Deadly Envy

A DCI Gerald Croft Thriller (DCI Gerald Croft Crime Thrillers)

Fiction - Crime
407 Pages
Reviewed on 05/10/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Sarah Stuart lives in County Durham, North-East England with her husband. London is her "second home"; she loves the theatre - musicals, plays, opera, and ballet - and her knowledge of England's capital shows in the background of her books.

Sarah Stuart's first crime thriller was written with the generous help of John Nicholl, best-selling author of psychological thrillers. He had read her romantic suspense novels and suggested this was the next logical step. Always up for a challenge, Sarah created the world of DCI Gerald Croft in the fictional London Borough of Garton.

Sarah donates her royalties to wildlife charities worldwide, and to rescue shelters for abandoned pets. Her own rescue dogs hold a special place in her home and in her heart.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

DCI Gerald Croft's Crime Thriller world is featured again in Sarah Stuart's Deadly Envy. DCI Croft returns from a well-earned holiday with his family to find his house has been burgled. Several unsolved burglaries are already on file and, for now, his will be added to it. An armed raid at a jeweler has ended in tragedy, with the owner shot dead. Was it really a robbery gone wrong or something else? Hector is renting a room from Mrs. Croft but is he the tenant he seems to be or is he there for another reason? Kidnap, suicide pacts, murder, and burglaries; DCI Croft has his work cut out for him this time as the crime wave continues to roll. Can he stop it before it gets worse?

Deadly Envy by Sarah Stuart is one of the best thrillers I have ever read. Each chapter tells the story of a different character, introducing you to them and drip-feeding their backstories throughout the book. All the characters are well-developed to the point where you feel like you know them; you'll even find yourself rooting for one of the baddies. It's a busy story and there are lots of subplots going on but they do all tie in together nicely. The suspense builds throughout this expertly written tale and you won't put it down, desperate to know what happens next and how it all ends - you won't be disappointed. Highly recommended to anyone who likes crime thrillers and wants a suspenseful, action-packed plot to test their skills of deduction.

R Coulson

Kidnap and ransom, crimes of passion and jealous revenge, cold-blooded murder and pure evil; DCI Croft has his hands full. When you find yourself rooting for a kidnapper and hoping DCI Croft won't catch him, you know you're hooked into a great book with realistic and vulnerable characters. Surprise twists, satisfying comeuppance, and good detective work. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Recommended read.

John Nicholl

A well-written and entertaining read.


A policeman's lot is not a SIMPLE one...

He can’t choose an interesting case and ignore the rest! DCI Croft faces a rash of crimes from kidnapping to murder. Sarah Stuart takes the reader deep inside the minds and hearts of the criminals. The root of their numerous ill-doings? Envy... and envy is deadly.
Does knowing what is happening and why spoil the story? Absolutely not! The plot is as twisted as a corkscrew and the end a shocking surprise.

Eileen Lovell

Not one, not two, not three but four storylines and the reader has all the answers. But the mystery is whether DCI Croft and his team can succeed in charging the perpetrators of the various murders and kidnappings with their crimes. So plenty of action to keep you wanting to know how it all comes to a satisfactory ending - for the police, if not the evil-doers!

Adrian Czarnecki

I’ll get straight to the point. This is my first time reading one of Sarah Stuart’s thrillers and ……… well let’s say that when I thought I had worked it all out because I’m a ‘clever clogs’, got the plot as they say; Sarah brilliantly turned my whole world upside down. I simply DID NOT see that coming.
From the very first few pages reading ‘Deadly Envy’ (A DCI Gerald Croft Thriller), it was like, OK, alright’ loving how Sarah was introducing the cast, the players to the point where I was a part of their world, invited into their lives and through her writing deciding if I liked them or not even before I knew if they were innocent or guilty of some pretty heinous crimes.
At times, as there where a number of sub plots, I thought where’s this going; how does it all come together but ……. well you’re going to have to read it for yourself to find out but believe me YOU WILL NOT be disappointed and I suspect, like me, the suspense was killing me, you’ll find it hard to put down this thriller until the final two words, THE END.


This is a great read. Twisted every which way. I found myself rooting for a mild-mannered crook!

Penny Luker

This is the second book about D.I Croft I've enjoyed. He deals with a number of cases of crime, including kidnap and murder. I like this book even better than the first. One of the main characters, a particularly prolific kidnapper, has a good side and you find yourself sympathizing with his point of view, at times. I think that shows the particular skill of the writer, to get the reader to empathize with a ‘baddie’ character. This book shows the best and worst of human nature, with the underlying theme of ‘that person has what I want’. If you like detective stories, you’ll really enjoy this book, especially how close the action comes to DCI Croft’s family. I couldn’t put the book down.

Bill Ward

This is the second book I have read in this series and it was again a good read. I like DCI Gerald Croft and find him a very believable character. He is faced with a serious crime wave, including the strangest series of kidnappings I've ever read about! Additionally, there are murders, which put Croft's career at risk and need solving before further people die. (p.s. Garton seems even less safe a place to live than Midsomer!) There are surprises along the way and an interesting mix of criminals from the rather inept to very calculating. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Paul Tait

I read and enjoyed Ms Stuart’s Shattered Lives, so I grabbed the next DCI Croft thriller when I spotted it! As with the first novel, the reader is privy to who the criminals are (yes, plural, criminals) right from the beginning. The tension and pace emanate from the reader working along with Croft to uncover who the antagonists are, what their motives are, and what he can do to stop them as it is clear their acts are not a “one and done” set of incidents. There is not one, not two, not three, but ultimately four criminal minds at work! And all fall within DSI Croft's jurisdiction! Not wanting to give away any more of the story, all I will say is “Deadly Envy” is a great read. Highly recommended.

Caleb Pirtle 111

Kidnap and ransom, crimes of passion and jealous revenge, cold-blooded murder and pure evil; DCI Croft has his hands full.

My Book of the Month Club winner!