The Duty Bound Duet – DUTY OF CARE – THE CARETAKERS
by Sydney Jamesson
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense (Psychological)
DUTY OF CARE:
On her death bed Emily Derbyshire’s mother made her promise to take good care of her little sister. Keeping her promise, twelve-year-old Emily did exactly that and became five-year-old Rita’s benefactor and bodyguard.
After eighteen years of sisterly devotion Emily receives some shocking news! Rita has committed suicide. When disturbing details start to surface, Emily puts her highflying career on hold to seek out those responsible. She hires an American private investigator Robert Blackmoor; a motorbike riding, no-frills, computer hacker who will use any means necessary to unearth the truth.
Not surprisingly, Robert uncovers secrets from Emily’s troubled childhood and chips away at the glossy veneer of deceit which masks the truth behind, not only Rita’s life, but Emily’s imperfect life too.
Together they assemble the pieces of a sinister puzzle, revealing a cruel and corrupt world of exploitation and murder: a Dark Web into which Rita has become entangled.
As dark forces encircling Emily tighten their grip, and with everything to lose, she must make a life and death decision that she may live to regret.
Emily Parsons is a product of a difficult childhood: self-reliant, fiercely protective and willing to do whatever it takes to safeguard the wellbeing of those in her care. She has even slayed a monster, or two … or three in the name of poetic justice, and yet she is haunted by the image of a beautiful blond girl.
Sixteen-year-old Louise Travis has been abducted.
Louise’ fate rested in Emily’s hands, but she let her slip through her fingers like gold dust, only to be swept away by a malevolent band of brothers.
By once again enlisting the help of computer hacker, Robert Blackmoor, Emily must find Louise before she is lost forever in a Dark Web of heinous crimes, cruelty and corruption. The clock is ticking, and Emily’s investigation is drawing the wrong kind of attention, but she will not back down. She is duty bound to protect those she loves.
With skeletons from her past being unearthed, who can she turn to, and who can she trust with her own sinister secrets?
What would we find under your bed?
I confess that our bed has a solid base so you wouldn’t find anything. The same can’t be said for the double bed in the spare bedroom….
Like most people, we don’t have enough storage space and have had to resort to using the loft for cases, Christmas trees and baubles. As our daughter and her family usually come over from Australia for Christmas each year all the extra bits and pieces they need for their two children are under the bed. As the boys are growing, a fold up cradle has been replaced by a cot, but now we’ll need a bed too! Also, there are boxes of toys, teddies, clothes, nappies and even a dismantled three wheeled bicycle. Not what you might be expecting from an author of psychological suspense, but there you go…
What was the scariest moment of your life?
Thankfully, I haven’t had to experience too many scary moments in my life! I’m naturally quite cautious. On one occasion, in Jamaica, my family and me were swept away by holiday high-spiritedness and a powerful tide which we underestimated—to our peril. Four of us took out a small sailboat convinced that after a five-minute tutorial that we could master it. We were wrong. The wind picked up, we lost control of the rudder and the sail and the boat began to tip precariously from side to side. Even more worrying, we were heading right toward the rocks!
Thankfully, one of the instructors spotted us drifting into danger, came out in a canoe to rescue us and climbed aboard, leaving my son in law to take the canoe back. In a couple of minutes, he had the boat under control, used the wind to turn us in the right direction and returned us to shore safely.
To date, that was the scariest moment of my life, made all the more terrifying as our daughter was in the boat with us! Since then, we have steered clear of small boats and opted for supersized catamarans. When it comes to staying safe in the deep blue sea … size does matter!
Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
I listen to music while thinking about writing, while driving and when I’m moving around the house, but NOT while I’m writing. I tend to end up singing along and forgetting what I’m supposed to be typing. I know some people like to have music on in the background, but not me. I need to have silence. If Mr. J. has the TV too loud downstairs, I have to ask him to turn it down or go downstairs, close all the doors and refocus. I’ve enough going on in my head, in terms of characters and plot twists without adding song lyrics to the mix.
What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I’ve been told repeatedly that my writing style lends itself to scriptwriting. I like to add enough detail to take my readers into the characters’ world; to see, feel and even taste, hear and smell what the characters can. I believe that by including sensory imagery my readers are better able to connect with the setting and the characters on an emotional level.
Because my books have a cinematic quality, I would love to see them on either the small or big screen. THE DUTY BOUND DUET addresses many important issues involving children’s care homes, exploitation and human trafficking; not only that, but unsuspecting protagonist, Emily Parsons, is drawn into that Dark Web of heinous crimes corruption and must decide if and how she can defeat those driving what is an extremely profitable, international business. This is the backdrop to what, on the face of it, appears to be a predictable story of sisterly separation and suicide.
Readers must ask themselves, if put into a similar position, would they be duty bound to pursue the truth, protect the ones they love and seek retribution, at any cost. For most of us, that’s a big ask!
How long did it take you to write this book?
Because I always envisaged the story as a duet, it took almost a year to write both books. I wrote DUTY OF CARE in early 2019 and followed on with THE CARETAKERS later in the year. Part of that time was spent having the books edited and proofread. Earlier this year, I spent a month carrying out revisions and a further month organising covers, graphics for teasers and publicity. Because of the pandemic and family commitments, I put off publication.
After having a rethink, I’ve decided to publish both books within a few months of each other as this is a gripping story I know readers will be eager to continue. Having read DUTY OF CARE, readers will be able to pre-order THE CARETAKERS which will be available a couple of months later.
DUTY OF CARE
“The whole world can become the enemy when you lose what you love.” Kristina McMorrris.
I STOOD ALONE in the graveyard the day they buried my sister. There I was, Emily Parsons, the hapless figure lurking behind a gnarled oak tree—an unwelcome guest.
A savage January wind gnawed at my cheeks. It made my eyes sting; eyes already brimming with salty residue left over from a night spent sobbing into a pillow. Sapped of all strength, I leaned against the trunk, held it between my hands; gloved fingers tracing rough edges. I breathed in its wild, woody perfume; rotting branches, unclaimed timber—a steadfast pillar of support in a surreal tableau.
At our parents’ request, I didn’t show my face. Did they fear I’d cause a scene, throw myself onto the coffin?
With or without their blessing, I had to go. I had to be there to witness my little sister’s departure from this mortal coil and, if that meant enduring sniveling platitudes caught on the wind—so be it.
Our parents, family members and some of Rita’s friends circled the cavernous hole in the ground like ravens; a flock of silhouettes set against a snowy backdrop. My watery eyes lingered on the word Rita formed in purple violas on the wreath—a tiny name for someone with a big personality and an even bigger heart.
Having endured the lamentations of the priest marking the passing of a life ended much too soon, I absconded. I sprinted like a bandit between gravestones, my feet slipping on ankle deep snow that shrouded everything, creating a clean, sterile landscape. Nothing seemed out of place. Nothing except my sister’s charred body lying six foot under in a mahogany coffin fifty yards away.
I took refuge in my car and sat in silence, refusing to acknowledge the shifting congregation. Concealed behind windows veiled with condensation, I left unseen.
In those days leading up to Rita’s funeral, I cried nonstop. I would wake from dozing and the world would be as it was. I would smile through cracked lips, but then I would remember and my heart would ache and my body would shake and tears would cloud my eyes once more.
The myriad of memories we had made were my only lifeline: phone conversations, photographs and texts existing in a vacuum, authorless—a cruel kind of comfort. For the sake of my sanity, I tried to come to terms with her passing, I really did, but the realisation that the one person I loved more than any other had gone and left me behind did not make any sense to me.
We had made a pact when we were kids to never be separated.
Why had Rita broken it?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Sydney Jamesson is a USA Today bestselling author by night and an English teacher by day. She is nocturnal by nature and loves nothing more than staying up late, listening to music and being inspired to write. She has always written creatively; in her home is one enormous wastepaper basket full of discarded phrases, opening lines and pieces of dialogue that have hit her like lightning in the middle of the night. Her USA Today bestselling trilogy, THE STORY OF US sold worldwide, and she has been thrilled to continue Ayden Stone’s and Beth Parker’s epic love story in The Story of Us Series: Into the Blue, featuring Blue Genes, Blue Hearts and Blue Moon.
More recently, Sydney has focused on psychological suspense. THE DARKEST CORNERS was her first venture into the new genre: a complex love story filled with lots of angst, emotional scenes and edge of your seat suspense as a single father and a troubled young woman confront their deepest, darkest fears together. The twists come think and fast and the ending is unforgettable!
In her latest novels, DUTY OF CARE and THE CARETAKERS – THE DUTY BOUND DUET -readers explore the seedier side of the Dark Web; witness abduction, human trafficking, and a devoted sister’s willingness to do whatever it takes to safeguard the wellbeing of those in her care. It’s a real page turner, filled with incidents which are heart-breaking and heart-stopping in equal measure!
DUTY OF CARE:
UNIVERSAL LINK: viewbook.at/DUTYofCARE
AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/Duty-of-Care-Sydney-Jamesson-ebook/dp/B08CNGJVGF
AMAZON: UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=DUTY+OF+CARE+%28The+Duty+Bound+Duet+%231%29&
UNIVERSAL LINK: viewbook.at/THECARETAKERS
AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/The-Caretakers-Sydney-Jamesson-ebook/dp/B08CNKPLH5
AMAZON: UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08CNKPLH5
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