I was intrigued by Crown Deception by Howard Lufburrow because one of the main characters is a dentist, and how often do we see someone in that profession as the hero? Dr. Jake Patterson is more than just a regular dentist because he occasionally provides dental forensics for local law enforcement. Through this connection, a mysterious pattern concerning teeth with an odd mark on them comes to his attention.
While Jake thinks the symbol is odd, he doesn’t suspect that the strange markings might be connected to anything sinister. However, that changes when he meets Kate Williams during a trip to The Netherlands. Kate is the operations manager at Lansdun International and she soon finds herself and Jake in a dangerous situation concerning a group that will do anything to keep their research going.
Jake and Kate are both well-developed characters, and the plot moves at a steady pace. I was initially worried about the story seeming too slow before the action really got going because I wasn’t sure how a dentist’s regular life could be exciting. Lufburrow’s writing style, combined with the likeability of Jake, keeps the story from becoming tedious. Also, Lufburrow doesn’t keep you waiting long before the mystery starts to appear.
While Jake and Kate are handled well as individuals, their fast-forming relationship seems a little too smooth and superficial. These two have bumped into each other through the years and nothing ever happened, but one overseas flight and they are seeing stars in each other’s eyes? It seemed a little rushed and any possible passion for their relationship seemed to be sacrificed in the process. There was never any doubt that these two would end up as a happy couple because, aside from the mystery they are investigating, there’s never a threat to their relationship. They meet, fall in love, and it is smooth sailing from there.
It wouldn’t be too bad but the relationship is the story that takes place between those moments that the mystery is being investigated. It doesn’t make the book a bad read but I feel it could have been so much better if the author had taken a little more time with Jake and Kate’s relationship.
With only 221 pages, Crown Deception makes for a light and entertaining read for the weekend, but it will probably be found lacking by anyone looking for something that has a little more depth. With that being said, I enjoyed the novelty of a dentist as the main character and Jake is such a well-defined and likable hero that I wouldn’t mind seeing his forensic expertise open the door to further adventures. I just hope any future stories have a little more depth to them.
(Reviewed by Marty Shaw for Reader Views)