Dance of Deception by Kim Simons

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Dance of Deception
Kim Simons
Page Publishers, 2018

♦♦♦
3.5 Stars

 

In popular fiction, the thriller loves the trope of the femme fatale. Over the years, thousands of authors have given their spin on it. Ranging from wildly misogynistic to defiantly feminist, the figure has come to be definitive not only for the genre but also for nearly all related media. For example, film has long had a love affair with crime fiction. A noir film, one could argue, can’t exist without its femme fatale. In recent years through the medium of television the image has bee redressed into one more empowering but usually equally as seductive.

If one were to mix the femme fatale with the recent trope of hard as nails female investigator, then readers would come into the orbit of Kim Simons’s novel Dance of Deception. This crime thriller will please lovers of the genre as well as more than a few new readers searching for a new kind of heroine. Kira Michaels is an ex-FBI agent using her bombshell beauty and psychological profiling expertise to hunt down wealthy criminals who manage to use their resources to escape justice. A vigilante, Kira Michaels works to separate these unsavory men from their often ill-gotten gains by preying on their machismo. She gets them into compromising situations, sues in civil court, takes them for all they are worth, and leaves them to deal with life as someone who has to live by the same laws as everyone else. Simons has written a difficult character to assert is ‘good,’ but one many readers will find to be cathartic.

It’s doesn’t take much for readers to realize just what’s going to happen to Kira, i.e., she’s going to run into a angry man who will exact revenge. And so she does. The wealthy white cis-het male who has lived their entire lives believing they deserve unearned respect and privilege for the fortune they so often haven’t worked for themselves or have gotten through nefarious means, will not stand to be beaten by a woman. Thus Dance of Deception will ring as eerily relevant and problematic due to our contemporary moment.  This brings even more flavor to Simons already racy plot, one that allows readers to project their frustrations and fantasies onto the story. Ultimately, this is the very purpose of crime thrillers, visceral connection, and Dance of Deception achieves it. Yet, if we ignore this, we discover Simons has written a novel that moves with cinematic speed and intensity (which should come as no surprise as Simons is an experienced screenwriter) giving readers wild action sequences and not a few wild sex scenes.

Dance of Deception reads very much like a film or television script fleshed out. And while it is procedural, it is certainly suspenseful giving us a matrix of vigilante versus white-collar sociopath versus the FBI. Such a story will appeal to nearly every lover of thrillers and not a few readers of romance. For a first time novelist, Simons has created a character many readers will want to see return, and perhaps see on the big or small screen.

 

About the Author

Kim head shot novel 2

Kim Simons is a native Californian.  She has acted in movies and appeared in network productions.  She is a member of the Screen Actors guild.  Her experiences in being an Actor and an adventurous woman in Los Angeles inspired the character of Kira Michaels in Dance of Deception.  In her quest to inspire more meaningful roles for women, she has written 6 screenplays featuring strong female characters.  Dance of Deception is her first novel.

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