Deceit is concerned with the life of headteacher Peter Delaney, and the implications of his finding the body of one of his pupils in his parish church. The investigation which follows implicates a pupil from one of Delaney’s former schools, Joe Webster, who has already served time for a mugging when in his teens. Delaney had taught Webster to play the trombone when he was a member of his school band but had lost contact with him as he moved from the moors of north Yorkshire to the midlands. In the meantime, Webster had continued with his musical career and had become the leader of a very successful band The Swingalongs.
Delaney and Webster meet again when The Swingalons play at The Royal Hotel, where Peter is a headteacher, on the night on which Peter and his staff have their end of year celebrations. Their reunion leads to significant difficulties for Peter with his of governors, especially after his discovery of the body. He also comes under suspicion for the murder when a statue, believed to have been used in the murder, is found in his study by the police. Whilst Peter endeavours to carry on with his responsibilities, ably supported by his wife and school staff, lies and deceit hinder the investigation into the murder, leading to wrongful arrests, increased difficulties between governors and headteacher, and a tense conclusion to the book.
Published: 10 June 2014
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