By Ken Tucker
Updated August 20, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Lachlan Harriot?ex-doctor, househusband, and father?narrates the tale of his wife, Susie, a forensic psychologist who was recently convicted of murdering both her patient, a serial killer named Andrew Gow, and Gow?s wife Donna. Initially seeking to prove Susie?s innocence, Lachlan combs through her letters, e-mails, and clinical notes to discover layers of (good title) deception. That quality also extends to Lachlan himself, who proves a neurotically unreliable narrator harboring his own furtive obsessions, including sex with the family nanny and (a joke that?s not really a joke) an excessive fondness for marzipan. Deception‘s Glaswegian novelist Denise Mina?as though feeling liberated from her highly praised yet assiduously downbeat Garnethill trilogy?has written a stand-alone shocker that?s exhilarating in its energetic, witty sordidness.