Book Review

This is one of the most exciting, extraordinary, brilliant crime thriller, full of nail biting suspense, spine chilling murders, and highly impossible to put down story. Author Ray Clark is a master story teller and what a fascinating read! Detective Inspector Stewart Gardner visits the first crime scene, which is the stage of Grand Theatre where the gruesome corpse of actor Leonard White, completely drained of blood, is found. The killer is a highly intelligent maniac who leaves behind a puzzling clue as if to challenge the cops to prevent the subsequent murders from happening. But more decapitated, mutilated bodies with taunting messages show up at different locations. During the course of investigation, DI Gardner finds out that his own father, Malcolm, could be one of the intended victims of the psycho killer. There are so many startling revelations and unexpected twists and turns that you would definitely get goosebumps as you turn every page. This is an absolutely flawless, perfect, mind boggling crime thriller. It’s definitely a must read for all the lovers of mysteries and great thrillers.


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“This is ridiculous,” blasted Police Chief Ranade. “This is the fifth kidnapping in a month.” “We have to do something before the matter escalates to another level.” Inspector Shyam Talpade spoke up, saying, “We are doing our best to trace them.” Ranade shook his head and said, “The press and the public are desperate to know whether these people are dead or alive.” Shyam responded, “We do understand your position, sir.” My men tried to trace the location of their cell phones, but without any success. Whoever kidnapped them was too clever to leave behind even a tiny clue.
Ranade snorted, “How can you crack a joke at this moment?” Do you honestly think that any criminal in his right mind would leave behind some clues for us to follow and implicate himself? “Our eyes and minds should be sharp enough to find out his error.” Shyam felt ashamed and mumbled a quick apology. The entire Mumbai Police had assembled for an emergency meeting to discuss the recent spate of kidnappings. Five businessmen had been kidnapped since February 15th, 2023. They were Ghanshyam Das (manufacturer of plastics and plastic-related products), Ashok Bhinde (chemicals), Suresh Mehta (sound systems), Mohan Shastri (construction company), and Paritosh Kumar (leading cosmetics manufacturer).Inspector Shyam continued to speak, “Sir, I find it weird that the victims’ families haven’t yet received any calls for ransom.” It might be an act of revenge. “We have to dig up the dirt on these people and find out who might want to settle their scores against them.” The rest of the officers agreed with him. They discussed how to handle the media while simultaneously working on tracing these men, and the meeting ended after an hour. 
Inspector Shyam returned to his table and asked SI Diwakar to join him for a cup of tea, as he was experiencing a severe headache. While they sipped tea from their respective glasses, Diwakar told, “Sir, all these guys have PILs filed against them that were subsequently dismissed due to a lack of evidence.” Shyam felt excited and said, “Excellent.” “Who filed the petition against them and why?” Diwakar said, “It was Mr. Kiran Kumar, a journalist from the Daily News in Mumbai. He was concerned about their companies causing all kinds of pollution and leading to various health hazards. But they seemed to have teamed up together, and not only did they get the PIL quashed, but they also filed a defamation suit against him, causing him to lose his job.” Shyam said, “Do you have the address of this guy?” It’s time to have a little chat with him.
Shyam and Diwakar went to visit Kiran, who was writing an article for a magazine. “Mr. Kiran,” said Shyam, “I am sure you would know the purpose of our visit.” Five businessmen have been kidnapped, and we don’t have any clues as to their whereabouts. I was hoping you could help us out. Kiran simply shrugged and responded, “How the hell would I know where they went?” “They must be faking their kidnapping to get more publicity for their ruthless businesses, which are destroying Mother Nature.” Diwakar asked, “The kidnapper abducted them with a timeframe of 3 days between each kidnapping.” Mr. Ghanshyam Das was the first person to go missing on February 15, 2023. Can you give us your alibi? “Where were you during all these kidnappings?” Kiran chuckled, “It’s been a month since I lost my job, and to make matters worse, these wealthy idiots sought more money from me by filing a defamation suit.” I think justice is already dead in this country. The wealthy criminals flash money, and they are scot-free. On the contrary, an innocent person who cares for the welfare of society is punished. Well, if you think I could kidnap them, wouldn’t I have demanded half of their wealth as ransom? I don’t care a fig if they are safe or dead. So, please don’t expect cooperation from me.” Kiran gave them the details of his whereabouts on the days these people disappeared. 
A couple of days later, Inspector Shyam was busy following up the leads on the kidnapping cases when Sunanda, Ghanshyam Das’ wife, turned up at the police station. She was frantic and burst into tears as she addressed Shyam: “Inspector, my 11-year-old daughter, Tanika, is missing since last evening. She went to attend her mathematics coaching class but didn’t come back.I called her friends, but no one claims to have seen her after school.” Inspector Shyam offered her a glass of water and asked her to sit while he filed an FIR. It so happened that the children of the kidnapped men were also missing from their respective residential areas. 

Meanwhile, the kidnapped men were struggling to cut through the ropes that held their wrists and legs together. The kidnapper who was dressed in an all black attire with a mask, laughed at their plight. He pulled out the gags from their mouths to listen to their pleading. Ashok Bhinde, whose company produced chemicals, almost cried out, ” Please spare our lives. Name your price and you shall have it. My friends and I promise not to mention you at all.” His friends merely nodded. The kidnapper yelled at them, ” I don’t want your pieces of paper scraps that you call money. Shove them up your asses. I have to show you something to demand what I actually want. “

He switched on the big LED screen and a picture came into view. It was Ghanshyam’s daughter, Tanika. She had a plastic bag wrapped over her head and struggling to breathe. Ghanshyam screamed, ” Nooooooo…… Please take all my money but spare my baby. She’s my only kid. What did she do to deserve this kind of treatment? ” The kidnapper retorted, ” She’s simply paying the price for your misdeeds. You are manufacturing plastics and plastic products. Have you ever realized that your company contributes to the environmental damage? Poor stray animals who search the garbage dumps for food, either get their heads or throats stuck in those non- biodegradable covers and choke on them, losing their lives. People dump plastic water bottles in seas and rivers. The marine life gets hurt. Do you know what choking means? How does it feel when your daughter is gasping for breath? You are not concerned about others and other forms of lives that are affected by your business. You will do anything to protect your daughter because she’s your blood. Have you ever cared about Mother Nature? Everyone has a right to live. Your company products are hazardous. You also manufacture plastic toys which if swallowed by a toddler would cause his death. If I am not mistaken, one of your employees’ lost her one year old son after you gave her a plastic toy as a birthday gift, and he put it in his mouth.” ” But,” replied Ghanshyam, ” I gave her ₹1,00,000 as the monetary compensation.”

The kidnapper was furious, ” Don’t justify your barbaric actions. Is the value of a human life, only ₹ 1,00,000? In that case, let your daughter stop breathing. I will transfer double the amount in your bank account.” Ghanshyam pleaded, ” No, please. Her life is more precious to me than your money. I promise to change my business and open a restaurant instead. I will provide high quality food at reasonable rates to all.” The kidnapper smirked and gave him a paper to sign. When Ghanshyam finished signing, he returned the document. The kidnapper picked up his phone and shortly, Tanika, was freed. She ran to hug her father who was kissing her on the forehead. The kidnapper said, “You have to wait here until I finish my business with your friends too.” He turned to face Ashok, who almost peed in his pants waiting to find out what was in store for him.

Ashok’s son came into the picture. He was hardly 9. A mean looking guy was pointing a gun at his forehead. He forced the boy, Akash, to pick up the glass of the contaminated water, ordering him to drink it. Ashok screamed, ” Don’t let my child drink that contaminated muddy water. He will fall sick or even die.” The kidnapper retorted, ” You never thought about water contamination and how it would affect others while dumping the chemical wastes freely in the sea. Do you have any idea of the damage that you caused? Nearly 20 turtles were washed ashore with toxins in their bodies. Hundreds of dead fishes led to food poisoning among the fishermen and their families. Don’t they deserve to live?” Ashok hung his head in shame. He chose to promote nursery and gardening. He, too, signed the papers and got his boy safe and unharmed. Ghanshyam and Ashok waited as it was Suresh Mehta’s turn. Another video came to replace the previous one. It showed his three year old twins, Pari, and Aniket crying over the thunderous sound of music. It was blaring loud enough to cause an ear splitting ache for the adults. Suresh begged him to stop torturing his kids. He said, ” I understand what you are trying to convey through this video. Please don’t strain your vocal chords. I will open coaching classes instead of causing noise pollution through these sound systems.” The kidnapper smiled and released his kids after obtaining their signatures. Mohan Shastri had contractors who would chop down the trees mercilessly to build tall skyscrapers. He saw his children, Monica and Arjun, gasping for breath as they were locked in a room completely devoid of oxygen. The kidnapper said, ” Your children are merely enacting what would happen if you continue deforestation. Trees give us oxygen and help in maintaining the ozone layer. You would know this if you ever went to school in your life. We drained out oxygen from the room. They are choking over the carbon dioxide that’s coming out of their nostrils.” Mohan promised to promote Wildlife conservation and plant more trees. He signed along the dotted lines like his friends. Finally, it was Paritosh’s turn. He was too stunned to speak as the kidnapper turned on the next video where one of the men was forcibly applying the face cream manufactured by Paritosh’s company.

The kidnapper said, ” Don’t worry. We are simply testing the cosmetics made by your company on your darling teenaged daughter, Meena. Let’s see if the cream makes her skin glow. Because I heard you test your beauty products on innocent animals and the girls belonging to a poor family. How does it feel when your daughter has pimples, zits, and acnes developing on her beautiful face? It’s the use of chemicals like whitening agents and bleaches, right? ” Paritosh begged him to spare his daughter. He promised to turn over a new leaf and open a fitness center cum gym instead of selling defective cosmetics. He signed up the paper and got back his daughter too. Ghanshyam spoke, ” Are you Kiran, the journalist? “

The kidnapper replied, ” My identity is none of your business. If you value your lives, just go back to the hell that you call homes. Arrange for a press conference and make the announcement of your new business plans. Tell them that you were briefly away to discuss a new business opportunity. If you ever try to mention this kidnapping businesses, you will lose your reputation in the society. I have some of your juiciest secrets which I won’t hesitate to share over the social media.” The five men had learned a lesson and made their way out from their temporary imprisonment. The kidnapper removed his mask and stood before the mirror and the Police Chief, Ranade, stood smiling at him.


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Book review

Goodbye Linden Square by Anne Shillolo is a superb, fascinating, fast moving crime thriller. Anne Shillolo happens to be one of my most favorite authors because I love her compelling, exciting story narration. DC Holly Towns is an awesome lady cop who has excellent sleuthing skills. Her intuition rarely goes wrong and her relationship with Detective Danny Cavallo is very interesting. ‘I enjoy reading their friendly banter and occasional arguments.

Wow! Right from Page one, I was completely hooked. My daughter and husband had to force me to get up and cook. 😂😂😂😂. Anne, you are awesome and only you can come up with these kinds of fascinating thrillers.

There’s been a storm at Port Alma ( a town in Canada) resulting in complete blackout with trees and power lines uprooted. DC Holly Towns and Detective Cavallo are in their CIU ( Crime Investigations Unit) discussing whether their assistance is required. Holly receives a text message from her good friend, Gracie Winston, informing her about the mysterious death of Sherisse Coyne at her residence, 99 Linden Square. Her boss, Sergeant Sheila Urban also receives a call reporting the same death.
DC Holly Towns and Detective Danny Cavallo are asked to report to the crime scene. The Forensic Expert, Dr. Alice Santos, and Abby Freeman, Forensic Technician are called to examine the body. The Forensic Team reports a foul play. Sherisse’s dead body was discovered one of her close friends, Shirley Egan. Her corpse is found at the bottom of the stairs to make it look like an accidental fall. Gracie Winston and her friends, Shirl Spenser, Geraldine Quinn and Shirley Egan give their statements.

However, there’s more to come. Holly and Danny stumble upon another dead body under an uprooted tree. What makes this case extremely baffling is how the murderer made his way into Sherisse’s house and killed her. Someone knew the security code and so the alarm was disabled. The police are puzzled to find that no valuables are stolen until they discover a grand theft of something unique. What was stolen and why?

During the course of investigation, Holly comes to know that her old nemesis, Donovan Hatch, is conducting a local event and is shocked to find Delaney warning her to pay attention. Then there’s a sniper attack on Donovan. Holly’s shocked to find the sniper moving away from the tower at 99, Linden Square. Wow! Are these incidents interrelated? What about the old dead body discovered in Sherisse’s garden? Who was it? Is someone avenging the death of the corpse in the past?

This is one of the most exciting books I have ever read. I am grateful to Ms. Anne Shillolo for giving me this mind blowing thriller as an advance review copy. Do not miss to buy this book on Amazon on January 27th, 2023. Highly recommended for reading.


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Inspector Krishan experienced a migraine after the emergency meeting convened by the top police officials. SI Sudhakar got two cups of tea for both of them. Sudhakar said, “Sir, we are at our wit’s end. The Sharmas ended their lives. The media is baying for our blood. We have to get back on our feet to search for the clues. “

The inspector sipped his tea and replied, ” You are right. But the culprit is very clever. He hasn’t left any clues behind. It’s not that I expected him to be foolish enough to leave something for us. “How should we begin our investigation?” SI Sudhakar replied, ” Sir, can we check if there was a CCTV installed anywhere on the site of the disappearance? Also, we can search the houses of the kidnapped victims and ask the neighbours if they saw anything. “

Krishan said, ” It’s a good suggestion, but I don’t expect anyone to co-operate. Anyway, we have to start somewhere or the Chief will kick us out of our jobs. ” He sent a couple of his men to check for CCTV footage in all the locations where the victims were kidnapped. He and Sudhakar went to question Navin’s neighbours because he was the first to disappear. His marriage to Alia was to take place on August 24, 2022. It was the day when Alia committed suicide. Inspector Krishan had let him go. This fact disturbed Sudhakar, despite the flimsy explanation given to him by the Inspector. He was also suspicious about the casual attitude and the bunch of lies given to Navin’s parents.

Sudhakar knew better than to voice his opinion. He was sure that Inspector Krishan was corrupt and was either the main culprit or an aide to the mastermind behind these mysterious disappearances. He couldn’t directly approach the ASP without any evidence, and decided to collect evidence against the Inspector to expose him.

Meanwhile, the Guptas and Akshar were confined to a dungeon-like room with security guards posted outside. They were given food and water at regular intervals. Akshar cursed himself for trusting a stranger and allowing himself to be kidnapped. He started shouting, ” Where are you, bastard? What did you do to Navin? Why have you kidnapped us? ” The Guptas were too petrified of his actions. They were teasing him to be quiet or they would end up losing their lives. Suddenly, the TV in front of them came alive. 
Akshar and the Guptas watched in horror as Navin was begging for his life. The stranger had also kidnapped Vikram. Both of them were hanging upside down with a hungry lion opening its jaws. The stranger now faced the Guptas and Akshar. He chuckled, ” If you want your and Navin’s lives to be spared, you have to do as I say. Gupta, call your daughter, Pooja, and invite her to join you for your mini vacation. Secondly, all of you will be posting messages on social media, stating that you are enjoying your stay in Shimla with Navin and Vikram. The police need not bother to search for you. If you try to deceive me, all of you would end up as food for the lion.”

Mr. Gupta mustered the courage to ask, ” Why do you want to involve my daughter in this? What did my family do to you? Please spare our lives. We promise not to reveal anything to the police.” The stranger replied, ” Do as I say and no more questions. Don’t worry. I will tell you about the heroic exploits of your disgusting family just before you die.”

The Guptas were trembling in fear. Akshar too fell silent. Navin and Vikram were chanting Hanuman Chalisa. It was like watching the climax of some movie. Gupta called his daughter Pooja, asking her to join them on a trip. He also said that a man would be picking them up from her residence. She was delighted and replied, ” My husband, Shyaam, would also like to come with me.” Gupta reluctantly gave her consent to bring her spouse. The stranger gave them a mysterious smile.

He drove a BMW to pick Pooja and her husband. Pooja stepped inside the car, followed by Shyaam. He took off at a lightning speed. The couple were scared by his rash driving. ” Hey, be careful! “implored Pooja, ” We aren’t in a hurry” ” Oh no! ” cried the stranger, ” But I am in a great hurry.” The stranger removed his sunglasses and hat. Pooja gasped and exclaimed, ” I can’t believe you are still alive. Please forgive me. I won’t tell anyone about you. You are a good person. Please spare us. I am pregnant. If not for me, have mercy on my baby.” The stranger let out a huge guffaw and retorted, ” Do you think your sins are pardonable? Certainly not. I don’t care about your pregnancy. Sorry, Pooja and Shyaam. Your journey ends here.” The stranger jumped out of the running vehicle and pressed a button on the remote. The car exploded into several pieces along with its occupants. Pooja and Shyaam were the first casualties in the game of revenge. Their bodies were badly mutilated and charred beyond recognition. The stranger wiped a tear from his eye and said, ” Sorry, my love. You betrayed me and had to be punished for your cruelty.”

He hitchhiked to his hideout with the cruel video recording for the Guptas. Before he could torment them with the news about their daughter, The stranger celebrated with a bottle of champagne. The Guptas and Akshar were shocked when their TV came to life with the video of Pooja and Shyaam getting blown to pieces. Gupta had a massive cardiac arrest after watching the death of his beloved daughter. He died on the spot, leaving his wife in total shock. Akshar was speechless as the stranger moved towards his next prey. Navin and Vikram’s lives were in danger. What’s going to happen next? Will Akshar and Mrs. Gupta live to tell their tale?

SI Sudhakar wanted to spy on Inspector Krishan. He sought the help of a private investigator to follow the Inspector. Would SI Sudhakar succeed in his mission? Watch out for the next episode for more twists and turns.

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Author Anne Shillolo has penned a wonderful crime thriller that keeps the readers quite intrigued and glued to their seats. I found it very difficult to put down and practically had to drag myself out of the seat to my household chores. Awesome, fantastic, and excellent is how I would describe this book.

Detective Danny Cavallo, DCs ( Detective Constables) Holly Towns, Nathan Keele from the CIU ( Criminal Investigation Unit) under the order from Sergeant Shiela Urban and Montgomery Savoie, an officer from the Narcotics Unit are directed to take control of the massive unrest at Lakeshore Central High School, planned by the kids against the proposed closure of the school due to the drop in student enrollment. The riots escalate, and a blonde girl with a broken glass bottle tries to attack DC Holly Towns who hits her on the wrist in self-defense but the girl hurls abuses at her and immediately the pic of Holly hitting the girl, Delaney Hatch, goes viral on the social media. Suddenly, there is an explosion at the supposed Meth lab, followed by an aircraft which takes a nosedive and was supposed to land at Sky Field, Port Alma’s small airport. It crashes and is followed by another explosion.

Two teenagers, Landon Webb, and Kyle Russo, are suspected of the involvement in the Meth Lab explosion case while Holly gets into deep trouble after Delaney accuses her of hitting her on the face which is a big lie. She and her rich father, Donovan, are planning to sue the police department. Can Holly prove her innocence? Are the three cases of the drug rackets, explosion, and aircraft crash inter-related? Who’s behind the series of horror? Do you want to know what happens next? Do not forget to buy this book which will be out for purchase on 30th September, 2022. This is one of Anne’s best books. I highly recommend it for reading.

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Navin Gupta was getting ready for his dream marriage to his sweetheart, Alia Kashyap, the only daughter of a wealthy businessman. He had chased her relentlessly and finally managed to get her parents’ consent to marry her. His parents had money flashing in front of their eyes, when they learned about her social status and wealth. They encouraged him in his romantic pursuit. They had faked their family status to get the approval of Alia’s parents.

Alia hated him and wished she could escape from this dreadful disaster but like Navin’s parents, they considered it a great prestige to get their daughter married off to a heir of great fortune. Little did they know that they were being conned into a marriage of convenience.

Naveen’ s friends continued to tease him as he wore his cream-colored Sherwani and donned the turban. He looked handsome as he grinned at his friend and proceeded towards the pandal decorated in the marriage hall. The priest asked him to take his seat while requesting Alia’s parents to fetch the bride. It was precisely at this moment that an ear piercing scream echoed throughout the hall. The guests were dumbfounded. Alia’s best friend, Madhumita, came running towards the Kashyaps. She couldn’t utter a single word and fell down unconscious. Mrs. Vinita Kashyap sprinkled water on Madhu and offered her a glass to drink. ” What’s the matter? ” she asked, ” Why did you scream? Where’s Alia?” Madhu couldn’t utter a single word. She simply dragged Mrs. Kashyap towards Alia’s room. Alia’s body was hanging from the ceiling fan. There was a letter. It was probably a suicide note. She had written:

“Dear Mom and Dad,

You are too blinded by money to see Navin’s truth. He’s a lying bastard belonging to a middle class family. He has played with many girls’ lives, using them as sex objects. You won’t believe me but I received a video of his infidelity. You can’t call off this wedding because of your fake prestige issue. So I have decided to take this step. Please promise me to get the idiot womanizer arrested for my death.

Yours lovingly
Alia. “

Mrs. Kashyap burst into tears. Her husband followed suit. He consoled his wife and checked Alia’s mobile to verify the truth behind her accusation. The video clip showed Navin deliberately forcing himself on a girl who was pleading for mercy. The Kashyaps were furious and they called the police.

Navin was anxious and so was his parents. The police stormed into the marriage hall, taking Navin into custody. ” What’s happening?” he cried” For God’s sake, where’s Alia? Why are you arresting me? ” Inspector Krishan Saxena replied, ” You are under arrest for fraud, abetment to suicide, and a possible rape. Alia Kashyap has blamed you for her death. We have also received a video footage of your sexual assault on Rohini Khanna. She has filed an FIR against you for the rape.” Mr. Kashyap was so angry that he slapped Navin and yelled, ” You are a third rate sick criminal. In fact, your parents should also be behind bars for the alleged fraud. But no, I am not going to file any charge against them. Let them witness their son getting punished on their behalf as well.” Navin could not believe his eyes and ears. How could Alia do this to him! His parents pleaded with the Kashyaps to drop the charges against him and that they would leave the city forever.

Mr. Kashyap refused to entertain their plea and the police hauled Navin into the police jeep. His friends were too scared to come to his aid and fled away when they got a chance. His parents wept bitterly after watching the Apple of their eye being dragged mercilessly towards the police station.

Inspector Krishan pushed him to get inside the police jeep and started driving immediately. They stopped outside a roadside tea stall when Inspector Krishan uncuffed Navin and said, ” You are free to go, pal. I pretended to arrest you because of the wealthy socialites, The Kashyaps. I understand your problem. One of your ex-girlfriends must be trying to ruin your life by framing you for a crime you didn’t commit. Girls are quite vengeful these days. Just stay of this city and lead a new life. I pity your parents. So, please try not to get into further trouble. ” Krishan winked at him as Navin expressed his gratitude and left the place.

He was actually running at top speed to meet his parents. He wanted to flee the city as soon as possible and make a new start. As soon as he turned around the corner, a black car screeched to a halt beside him. A masked man pointed a gun at him, forcing him to get inside. Navin was too scared to say anything. He did as he was told. The masked man sat beside him and ordered the driver to start the car.

” Who are you? Why have you kidnapped me?” asked Navin. The masked guy removed the mask. Navin was astonished to see the identity of the stranger. ” No, it’s not possible! ” he screamed, ” You can’t do this to me! Please let me go. I will do whatever you say. ” The stranger let out an evil laugh, ” You and your friends never showed mercy on young, innocent girls before feeding upon them. This is the price for your mistake. Don’t think your friends will escape from the punishment.”
And an eerie silence followed.

The police returned to the station without the prisoner. The SI said, ” Sir, why did you let him go? He had committed a heinous crime.” The inspector laughed and said, ” Don’t worry, young man. We will say that one of his friends posted his bail and he has left the city for good.” The Sub Inspector said nothing. He didn’t like the way the Inspector handled the case.

The next day, Navin’s parents came to visit their son and post his bail. Inspector Krishan said, ” Dear Sir, you will be glad to know that one of Navin’s friend has already posted his bail. He left the city last night.” Navin’s parents appeared to heave a sigh of relief until a sudden thought struck Mr. Gupta. He said, ” Why didn’t he call us after his release? At least, you could have informed us.” The inspector replied, ” Sir, please try to understand. This is a high profile case. The Kashyaps should not know that he has been released or Mr. Kashyap could hire a hitman to kill your son. This is just to keep him safe. He will call you as soon as he is assured of his safety. His parents were satisfied with his response. They went home quite cheerful, unaware of the impending doom.

Watch out for the next episode for a spine chilling crime.

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Book review.

Masquerade by Adam Nicholls is simply fantastic. Wow! I couldn’t stop reading even for a moment. Missing, the first book, was super fabulous. This one had me completely enthralled.

The book begins with Johnny Walker, a young man of just twenty-one who’s seeking the company of a prostitute. He meets a gorgeous woman who promises to give him a good time. Unfortunately, the guy ends up dead with a message carved on his torso, ” MASON BLACK IS A MURDERER,” signed off by ‘ LADY LUCK’.

The police detective, Bill Harvey, who’s a good friend of Detective turned PI ( private investigator) Mason Black, brings it to his notice. Mason is in trouble. He has to clear his name fast before he’s arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. Someone has it in for Mason. Then,Mason decides to use his sister, Evie, as a bait to lure the killer but she ends up getting kidnapped. More gruesome murders follow and Evie’s life in danger. How will Mason prove his innocence?Will he able to rescue Evie or is it too late? Who’s the Lady Luck killer and what did Mason do to earn the animosity of a psychopath?

It’s a hard to put down crime thriller. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Adam Nicholls is a master storyteller whose books have an impressive storyline and who has a knack of keeping the readers guessing over what will happen next. Highly recommended for all the lovers of crime thrillers.

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Book review

This is a splendid thriller set in the exotic location of Kilwinnoch, Scotland. It’s quite intriguing and the story moves at a great speed. There’s never a dull moment. In fact, I kept chewing on my nails as I turned each page to find out what happened next. A fantastic book by TG Reid. Richard Jones, a geography teacher at Kilwinnoch Academy goes missing while he’s on a trip ( mainly for the photography). His body is discovered near Braeburn Falls ( also Blood Water Falls). DCI Duncan Bones leads the investigation with DI Walker, DS Mullens, DS Baxter with DC Harper and their chief Gallacher. Richard is considered as a hero by many who supported environmental cause and as a result, antagonized some businesses. The police is under tremendous pressure to solve the case. DCI Bones has problems of his own. He sees a ghostly figure after suffering from PTSD. He jumps into the investigation. DS Mullens learns from his former teacher, Miss Dawn Palmers that Richard had a fight with Brandon Kinross, his colleague and arch rival in the photography competition instigated by Oliver Morton a day before his disappearance. There are plenty of suspects, Brandon, Oliver and the Springsteen brothers, renowned for stealing rare birds and eggs , who showed up near the crime scene. The suspect is too Clever to leave behind any trail. He threatens DCI Bones and his teams by setting fire to Bones’ Apartment, then cutting the brakes of Bones’ car, almost leading to his death and attacking a prisoner . Can Bones overcome his PTSD trauma and protect his image from the savage media? There are most exciting twists and turns and the climax is fantastic. It’s a must read for all crime thriller lovers.

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Inspector Vishwas received an anonymous tip citing the last seen location of Monica Aggarwal. He gathered a handful of officers and went to a deserted guest house in Lajpat Nagar area. It must be midnight when Vishwas asked his men to spread around and search the culprit in every nook and corner of the guest house. He entered the reception area and found Monica in a transparent nightie. She eyed him lasciviously. Vishwas found his jaw dropping in surprise as she swayed her sexy hips and licking the corners of her mouth. Despite being already married, Vishwas found himself hardening. He tried to exercise great self-control to avert being seduced by a murderer. In the end, lust won. He took her in his arms and kissed those delicious lips as their tongues intertwined in passion. He removed his clothes and fell on top of her now naked body. Suddenly, he was taken aback by a sharp pain and screamed in horror as Monica severed his private parts with fury in her eyes. She said, ” You are a cheat and a scoundrel! How dare you defile the sacred institution of marriage? You are going to die now. ” She forced him to take the pistol and shoot himself. He was about to press the trigger and then thud!

He fell off the bed. Thank goodness! It was just a nightmare. The bitch had scared the shit out of him. He was so frustrated that he got up from his bed and watched his wife snoring away peacefully while he was getting restless. The entire police force was under tremendous pressure to catch her dead or alive. He glanced at the clock. It was 3.30 AM. He had a glass of water and went back to bed.

The next day, he dropped his son, Harish, at the school and resumed his duty at the police station. He tried going through the files for a clue that could point towards Monica. The woman was getting bolder day by day. Fortunately, there were no murders reported for the week. He couldn’t understand why Monica was specifically targeting him.

The IT technicians rectified his computer problem and installed a special software that could prevent any suspicious hacking. Vishwas also made it clear with his colleagues that they weren’t supposed to entertain anyone in his absence. He asked SI Gautam to dig for information on Monica Aggarwal’s past. While they were clutching for straws to put an end to this reign of terror, Vishwas received a call from his wife, Shalini.
She was sounding terrified. She said, ” Vishwas, our son Harish, hasn’t come home yet. It’s been more than an hour since the school ended. I searched for him everywhere but he’s gone. Someone has kidnapped our son.” Vishwas felt his mobile slipping from his hand. Gautam was alarmed on seeing his senior’s reaction. He offered him a glass of water and asked what the matter was!

Vishwas said, ” Monica has kidnapped my only son. I don’t know what I did to offend her but she seems to be targeting me. I will hack her to pieces if she dared to harm Harish.” Vishwas and Gautam went to Harish’s school, The Holy Angel. They met with the school principal and Harish’s teachers. None of them had any idea on how Harish miraculously disappeared from right under their noses. They wanted to check the CCTV footage but it revealed nothing out of the ordinary.

Vishwas dreaded going home. How was he going to face his wife? He lost the only apple of his eye. He prayed for the kidnapper to make a ransom call. He would do anything to get back his son alive. He also decided that if he managed to rescue Harish, he would give up his job as he no longer considered himself fit for donning the noble uniform.

Gautam tried to divert his attention. He said, ” Sir, isn’t it possible that Monica deliberately kidnapped your son to stop you from investigating the serial killing in the form of accidents and suicides? Are you going to give her the pleasure of gloating over her victory? Please don’t give up your hope. If she wins, then other criminals will follow in her footsteps. It’s our responsibility to protect the citizens from all the criminals.” Vishwas groaned, ” You are right, Gautam. But I failed to protect my own son. I have no rights to don this uniform. If I can’t protect my own family, how can I defend others? “

Gautam was shocked at his boss’s attitude. He said, ” Sir, I have always regarded you as my idol. You have successfully put so many gangsters behind the bar. Did it ever occur to you at any point of time that your family was always under the risk of getting hurt by criminals? No. Because you were focused on your duty. Why are you deviating from the path of performing your duty? Don’t get distracted by your fatherly love taking precedence over a responsible officer. Even if you do resign, do you think it would be honorable discharge from duties? You have been a perfect police officer with no black mark in his entire career. Don’t make your family feel ashamed of you.”

Vishwas was stunned to hear these words of wisdom from Gautam. He felt ashamed of himself for his momentary weakness as a father. He decided to be brave and face the music rather than hiding like a coward. He thanked Gautam and went home. No sooner did he enter the home, he was in for a pleasant surprise. Harish came running towards him and gave him a tight hug.
” Shalini, ” he said, ” How did this miracle happen and why didn’t you inform me earlier? “
He turned to face a middle aged woman smiling at him. Shalini said, ” This is Mrs. Laxmi. She saved our son from getting in the harm’s way. She saw some goons approaching Harish. She walked towards him and led him towards her house until the danger passed away. Had it not been for her, God only knows what would have happened?”

Inspector Vishwas thanked Laxmi and wanted to offer her some cash reward but she refused to take it. She said, ” Sir, I don’t want this money. I only did my duty to protect your child. I am currently in need of a job. If you could help me, I would remain indebted to you forever.” Vishwas hired her as a cook.

Watch out for the next episode of Catch me if you can for more twists and turns.

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Book review.

Well, as it’s printed on the book cover, one murder, one victim, and two bodies. Wait, How is it possible? It piques your curiosity, right? I too was quite impressed with the story for the first half. But…… But…….. But…. As the story progressed, I got properly confused. Whoa! I have never read a book more confusing and complicated than this one. I have to admit that it gives your brain something to think about. A very super exciting story losing the plot in the midway.

Former DI Derek Salmon is dying of cancer and on his own walks into the police station to confess to the murder of Angela Martin, the only daughter of a local gangster, Daniel aka Danny Martin and specifically asks for DI Declan Walsh as he was his former protege. Walsh refuses to accept that his mentor could do anything wrong. Derek tells him that he had been forced to confess on behalf of another Local gangster, The seven Sisters headed by Janelle Delacourt. Walsh informs his immediate boss, Alexander Monroe on Derek’s predicament. Derek leads them to the spot where he claimed to have buried Angela.

But there’s another twist on the tale as there’s another dead body discovered at another location with the same DNA and same fingerprints as in Angela’s case. And here begins the chaos! How can a dead person die at another place? Because DNA can be the same but not the fingerprints. To cover this technical error, it’s shown that the forensic team in another location performed only DNA test and the fingerprints turn out to be different. Then more murders follow and the basic idea is that the inter-gang turf war went wrong and the same person murdered the two victims to ruin Declan Walsh’s career.

I loved the plot. It was quite good but had it not been made too complicated, I would have certainly recommended it for reading. No problem. I will try the next one in the series.

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