England, 2003. Tom McIntyre is a worried man. Debts are pillng up, his career is in a free-fall, and his family life is under strain. Only his wife, Allison, remains unswerving in her support. Close to rock bottom, he clinches the deal of a lifetime before tragedy strikes , putting everything Tom values at risk.
In the aftermath, a toxic mix of grief, substance abuse and blame lead to different paths for the family. Duplicity is a story of lost innocence, unwitting deals with darker forces. and fragile family bonds. Can grief, love, lies and hate be reconciled? And can Tom repair his fractured family and release himself from the pact he has made? What fate does he deserve?
Disclaimer: this review might contain spoilers. The book was sent to me by the author in collaboration with Booktasters.
Duplicity: "the state of being double"
I am almost at a loss for words when it comes to this book. The blurb does not prepare you for what is to follow in the actual book. I was stunned right from the first sentence of the prologue. It was intense and gripping and I knew right away, I was going to have to finish this book come hell or high water. You are not immediately aware of what is happening, but once the penny drops, so does your heart. The book is narrated by the main character Tom and his son, Daniel, in two perspectives: then and now. Right away I found Tom's character very unlikeable. He had a harsh manner about him and seemed to, more often than not, only be concerned with himself. Gray's writing is not the style that I am use to ,but I found the straight forward style perfectly suited to the story.
The story features other characters such as Tom's wife and children as well as some colleagues and it was really interesting to see how these characters developed throughout the story. The most compelling of them all is definitely Tom's son, Daniel. Now there is a damaged character if I have ever come across one. After an event in his childhood that he feels too ashamed to share and the loss off two very important people in his life, Daniel sees no other option than to make others feel the same pain.
When a series of events catapults Tom's life into disaster, he seems to think the universe has it out for him. He loses control of his sobriety, his children and perhaps even his sanity. It becomes very clear that Tom does not get along very well with one of his children and completely ignores the other. I'm really trying not to give too much away, but I have so much that I want to say.
Throughout the chapters, you slowly start to uncover what actually happens in the prologue and, let me tell you, I was completely astounded. I had my suspicions initially, but nothing could have prepared me for the journey to the end. This book will force you out of your comfort zone. It discusses topics such as religion, sexuality, death and substance abuse so be warned. I felt a great sadness while reading the last few chapters of the book because I could not imagine having to make sacrifices like those. There were alot of shocking moments as well. A few times I had to take a break from reading just to process, but the end gave me hope. Hope that one is never so completely lost that he/she can never be found again.
No doubt this book will stay will me for the longest time and I will recommend it to anyone who will listen. My rating for this book is a solid 5/5 . Have you had a 5 star read lately? I would love to hear from you.