Duplicity - Sibel Hodge - Book Cover
Detective, Mystery & Thriller

Duplicity – Sibel Hodge

A little girl grows up surrounded by domestic abuse. DS Carter investigates the death of the wealthy Max, recently married to Alicia. An exciting thriller!


If you grow up surrounded by violence and anger what do you do to drown out the noise of the beatings and subsequent cries? What kind of person do you become? How does this relate to the murder of the wealthy Max Burbeck, owner of Burbeck Developments? Max is found dead behind his desk, his wife Alissa fled the house narrowly escaping the murderer and his knife. The new Acting Detective Inspector Wilmott takes care of the beautiful widow and leaves the investigation to Detective Sergeant Carter. Follow me and read about the exciting events in this intriguing crime thriller with a twist!


The reader is introduced to a little girl who has an awful childhood. Her often drunk and always abusive father beats her mother regularly. They live on a farm, the three of them. She loves the cows but her father sees them only as suppliers of their income. The girl is lonely and has no one to connect with but the cows. She is a daily witness to her father’s cruelty towards the animals. Although she is bullied at school for being different, it is a place of safety for her. She discovers her talent for drawing and painting at school. She also realises that other children are showing a whole range of emotions she does not feel nor empathise with. These children are loved by their parents so if she could copy their behaviour that would make her more loved perhaps? Would mimicking those exterior feelings and facial expressions of joy and happiness make her more acceptable?

Meanwhile, the reader gets acquainted with DS Carter who is an experienced detective and should have been rewarded with a promotion to Acting Detective Inspector. Instead, Wilmott has become the ADI and is gloating over his promotion. DS Carter is too well aware of the reason why he was not promoted instead: the unravelling of the MacKenzie case with Lord MacKenzie as a suspect and DS Carter not willing to let an injustice pass. DS Carter is still in mourning for his deceased wife and because of that suffers from insomnia. When he is called to a crime scene in the middle of the night, he was experiencing yet another sleepless night. The crime scene is a stately manor house owned by Max and Alissa Burbeck. They had only married a few months ago and had just had a wedding party at the house to celebrate their marriage that had taken place in Australia.

Max is stabbed to death in his study and his wife Alissa upon seeing the masked murderer with a knife in his hand, fled the scene to their neighbours. Is it a robbery gone wrong or a premeditated attack? In that case, Alissa could still be in danger and ADI Wilmott declares himself her personal guard, leaving the police investigation to DS Carter. This comes as no surprise to Carter for he regards Wilmott as “a twat … who’d made a career of perfecting police politics and doing very little else.” To establish a motive Carter has to dig into the lives of Max and Alissa Burbeck: who are their friends? What do they say? Are there people with grudges against either or both of the Burbecks? What is going on with Max’s company, Burbeck Developments? There are people who hold Max personally responsible and accountable for the contamination of the land on which their houses are built.

It is a difficult case for DS Carter as the investigation into Burbeck Developments and into the personal life of Max and Alissa lead nowhere. Or is Alissa’s former boyfriend Russell the culprit? He certainly has a motive and the means: he has been in love with Alissa for years and has been stalking her, unwilling to accept Alissa and Max’s marriage. But there must be something else. We have read about the girl who grew up in such horrible circumstances. What did she grow up to and who is she? Where does she fit in and is there a connection to the murder or to the lives of Max and Alissa and their friends? Is Alissa’s life threatened and if so, by whom? Will DS Carter find the murderer or will he act as stubbornly as in his previous case and will it bring about his downfall?

My Thoughts

Duplicity is a fascinating read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. You know things are not what they seem and although you get an insight into what is happening and which malicious plans are set into action, there are unpredictable plot twists which make it such an exciting read. I loved the combination of a murder investigation with the psychology of the girl growing up in such horrible circumstances and the personal loss of DS Carter, I think that worked really well and makes this crime thriller so much more intriguing. The book is divided into four parts and the story is well written from different first-person perspectives such as that of the detective DS Carter and the little girl growing up into a woman who is mentioned as ‘the other one’. As for the title – that is something you have to work out for yourself! Read this captivating and suspenseful crime thriller and find out!

About the Author

Sibel Hodge Author Image

Sibel Hodge is the bestselling author of Look Behind You (Oct.28, 2014). Her books are international bestsellers all over the world. Sibel is a passionate human and animal rights advocate and she writes an eclectic mix of genres. During the years she has received many prizes for her books such as the Harry Bowling Prize 2008 and the Readers’ Favourite Young Adult – Coming of Age Honourable Award Winner 2015. Her novella Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave has been listed as one of the Top 40 Books about Human Rights.

Book Info

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 Paperback   314 pages
 Publisher   Thomas & Mercer (27 Dec. 2016
 Language   English
 ISBN-10  1503941108
 ISBN-13   978-1503941106

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