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Evan Wentworth, a cop from El Dorado Hills, California, is unable to overcome a traumatic tragedy he thinks he should have prevented. Bereft, he changes careers, attends New York’s Parsons School of Design and becomes a highly successful Jackson Pollock-like artist who falls in love with Aurora Banfield, his mentor and owner of an elite Tribeca art gallery. Prior to taking his final exams, Evan vacations in St. Paul and becomes embroiled in solving the murder of the controller of one of the largest charter yachting companies in Nice. He meets Danielle DuBois, a captivating young teacher from a large family, who helps him overcome the guilt he carries. Her father’s partner at Gaspard Yachting, Ryan Coltrane, becomes a prime suspect in the controller’s murder and Evan’s investigation unwittingly puts his life and her family in danger. Through lavender fields, to the ancient ramparts of St. Paul, to multi-million dollar yachts on the Côte d’Azur, this contemporary romantic suspense novel reminds us why solving a murder is both dangerous and multi-faceted. Secrets families withhold to protect one another may not always be kept with the best of intentions—sometimes creating dire consequences. Dangerous Duplicity is a search for redemption, justice among unforeseeable obstacles and the redeeming power of love.
A genuine page-turner Joyce brings a wonderful balance of intrigue and discovery to what proves an extraordinarily good read. Her first novel The Dordogne Deception showcased an author capable of delivering an enticing blend of murder, mystery and romance and Dangerous Duplicity will far from disappoint her readers. Writing with a strong sense of immediacy, her characters are imbued with a certain vibrancy that elevates them beyond their time and place as she brings them into focus and this makes it a difficult book to put down. Respecting the idiosyncrasies of her characters rather than exaggerating them brings a certain emotional resonance to her story and in Evan Wentworth, we find a protagonist who feels wholly authentic. We feel his angst and identify with the guilt he is carrying and in turn, feel compelled to turn another page. Yes, it makes for all-around good suspense novel but what sets it apart is Joyce’s ability to create compelling and immersive scenes. With powerful backdrops, her settings really come alive and we can imagine ourselves there as momentum gathers and the stakes grow ever higher.
Another notable and strong release from Sherry Joyce, Dangerous Duplicity is sure to be met with enthusiasm by her many fans and definitely deserves a place on your bookshelf. It is highly recommended.