When Paul Smith travels to the south of France for a sales conference, events conspire to drag him into a world of kidnappings, blackmail and murder.
Following a violent incident, Paul instinctively offers refuge to a girl he believes to be a vulnerable lost soul in a desperate situation, only to find that all is not as it appears. Unwittingly, he finds himself caught between competing international crime syndicates as they go to war, and two powerful Russian families as they fight for control of a vast Russian conglomerate.
What begins as a routine business trip to Nice, turns into a journey of self-discovery that takes him to some of the most glamorous locations on the Cote d’Azur. Paul is compelled to confront each new escalating threat in turn, while his neatly ordered world spirals relentlessly out of control.
As events unfold, he is forced to challenge everything he thought he knew about himself, before finally embracing the danger and brutal violence he encounters along the way.
Can Paul get to the truth, and does he have what it takes to keep those he cares about safe, and himself alive?
Links for the book:
MY INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
1. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I’m not sure it was ever truly a decision. I have always enjoyed reading and have made several starts on what I always intended to be my first novel. Getting started wasn’t the problem, seeing it through was. Not because I don’t have the ambition to do it, but time constraints and other commitments have always seemed to get in the way. We all lead busy lives and unfortunately writing isn’t my day job… if only… but I think it comes down to motivation in the end. With Taking Care of Business it was different. I love the Cote d’ Azure and enjoyed weaving those stunning locations into the novel. I also like the characters. There is no doubt that good characters are incredibly important when reading a novel, but I have discovered that they are equally as important for the writer too. If the author doesn’t believe in his own characters he has no right inflicting them on his readers. It was the characters in Taking Care of Business that helped me see the project through and complete my debut novel. They just seemed to develop as my writing progressed. Each one is changed in some way by the events that take place during the seven days of the story, and most end up being quite different people from the individuals you initially meet in the early chapters.
I am sure it is true that everyone has a novel within them, writing about locations you love and characters you like, admire, truly hate, or come to love just makes the whole process that little bit easier.
2. What inspired you to write this book?
That’s an easy one… Chapter ten actually happened. It was a Sunday afternoon in September 2014 when…
I could go on, but I don’t really want to spoil the story.
But, since you’ve asked… in the book, it’s three business colleagues that are having an early dinner in a pizza restaurant on the Promenades des Anglais when things start to get interesting. This particular restaurant, which is still there by the way, has a very pleasant setting just outside the famous old flower market with stunning views out to sea, yet it still feels like it is right at the heart of the hustle and bustle of the city. Add beautiful autumnal sunshine and a very appealing menu and you have the actual setting for the events that gave me the inspiration to write the book.
If you substitute my partner, Karen and me for the characters Gary, Doug and Paul, the rest of chapter ten would be completely at home in the non-fiction section of the library.
There was one other thing. Purely by coincidence, we were checked into a hotel bedroom with a set of connecting doors which linked us directly to the bedroom next door. In fact, those bedrooms were indeed rooms 732 and 733 as in the story. Now, I may be a career hotelier, but I am not a fan of connecting hotel bedrooms for many of the reasons detailed in the book, but it was the combination of the incident in the pizza restaurant and our bedroom allocation that, when taken together, set my imagination running wild. The rest as they say is history… or more accurately, the rest is pure fiction and can be found in the appropriate section of your favourite participating retailer.
3. If you could sell this book in one sentence what would it be?
When Paul Smith travels to the south of France for a sales conference, events conspire to drag him into a world of kidnappings, blackmail and murder; can he get to the truth, and does he have what it takes to keep those he cares about safe, and himself alive? Simply Taking Care of Business just became a matter of life and death…
4. What are you up to next?
Back to the day job. Hotels are my passion. But, there is certainly scope for another book and between you and me, I’ve already made a start.
5. Who is your biggest inspiration?
So hard to say… there are so many inspiring people in the world and for so many different reasons. If pushed for an answer I would say anyone who puts on a uniform and faces danger every day. They are ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things as a mater of routine… one can’t help but be inspired.
… and Martin Johnson, the legendary Leicester Tigers, England and British Lions Captain. He put on a uniform too, strode like a colossus on to the field of battle and won everything there was to win. A man of few words yet his actions and leadership won him the respect of a sporting generation – that’s also pretty inspiring to me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Residing in the East Midlands, J. D. de Roeck is a career hotelier and company directory.
He loves travel and regularly visits the South of France, Nice, Monaco and Cannes. Taking Care of Business is his first novel.
The inspiration for this novel came from one of his many trips abroad.