Family Ties by Richard Risemberg

Richard Risemberg is a self-published & budding British writer. His genre specializes in exploring and sensitizing human relationships. His novel Family Ties, published in 2016, is divided into three sections. It is a mystery trapped in various complex relationships. One can say that it is quite similar to Khaled Hosseini’s, A Thousand Splendid Sons. As, the former depicts family issues of marriage, love, trust and war, similarly, the latter too showcases family relationships but with a twist of solving up a mystery.

The story opens up with a beautiful description of Lake Helena in Sierra foothills at Los Angeles. The protagonist, Lenny Strasser, a print shop production manager with his landlord and ex-cop friend Red Henshaw arrive here to relax. The narrative and plot of the story is simple yet complex. A Mexican couple Ray and Julia follow them and interestingly, the reason behind this action is not cited. Then, its revealed that landlord Red is missing. Lenny with his relative Uncle Angle, his friend Clarence and Mrs. Williamson, wife of retired cop Mae Belle Williamson investigate about the incident. The mystery begins its journey with the revelation of Red’s whereabouts along with Connie, another person surrounded by the mystery in a dying state. The novel ends in unraveling of a double mystery.

Thus, I rate this novel 5/5. To me, reading this novel was an exciting and overwhelming experience. The narrative technique developed a superb interest in me such that it made me curious to know what next now.

Till the last page of the novel, my heart beat had remained heightened. When I reached the moment that stated double mystery, it swayed me with many questions in my mind. Who kidnapped Red? Is it a personal revenge of someone? Will Lenny be able to save him? Will Lenny succeed in exposing the culprit? What if Red dies? Will the mystery be revealed? If yes, how? Thus, to witness the climax, the novel is must a read.

Moreover, the presentation of the novel in its mysterious form attracted my attention to explore what the mystery Is all about. Therefore, to conclude, the novel title is apt as it highlights the relationship of bondage, love, trust, faith and happiness. The author through mysterious ways has beautifully described the importance of these strong emotional concepts in a person’s life.

You can reach out to Richard Risemberg at

rickrise@earthlink.net
323-428-4669
crowtreebooks.com

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The Night of – A TV Show More Than Just a Simple Crime Drama!

The Night Of is an American Crime television show that was premiered in 2016. It is a miniseries based on Criminal Justice, a 2008–09 British television series. The plot of The Night of revolves around a college student Nasir Khan (Riz Ahmed) and a crime that he may or may not have committed.

One night Nasir’s invited to a party and takes his father’s cab without permission. However, when Andrea Cornish (Sofia Black-D’Elia) gets into his cab, he has trouble telling her to leave the taxi. Soon, they both end up at Andrea’s place where they consume illegal drugs and get intimate. The next scene shows Nasir waking up in the kitchen and going upstairs to get his things, which is when he discovers that Andrea is dead. In blind panic, he runs out of the house only to realize that he left his keys inside. He breaks in to her house, grabs his jacket which has his keys, a vial and a blood covered knife. A neighbor sees him breaking into Andrea’s house and run out a minute later and calls the police.

Nasir is pulled over a couple of blocks away for taking an illegal left turn. Once at the police station, the knife is retrieved from his jacket and he is taken into custody.

The entire season which has 8 episodes revolves around this case where Nasir pleads his innocence over and over again. Nasir is put into Rickons Prison awaiting his prosecution, where he is attacked twice, after which he makes connections with Freddy (Michael K. Williams) an influential prisoner.

Towards the end of the season, changes in Nasir’s personality are evident, from looking like an innocent college student; he turns into looking like a true stereotypical colored convict. It shows how wrongly convicting someone of a crime can sometimes turn innocent citizens into criminals.

The show also shows the negative/racist reaction of people towards the Muslim community after Nasir’s arrest, it portrays their status in the citizen hierarchy and the injustices they face regardless of their status of citizenship.

This show kept me on the edge at times, while left me completely uninterested at times as well. The suspense building up throughout the season led me to a great deal of disappointment at the end. Whether or not the ending was to my liking, it was realistic and relatable.

You’d have to watch to know who killed Andrea and whether or not justice was served.

I’d give this show a 3/5 rating.

How Well Does Riverdale TV Series Portray Archie’s Comics?

I grew up reading Archie’s comics and always rooted for Archie and Betty. Every morning, I would ecstatically open the newspaper just to read the Archie comic strip under the comic section. My joy knew no bounds when I discovered that it was being transformed into a TV series, appropriating the original characters and placing them in the mysterious background of the fictitious city of Riverdale.

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The show developed by Roberto Aguirre Sacassa, cannot be specifically put under one genre-category. The show revolves around the life of Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) and his friends Betty Cooper (Lilli Reinhart), the perfect and pretty girl-next door, Veronica Lodge (Camilia Mendes), the newbie rich and hot girl from NYC and Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse), his ex best friend. It is set against the peaceful background of Riverdale, where things become dark and ugly after the mysterious disappearance and death of a student, Jason Blossom who was engaged in a love-affair with Betty’s sister, Polly Cooper.

The gang tries to unravel the mystery and realize that they and their families are somehow involved in it. It is dominantly a thriller, but can also be classified as a teenage drama series with the clichéd ‘bitchy’ cheerleader squad, a basketball team in which players regard themselves as the ‘chosen ones’, where loners are considered to be losers but end up being the coolest. It is quite emotional and exciting as everyone has some or the other secret to keep.

Further, there are romantic subplots, where Archie has a romantic stint with his music teacher. Most popular is Betty’s love for Archie and how later these feelings get directed towards Jughead.

Though, Riverdale is like a mix of so many genres, with subtle comedy and a dark mystery, it certainly isn’t no match to the comics and in no way can replace the fun which was procured by skimming through the pages of Archie’s Comics. However, it is still entertaining and refreshes the viewers. It’s just 1 season i.e. 13 episodes old and the second season will air in October, 2017. The season finale did leave the viewers with so many unexpected turns and unanswered questions, that I’m sure they would eagerly be waiting for the next season.

I would give it a rating of 3.5/5.

All Around The Town by Mary Higgins Clark

Mary Higgins Clark, is an American author of suspense novels.  Her debut novel was Where Are The Children and ever since her first novel, each novel has been a bestseller. Her books are widely read in The United States and various other European countries. And, I must say that Mary Higgins Clark made me fall in love with the world of crime and mystery.

                                                                     

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Reading this book was one of the best and the worst decisions of my life, both because of how intense it was. I usually savor any book I read, spend a good amount of time on it, taking in the tiniest details, but this book is impossible to keep down. In certain chapters, Clark had me pulling my hair and biting my nails. Never have I read a book that has made me feel so many emotions at the same time. It was nerve-wrecking, beautiful as well as emotional.

The story revolves around the Kenyon sisters, Laurie and Sarah.

Laurie, a twenty one year old student who is charged with the murder of her professor, has no recollection of it which is strange because her fingerprints are all around the crime scene.  So what really happened?

4 years old Laurie is kidnapped, only to return after two years with hardly any memory of the trauma she faced.  Sarah feels extremely guilty about not having spent enough time with her little sister and promises to take care of her and continues to keep that promise 20 years from the day Laurie is returned. When the sisters lose their parents in a car accident, Laurie’s mental health starts to take a toll and she starts blaming herself for everything that has ever happened in her life, including her abduction. Her concerned elder sister sends her to see a therapist who is concerned that Laurie might have developed multiple personalities during the years of her abduction. Laurie, the host personality is unaware of the existence of the others. However, when she is charged with the murder of Professor Alan Grant, she fears that one of the personalities “Leona” may have committed the crime.

The story had turned me into an emotional wreck, the portrayal of each personality, and what role they played in Laurie’s life is absolutely mind blowing.. Even though I was so eager to get this book over with and find out who the killer is, I never wanted it to end. The book contains so many twists, if you’re convinced about who the killer is, trust me, you might want to think again.

I would give this book a 5/5 rating.