the best books and movies with lesbians who are looking for only the best. And so, The Lesbian Review was born