When Emma's parents go abroad on a business trip Emma finds herself home alone and in charge of looking after the family business. It isn't really that unusual for her parents to go away but it is strange that she hasn't heard from them in weeks and they aren't returning her calls. After someone reports the fact that she is home alone to Child Protective Services Emma is given two choices, to go into foster care until her parents return or to go and stay with her guardian Bennett. It isn't a difficult decision to make and she soon finds herself moving to the other side of the country to live with Bennett. Starting at her new school Emma starts to see things that can't possibly be there, she has memories of Thatcher Academy even though she has never been there before and she is seeing people that nobody else seems to notice. Is she losing her mind or is she really seeing ghosts?
Deception is a fantastic debut from Lee Nichols and one that had me hooked from the first page. Emma is a great main character and one that it is easy to relate to. You have to feel for her when she is left to fend for herself and although she copes surprisingly well on her own I really wanted to track down her parents and give them a good talking to. Emma has the usual worries of a teenage girl, especially one who is trying to find her place in a new school but she quickly starts making friends and I loved seeing her interactions with Coby, Harry and Sara.
There are a lot of different mysteries going on in this first installment in the Haunting Emma series, not only does Emma have to come to terms with her new ability to see and communicate with ghosts but she also appears to be being targeted by some kind of evil spirit. A lot of people have been keeping secrets from her and she is now finding it very difficult to work out who she can trust. There are some great twists that I really didn't see coming and I'm looking forward to seeing how things progress in the next book.
Some of my favourite characters were the staff who worked in Bennett's mansion and it was good for Emma to have some kind of support at home. Bennett annoyed me early on by spending so much time avoiding Emma, I really felt that she needed someone to help her deal with everything and thought he should have spent time explaining things to her. As we got to know him better my feelings toward him started to change and at that point I could see why everyone finds him so swoon worthy. I'll definitely be looking forward to seeing what happens with him and Emma in the next book.
Deception was a quick and easy read that had me gripped from beginning to end, the story has action, mystery and a little romance, the plot was fast paced and full of surprising twists and I can't wait to read the sequel Betrayal. I'd definitely recommend this series to paranormal fans who are looking for a ghost story with unique and interesting mythology.