The first chapter has been promising. Richard seems to be a tortured hero, an unreachable, unattainable character who has distant himself from others. Is that so ? Oh, he's quite an arrogrant, egoistic aristocrat who expects to be obeyed but a tortured soul ? That impression doesn't last long as the story proceeds beyond the first chapter. He has a son whom he obviously dotes and his previously troubled mind seems to find a more favourable diversion in his distant relative by marriage - Evangeline, his dead wife's cousin, a half French 'widow' who is now residing in his country home, insisting to be his son's nanny. Not only is he less unhappy, he also seems to have tugged aside his desire to find the murderer of his friend.
That reason may have caused me not to like the story that much. As much as I like Richard's closeness with his son and indeed, his son is an adorable boy, I begin to feel less sympathetic to the gloomy man in the earlier part of the story. In fact, I doubt he needs such sentiments from me. Evangeline and Richard make a decent pair - they are attracted to each other and they both adore his son but something seems to be lacking in their romance...chemistry perhaps ? I really do not know.
Comparing with other Coulter's novels I read, 'The Deception' has been less satisfactory. Try her other books if you are new to her.