Cruel Duplicity

DCI Gerald Croft Crime Thrillers Book 3

Fiction - Crime
410 Pages
Reviewed on 12/07/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Cruel Duplicity by Sarah Stuart is the third book in the DCI Gerald Croft Crime Thriller Series. Croft is back on the case when he is asked to investigate the disappearance of a woman four years before. Her husband, Paul Tindall, has reported an assault on his young daughter, and Croft feels it may be linked. However, Croft’s predecessor had already closed the case, but Croft suspects him of malpractice. Looking into more closed cases, he discovers a whole host of crimes that never got properly solved. As he delves deeper, the bodies begin to pile up. Meanwhile, the MP for Garton Borough is causing Croft a major problem. Is he honest? Or does he have another agenda? And is he connected to the closed crimes?

This third book in the series by Sarah Stuart is the best yet! The series has grown from the first book, and each one is more exciting and thrilling than the last. While you could probably read Cruel Duplicity as a standalone book, I would urge you to read the series from the start to truly get to know the main characters. All the characters are well-developed, and the main protagonist grows with the series and gains strength with each book. This is a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat read with plenty of twists and turns along the way to keep you on your toes. You’ll be on Croft’s side all the way through, rooting for good over evil, and this book will keep you hooked right to the very end. It's a fantastic series, and I sincerely hope there’s more to come.

Maxine Sylvester

Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way
by Mayra Barry
258 Pages

Christian - Romance - Historical

Adobe PDF (841.5 KB) - can be read on your computer or eReader like Nook & Kindle.

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Joe Smith was a sea captain at heart. He wanted to be the best at everything his father taught him to be. A fantastic financier, an excellent captain, and an outstanding tradesman. What Joe didn’t expect, was a scheme that was set out for his demise as he is betrayed into the hands of pirates.

While Victoria and her parents live peaceful lives on their private island they call home; change was inevitable when a new young man arrives. At first, Victoria pays no mind to him, but that was about to all change. God sets the stage for Joe’s destiny as he and Victoria meet during her 18th birthday preparations, leading to a new romance between them.

By a twist of fate, Joe rises to a new challenge when he is viewed as indispensable. During this new season of his life, he will need to come to terms with his past in order to enjoy his future with the new love of his life. From mastering the seas to chasing pirates, Joe ultimately becomes a hero.
As a debut novel, this splashing new adventure will take you on a journey to faraway places. From tropical and stormy regions, to betrayal and forgiveness. Victory…the first of the Kemet Island Series, will take you through amazing events of suspense and thrillers as you dive into the life of Joe Smith.

This first book, Victory, of the Kemet Island Series, is not only a Christian Romance Adventure; it is also a tribute to faith, hope, and love. Join the adventures with Joe Smith as he creates a new legacy on Kemet Island alongside Victoria Kemet and her father.

Gwen Plano

Sarah Stuart’s latest novel is a tense psychological thriller that kept me turning the pages. Though it was a long read, I was captivated by this well-written and engrossing story. The book includes multiple cases that grab the heart and chill the soul. Stuart masterfully brings it all together with a conclusion that you won’t forget. I highly recommend this book.

Marie 123

You will stay wngaged; Sarah Stuart is a master of the art, I like everything about Cruel Duplicity. It has everything a reader would want. A gripping page-turner. She has done it again and I look forward to seeing more of this.

Reader 2010

So far this is my favorite of the series. Croft is coming into his own. He has several puzzling interments of an unlikely nature to deal with. One death is causing trouble in his home. So much so that he fears losing his family over it all. A cop to his core, Croft perseveres. Great read.

Bill Ward

Most crime stories focus on one major crime but this book cleverly weaves a number of different crimes into the story. This is the third book I've read in the series and I like DCI Croft. He is a very believable DCI who relies on brain not brawn to solve cases. There are various twists and turns in the story, which will keep you turning the pages. The book kicks off with a cold case but quickly far more skeletons are revealed in Garton. It is not a place I would recommend living as the crime rate is off the scales! An enjoyable read.

R Coulson

Once again Sarah Stuart kept me glued to the pages. When Paul Tindall walks into DCI Croft’s office with disturbing news about someone cutting hair from his young daughter in a school playground, Croft suspects the assault is linked to the unsolved disappearance of Paul’s wife, Helen – a case his predecessor closed. As his suspicions of malpractice by his predecessor grow, Croft reopens more closed cases and discovers murder, drug-running, corruption, and blackmail.
Cruel Duplicity is a heart-rending account of the psychological hold one person can have over another. Fear is truly our own worst enemy. A fast-paced thriller that will have you rooting for the good guys and wanting to heap retribution on the evil. I loved the characters introduced in this third DCI Croft thriller and am looking forward to the next one.’

Leslley Hayes

Cruel Duplicity is the first of Sarah Stuart’s crime novels I’ve read, and a great introduction to the character and back story of DCI Croft. The plot involves a number of different cases, some cold, some heartbreakingly current. Croft says himself at one point that he feels he is juggling a number of balls, and I agreed - pleased that by the final denouement of this fast paced thriller he hadn’t dropped any of them. Quite a tour de force for any thriller writer! I couldn’t guess how things might be resolved as the plot thickened and the connecting strands pulled tighter and tighter. The desperate plight of a kidnap victim and her family that is the central storyline brings a psychological aspect that adds pleasing depth to the rest of the narrative. For me, this is what elevates any thriller, and Sarah Stuart doesn’t disappoint, from first to last. A very satisfying 5* read.