An absolutely riveting international crime thriller that'll make you think - while keeping you on the edge of your seat.

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Layers of Deception: An utterly gripping, international crime thriller.

Would you risk the lives of your family and colleagues to get out of a financial hole?
What would you risk to achieve your ambition?
How far is too far?
Would you risk all for the next big deal?

Amazon 5.0 out of 5 stars. Tightly plotted page-turner...
Leo James clearly knows his stuff when it comes to the world of cybersecurity, the dark web and criminal gangs in the Far East. Out of that world he has crafted a really gripping thriller which has you emotionally involved with the central characters and wanting to turn the page at every turn. A highly recommended read.

Layers of Deception is a fast-paced international crime thriller filled with twists, turns and intrigue exposing conflicts between brothers, religion, gender, love, risk and greed.

This thriller starts off with a bang (quite literally!) and doesn't slow down. The story follows a computer security firm trying to land a contract in Kuala Lumpur. The group gets involved in blackmail, extortion and gang activity when they expose the contract company's dealings involving the dark web.

The startling discovery that will send their worlds spiralling and for some will end in deadly consequences!

Life as an IT business entrepreneur isn’t quite as simple as it seems...the constant battle between ambition and familial responsibility could cost the ultimate price. Every international salesman, entrepreneur, business development executive, business owner should read this – would you risk all to win a deal!

Be careful what you wish for!

The thriller draws on the author’s many years experience of doing business in Asia.

About Leo James

Leo began writing during his recovery from a serious fall into a storm drain whilst on business in Singapore. To this day, he has not solved the mystery of who pushed him.
Stuck in hospital, Leo found it cathartic to write. It helped with his recovery, both mentally and physically.

That was the start. Once back to work, and  travelling internationally, he would write everywhere: on planes, trains, staying at hotels, at any given opportunity.

Leo worked for over 20 years in global information technology. He is an expert in cryptocurrencies, blockchain and cybersecurity. In addition, Leo is a practicing therapist in clinical hypnosis and cognitive behaviour therapy.

Born in the UK, he graduated from Illinois State University in America. He has a postgraduate qualification in behavioural therapy from the University of West London in the UK.

‘What started my love of writing?’ 

Leo James

 Mount Elizabeth Hospital Singapore 

Two nurses wheeled me back from x-ray into the admissions department. Green gauze covered my head as a nurse patched up my injured chin. Certain I needed stitches after the fall but apart from a thumping headache, a throbbing knee and ankle, I felt ok. His exact words escape me, but I heard one physician say something like, five breaks to the left patella, clean break to the maxilla, three teeth missing, and torn ligaments to the right fibula. I remember thinking, “Poor Sod, he is in for a while.” It wasn’t until the doctor said they would admit me and operate the following morning that I fell apart; shaking and sweat surged from every crevice. I could not speak and my head spun with uncontrollable thoughts. I did not comprehend much else from the medic as he talked about signing something and insurance.

What Happened?

Mid-June in Singapore heralded my third visit to CommAsia; an annual event.

On one evening during the exhibition, we met a prospect at Clarke Quay - a historical riverside wharf, at the mouth of the River.

Just after 9 PM we finished the meeting and very nice meal. Two of my colleagues went for a beer close to where I was staying on Orchard Road, so, I accompanied them in a taxi and as it was early, I joined them for a drink. 

It was ten-thirty when I left the bar and as it was a sultry night, I took a stroll as I knew Orchard Road ran parallel. During the walk I spotted a short-cut down one alleyway towards the hotel. The avenue had a row of shops with large window displays. A fence on the other side led down to a group of trees masking any view beyond. I was not aware of the rain drainage channel running the full length of the thoroughfare; part of the expanse was devoid of any metal grate or as in some places, concrete. About half way along it was a little dark and shady by the foliage, and only a few people about. So, I looked for a more suitable route.

About twenty yards from the road, I could see no one around, but I felt a thud on my left shoulder and I remember my jaw hitting the floor and teeth shot out. Then nothing. Next thing I knew, a couple helped me out of a ditch which reached up to my chest. The man pulled me out and the woman gave me a roll of tissue paper to help stop the blood and I headed towards the hotel.

I took my shirt off and held it against my chin, sure I would need stitches. My knee was stiff and my ankle sore; I felt like I had a couple of knocks similar to when I used to play football. A few people asked me if I was ok during my walk back. A lady offered me more tissues and I should have noticed the look of horror on her face. Grateful they had not robbed me in the incident as I still had my money, credit cards and mobile.

Once I entered the hotel, my chin did not seem to bleed much, so I thought I’d retire to my room, have a shower and get some sleep. If it needed stitches the following morning, I planned to ask for details of the nearest walk-in surgery or A&E.

However, the concierge intercepted me and suggested I should go at once to the hospital. He ordered a taxi, and I took it to the Mount Elizabeth.

Who would have thought this would be the start of an eighty-four-thousand-word international crime thriller?

Writing the novel helped me through the after effects, recovery, weakness, realisation, fear, anger, depression, acceptance and a new direction.

Who Did It?

I’m not sure who pushed me. There were no witnesses.

The suspects:-

Hand of God. Was it someone above; giving me a jolt? Bringing me down to earth. Or did I imagine it?

Hugh Vella (not his real name) was a colleague who lived in the UK with his wife and two children. During his career he spent lot of time working for companies as a salesman representing Asia, often in Singapore and Malaysia. He also led a double life, having met a Vietnamese lady whilst on business in Kuala Lumpur. Unbeknown to his spouse, Hugh moved into a rented apartment with his new girlfriend. They had a baby together and kept up the relationship for another two years before a second child came along. They split up shortly after the second child was born. Out of the blue we received, addressed to our Company, a letter from a lawyer petitioning for a divorce by the woman from Malaysia who wanted to marry an American. In addition, she demanded custody of their eldest child. Hugh was a bigamist, and we found out he had auctioned off his offspring.  Hugh had been evading the lawyer for some time. We had no choice but to fire him and let them know of his whereabouts.

Hugh sold his son to Thomas Shum (not his real name), a Malaysian business man. The irony was that the child had the best things in life and was doing well, immersed into a loving family. A complete mess.

Hugh threatened me and Thomas blamed my Company for the devastation. 

My First Novel

Layers of Deception
After many years of planning, drafting, re-writing, editing and production my novel is available now.

* You are in a financial hole.
* The more you try to dig yourself out, the bigger it gets.
* Until it is so big that it may be too late to break out.
* What would you do?
* What can you do?

That’s where software business entrepreneur STEVE ROUSSOS found himself as he struggles to safeguard his colleagues and family when evidence comes to light that exposes criminal activities on the dark net.

Layers of Deception is a fast-paced international crime thriller filled with twists, turns and intrigue exposing conflicts between brothers, religion, gender, love, risk and greed.

Layers of Deception is a fast-paced international crime thriller filled with twists, turns and intrigue exposing conflicts between brothers, religion, gender, love, risk and greed. Set in Malaysia and the UK, software entrepreneur Steve Roussos struggles to safeguard his colleagues and family when evidence comes to light that exposes criminal activities on the dark net. The thriller draws on my experience of doing business in Asia.

I'm fully recovered and I still love Singapore.

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