Monday, February 16, 2015

Allure of Deceit by Susan Froetschel

Ms. Froetschel takes you back to Afghanistan and to the world of Ali, who died in the book "Fear of Beauty."  Life is still unsettled here and there's still a tenuous connection between Paul from the states and this small country village.

Seventh Street Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.  You might want to grab the earlier book to familiarize yourself with the characters.

You learn a lot about the country, their ways of life, and their attitudes in Afghanistan when you read this author's work.  That's part of what makes her books work.

When a recently married rich young man and his wife are killed by a terrorist attack in a parking garage, his mother is devastated.  She has no one else in her life.  She decides to honor his wishes and set up the foundation he was beginning to help people in the world.  He came up with a new technology that sold well; he was a very wealthy man.  All she had to do was pick who was going to get the money.  She surrounded herself with good staff and worked on meeting his goals.  She also wondered if it was really a terrorist who took him out.

In the Afghan village, charity workers are trying to "help" people who don't need or want help.  They have taken in any unclaimed children and are raising them as part of their family.  No one is homeless or underfed or without a place to sleep.  The women from the helicopter try to explain what they are doing, but it's useless.  When they leave, the helicopter suddenly crashes killing everyone on board.  Paul tells them they don't have to worry about them coming back, that the helicopter cargo shifted and they went down.  I wasn't sure I believed him.

Everyone has secrets, some more than others.  Life is hard here and you can forfeit yours for going against traditional beliefs or acting inappropriately.  Add in politics, greed, and power and you have a setting for a real mess.

The finale in this story is very ironic.  So much was wrong and so many people betrayed that it looked impossible to settle.  Even more ironic was that the person who served as the catalyst for the event survives unscathed.  It's not a pleasant ending but it is appropriate.  You won't be bored reading this story.

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