I don’t typically write book reviews, but this book is an important exception. A Course in Deception is the first novel by Jana Rieger, an Edmonton native who is a well known academic and researcher in the health research world. This book is very special to me because Jana Rieger was my thesis supervisor back in the day, and I had the opportunity to work with her for the first 6 years of my career in health care. She is an amazing human being, mentor, and writer, and it is an inspiration to see her following her dream of writing fiction!
A Course in Deception is a page-turning mystery that hooks you in from the very first page. It is about academic research and the things that can go wrong in the health research field, but more importantly, it is about humanity. Humanity and the decisions we make because of what we believe, even when what we believe is deception.
The book takes us on a journey with the main character, Mackenzie Smith, who ends up facing some extremely difficult circumstances that threaten her career. As her professional and personal life unravelled, I was drawn into her experience and reminded of my own journey. We all face times in our lives when crisis is king. When survival, whether physical, mental, or emotional, moves out of reach, and desperation takes over. These are the times when our true humanity emerges. What choices will we make when faced with desperation, chaos, and failure?
I love how human and flawed Mackenzie is, because she is a true representation of all of us. We all cling to what we believe in times of turmoil. And we all try to do what we think is right.
The biggest takeaway for me from this novel is that we must continue to fight.
People we trust may deceive us and betray us. What we thought was safe and secure may suddenly become dangerous. But continuing to fight for integrity is what humanity is all about.
You don’t have to be an academic or a researcher to love this book, you just have to appreciate a great story!
Get your digital or paperback edition of A Course of Deception today!
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