Happy Book Day – The Deceptions

Suzanne Leal is the bestselling author of The Teacher’s Secret and Border Street. A regular at literary events and festivals, she was the senior judge for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards from 2017 to 2019 and is now a board director of Sydney Crime Writers Festival. A lawyer experienced in child protection, criminal law and refugee law. Suzanne lives in Sydney with her husband and four children. www.suzanneleal.com


“The Deceptions is a stunning example of the way fiction tells war better than any other form – I could taste its madness, its horror. Saw from the outside, its utter absurdity. For days after reading the novel I found myself wrestling with the price of betrayal, and the value of truth.” – Sofie Laguna, winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award

Prague, 1943. Taken from her home in Prague, Hana Lederová finds herself imprisoned in the Jewish ghetto of Theresienstadt, where she endures the threat of transportation to the east. When she attracts the attention of her guard, a Czech gendarme, Hana reluctantly accepts his advances – hoping for the protection she so desperately needs.

Sydney, 2010. Manipulated into a liaison with her married boss, Tessa knows she needs to end it, but how? Tessa’s grandmother, Irena, also has something to hide. Harkening back to the Second World War, hers is a carefully kept secret that, if revealed, would send shockwaves well beyond her own fractured family.

Moving from wartime Europe to modern day Australia, this book follows a fractured family whose lives are built on the foundations of lies, love, deception and regrets.


My novel, The Deceptions, was inspired by a story told to me by my former landlords, Fred and Eva Perger, who were Czech and Jewish and who had both survived the Holocaust. As teenagers, Fred and Eva had been sent to the Theresienstadt ghetto, a Jewish internment camp outside Prague. Whilst there, they got to know one of the guards, a Czech gendarme, who was later arrested for having an illicit relationship with one of the detainees, a young Jewish woman. After the war, the guard returned home but the fate of the young woman remained unknown. Over the years, I found myself wondering what had happened to her. Because I didn’t have enough information to research her actual life – I didn’t even know her name – I re-imagined her instead. From here, The Deceptions unfolded.


  1. I use the software program Scrivener to write my books. I like it because it’s easy to use, it has a useful side bar to view scene, characters and settings and it has a split screen function.
  2. There are two timelines in The Deceptions, one set in wartime Europe and the other in modern Sydney. For the wartime narrative, I had to do a lot of research. Wartime memoirs and a comprehensive work of non-fiction, Theresienstadt, by H. G. Adler were very useful.
  3. When I’m not working part-time as a lawyer, I try to write for three hours every day, preferable in the morning when I’m at my best.
  4. In writing The Deceptions, I was very conscious of my internal rhythm meter and tried to listen to it as I wrote.
  5. I always write out a full chronology when writing a new book. For The Deceptions, my chronology needed to be particularly comprehensive to ensure my wartime scenes were accurate.


Facebook – author page – @suzanneleal
Facebook – personal profile @suzannelealauthor
Twitter – @suzanne_leal
Instagram – @suzannelealauthor
Linked In – Suzanne Leal


I would love it if readers could buy from their local bricks and mortar store, supporting them through this challenging time. Gleebooks have always be great to me and are now offering free delivery to all addresses within the Inner West Council and City of Sydney Council boundary areas, and anywhere in Australia for orders over $50. To order The Deceptions, from Gleebooks, click here:   https://gleebooks.worldsecuresystems.com/CatalogueRetrieve.aspx?ProductID=11349292&A=SearchResult&SearchID=178464402&ObjectID=11349292&ObjectType=27

To buy the audiobook of The Deceptions, beautifully read by Zoe Carides, please head to Audible: https://www.audible.com.au/search?keywords=suzanne+leal+&ref=a_typ_t1_header_search

The Deceptions is also available for purchase as an eBook: https://www.amazon.com.au/Deceptions-Suzanne-Leal-ebook/dp/B082KCFFWG


Only open to Australia residents.

All you have to do is:

  1. In the comments section on this post, tell us why you’d like to win the book.
  2. Share it on social media and tag ‘Dee White Author’

Good luck!

2 thoughts on “Happy Book Day – The Deceptions

  1. Thank you Suzanne and Dee for this fabulous post. I’ve been fascinated by both the background to the writing of the book and the storyline of ‘The Deceptions’ since I recently learned of it via Writers Go Forth! It’s on my list to buy, but I’d be delighted to win a copy!

Comments are closed.