As the only child of a noble family, the charismatic Henry Markham always knew that at some point he would be required to take on Melcham Park, the family estate, as well as the onerous commitments that come with it. That moment comes sooner than expected when his father suddenly kills himself. Henry’s life then changes in an instant. Returning to Melcham Northamptonshire, the successful young theatre producer is instantly thrown into a dark family mystery thanks to a beyond the grave confession from his father. The brutal murder of Henry’s American heiress mother thirty or so years before has never been solved and Henry’s father pushes him to unravel the mystery for the most bizarre of reasons. Suddenly everything Henry thought he knew about his family and his heritage is turned on its head. The Metropolitan Police Cold Case Unit is also keen to find out what happened to Betsy Markham in 1982 and they send criminal psychologist and detective, Niall McGregor to Melcham Park in order to close the file. Against the backdrop of an isolated country house in the depths of English winter, Niall and Henry rapidly become immersed in the task of getting Melcham Park house to give up secrets it has held for decades and perhaps longer. Almost inevitably a strong connection grows between the two men and they find themselves dealing with the forces of temptation as well as those of evil as the mystery deepens. Are the malevolent forces of thirty years ago still around and do they now threaten Henry? Can Niall protect and save the man he is rapidly falling in love with? Duty and Deceit follows Henry the new Earl of Higham as he tries to appreciate his inherited world and its responsibilities whilst solving the mystery of his mother’s murder. Can this challenging environment allow him to develop his feelings for Niall in a way which gives them any chance of a future? Set over a few days in darkest December, Duty and Deceit is a quick-fire romantic thriller.
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Tom Stewart Crawford lives in France and works globally as a business consultant. Duty and Deceit is his first novel and he is already threatening to inflict a second one on the world. When he's not writing or in the air, he can be found in the gym or walking his four dogs. You can contact him at email@example.com
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