Author: Terry Tyler
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Psychological Drama
Café owner Kate is mentally drained after a tough two years; all she wants from her online chess partner is entertainment on lonely evenings, and maybe a little virtual flirtation.
She is unaware that Nico Lewis is a highly intelligent con artist who, with an intricately spun web of lies about their emotional connection, will soon convince her that he is The One.
Neither does Kate know that his schemes involve women who seek love on dating sites, as well as his small publishing business. A host of excited authors believe Nico is about to make their dreams come true.
Where There’s Doubt is a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of internet dating. Nico Lewis is a master in the art of seduction and, along with his girlfriend and others, is working an intricate scam targeting likely women on dating apps. Befriending them first in order to suss out their weaknesses and playing to their emotions, he convinces them he could be what their lives are lacking.
‘I can be anything you want me to be. Even if you don’t know you want it. Especially if you don’t know you want it.’
Internet dating isn’t Nico’s only hunting ground. He also hooks in authors just waiting for their big break with all the spiel they’re so desperate to hear, promising them their book will be the next best thing. But his publishing company is small (he says ruefully) so they need to invest, but they’ll reap the rewards very soon.
Kate, who was able to buy her cafe with plenty money left over, thanks to her grandmother’s legacy, is wary of relationships after the previous disaster. She ‘met’ Nico playing chess online and the meeting wasn’t by chance. Taking it slow, he won her over with charisma, attentiveness and carefully crafted empathy.
“I’ve got to come up to Norfolk for some family business, so I could stop off in Norwich, if you like? We could have lunch—and you can arrange with a friend to call you at a certain time with a bogus emergency, just in case I turn out to be a tedious prick. Would that work for you?”
Before too long they were an item. Kate of course was unaware that Nico had three more women on the go, manipulating his time with them all, using the pretence of business meetings with authors and book related events to account for the times he was unavailable.
Unfortunately dating sites seem to be the perfect opportunity for unscrupulous men preying on those who are genuinely looking for that special connection. I know of two friends who were subjected to the sob stories, trying to extort money, one fell for it and the other didn’t, thank goodness. And this was years ago, so this type of deception is ongoing.
The story is told from the first person perspectives of each of the characters, so thoughts and reactions are realistic and convincing—from Kate’s initial cautiousness after the end of her previous relationship to the thoughts, musings and planning of the three other women. Nico’s own thoughts and feelings show the scope of manipulation, disregard for others and self absorption that motivates him.
The characters are crafted realistically and believably, from the engaging to the downright despicable. Anticipation and suspense build steadily as Nico’s machinations escalate, with twists I wasn’t expecting adding to the tension. Where There’s Doubt is a chilling, fascinating and compelling psychological drama.
I chose to read and review Where There’s Doubt based on a digital copy kindly supplied by the author
I am self-published and proud to be so, and have twenty-two books on Amazon. My latest release is Where There’s Doubt, a psychological drama about a romance scammer and his victims. Other recent releases include Megacity, the final part in the dystopian Operation Galton trilogy – the follow-up to Hope and Wasteland – and The Visitor, a post-apocalyptic murder mystery set in the same world as my Project Renova series, but a separate story, with new characters.
Brewing in my mind I have another virus series (3 novellas, I think), another psych drama, and a dystopian stand-alone. Not sure which one to write next!
I’m a Walking Dead addict; I love watching great TV series, and reading anything to do with history, post apocalypse, dystopian scenarios, anthropology, mountaineering and polar exploration.
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