A young inventor and his wife die in a car bombing - leaving behind a will that surprises friends and parents by directing a vast fortune toward charities in the developing world.
On the ground in Afghanistan, international charities rapidly search for Afghan partners to compete for the attention of the new foundation - including an orphanage and a health team supporting reproductive rights. As part of their strategy to win the new funds the two groups try to focus attention on two particular women in the village of Laashekoh: a young mother imprisoned for murdering the village leader’s oldest son and a woman who has a reputation for providing reproductive health care, including abortions. When they discover that the first woman abandoned her infant daughter, and the second has no actual patients, aid workers and lawyers scramble to enhance the stories.
Meanwhile, most Laashekoh villagers do not want Western charity and are astounded to be regarded as potential recipients. Then a group of orphanage workers visiting the village goes missing, and foul play is immediately suspected.
The stakes are high, the sums of money are huge, and cultures clash. All these are motivations for fraud and murder in Allure of Deceit.
Praise for Allure of Deceit:
“Allure of Deceit is a complex stew of hidden ambitions, good intentions and lies that unravel to devastating consequences. This novel captures the reader in much the same way as an intricate puzzle.”
“Celebrity philanthropy. Baby trafficking. A mysterious compound in the Afghanistan mountains. Allure of Deceitis an IED of a novel. Trust no one, and step carefully.”
—MARTIN J. SMITH, author of the Memory Series crime novels, including Time Release, The Disappeared Girl, and Edgar Award nominee Straw Men
“Froetschel’s crystal clear picture of Afghanistan and its people fascinates me. Though her characters’ lives differ from ours, they are like us in the ways that really matter. They laugh, they love, they seek answers when things puzzle them. This is a mystery with a stunning sense of place.”
—PEG HERRING, author of the Loser Mysteries
“A smart, sharply plotted thriller that puts the reader on the ground in Afghanistan. Susan Froetschel delivers.”
—DANIEL STASHOWER, author of The Hour of Peril
Praise for Fear of Beauty:
- 2014 Mary Higgins Clark Award Nominee
- 2014 Love Is Murder Best Suspense Lovey Nominee
- 2014 National Federation of Press Women Communications 2nd Place Winner for Best Novel For Adult Readers
“An exceptionally well-written tale of love, loss, trust, and greed with appeal that reaches far beyond mystery fans.”
“A great societal thriller…. Action-packed, readers will feel they are in [Afghanistan]…. One of the top novels of the year….”
“This fictional woman halfway across the world isn’t so different from you and me. Froetschel has great respect for the Afghan culture and deftly provides a slice-of-life tale that moves, informs and even surprises.”
“Froetschel pulls the reader in almost from the first word with her dynamic plot twists.”
—Women’s Book Reviews
“Susan Froetschel makes the Afghanistan conflict real on a personal level, in a tale rich with thought-provoking themes…. Fear of Beauty is a wonderful novel.”
—Sandra Parshall, Agatha Award-winning author of Bleeding Through
“Froetschel is a superb storyteller. She brings the rugged beauty of Afghanistan, its simple folk, and its many dangers together in a spine-tingling tale."
—Nayan Chanda, author of Bound Together