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

Here’s To Why I Think Narcos TV Series Is An Eye-opener!

Narcos is an American crime drama which featured on Netflix as its exclusive in the year 2015. It is created and produced by Chris Brancato, Carlo Bernard, and Doug Miro. It is a historic drama aimed at showing the world how drug trafficking affected places like Columbia, USA, Cali. The two seasons of Narcos which have aired till now, feature the life story of Pablo Escobar who was the first drug lord to start dealing cocaine overseas. While the much awaited third season, is currently running since 1st September, featuring The Cali Cartel, a group formed by the Rodriguez brothers and Santacruz.

With a really new concept for historical drama, Netflix started the show by creating a lot of hype. But the real challenge was to not let fiction overrule the actual history and yet have an interesting plot line. The plot is fast paced and thrilling at every point of time. Although we can see both the DEA and Pablo Escobar’s point of view in the story but it never feels dragged or repeated. The show is really gripping and once you start its hard to let go.

Although it focuses on drug trafficking but other political and crime concerns of the world are highlighted as well. Like the communist propaganda which created nuisance in the country. We see the world in a new light and a different perspective, gradually opening our eyes to the evils of drug trafficking. Although two seasons were too short to explain the history, and the characters of the show, but they still managed to bring into limelight certain significant points. For instance, the contradicting character of Escobar can be deciphered without much efforts. We can clearly see how Escobar was a family man who wanted to help the poor but on the flip side he killed people without a second thought, . He not only influenced people through his robin hood image but also tried his hand in politics.

Season 1 and 2 showed a violent drug lord while season 3 will focus on Cali Cartel which are a more subtle bunch of people and hence, harder to catch, creating more problems for the DEA. I had been eagerly waiting for the third season and now, that its out, I cannot tell you how excited I am.

I would give this show a 5/5 as it has a very intriguing storyline. I would recommend you guys to watch this show as it provides good details of history showing bits and pieces of the actual incident.

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.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – By Stieg Larsson

Review Time 😀

“Everyone has secrets…it’s just a matter of finding out what they are”, this true-to-the-core phrase, printed on the cover of this book, is exactly what this book explores throughout. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, is the first book of the millennium trilogy, written by the spectacular author, Stieg Larsson. This is the only trilogy that Larsson wrote and denied us the pleasure of reading more of his works because of his early death. It feels very unfortunate when we lose such precious authors to the God.

So, coming back to the review of this book, I would say it is a perfectly pieced murder-mystery narrative, dealing mainly with incest, psychopathology and sadism. The plot revolves around the industrialist Henrik Vanger’s obsession with finding the murderer of his grand-daughter Harriet and is sure, that the murderer is none other than someone from his own family. The frame of the plot is very simple – somebody had killed Harriet and there is a lookout for the murderer. Now, the twisted part comes in when we get to know that it’s been 40 years to the killing (even her body could not be found) and someone sends a pressed flower frame, every year, on the occasion of Henrik’s birthday. Sending a pressed flower frame is like a ritual that Harriet used to do before her disappearance. So, it is quite clear that, definitely, the murderer is some family member who knows about this ritual but the question arises who could it be?

So, this is the basic plot and then, we meet Mikael Blomkovist, a financial journalist, who is entangled in his own plot. He had a wrong story published about some big tycoon and is, now, facing charges for defamation. Mikael is our protagonist, in future, he is appointed by Vanger to find out who killed Harriet. Now, this is what I loved about Larsson’s narrative, he makes a journalist to be the crime-solver of this nearly-impossible-to-solve case. Usually, in other crime-mystery narratives, we see that a detective or a police inspector is on the lookout for the killer but here a journalist is hired to do so.

Since, Larsson himself was a journalist, so, this book completely justifies that there is no better detective/investigator than a journalist. And, you will love Blomkovist for being an extremely relatable investigator. He won’t behave extraordinarily, like Sherlock or someone with super powers, his mind works exactly like you and me. He would commit mistakes, jump onto wrong conclusions and you would feel lethargic when he would feel so. This is why I loved Larsson’s characterization because his characters are with similar daily life problems like we do. Next is the character of Lisbeth Salander (she is the girl with the dragon tattoo) who is a psychologically problem adult. She has a very unique personality, especially on the physical front (spikes, tattoos, piercings). But she is a brilliant computer hacker and it is with her aid that Blomkovist is able to solve the crime.

Undoubtedly, I would recommend this novel for sure and there are 2 more in the trilogy which I would try to get hands on asap. The story is so engaging that you will find your fingers denying to let go of this novel!

I am not spilling any beans because I want you guys to read it and get the savory taste it offers for yourself☺

Prey by Michael Crichton

“But then, things never turn out the way you think they will.”

My first encounter with a sci-fi novel and it turned out to be a fortunate one. I’m extremely happy that Crichton (for all those who don’t know him, he is the one who wrote, “Jurassic Park” and “Disclosure“) made my sci-fi reading journey so streamlined and unforgettable. This novel, “Prey”, transports you to the world of, computers, science, experiments and nanotechnology. Book

Being from a non-science background, I was not very comfortable with the idea of reading a sci-fi initially but fortunately enough I took this audacious decision and I’m glad I read it. The brilliant narrative strategy that Crichton adopts is his way of simplifying scientific/technological things that you do not need a solid science background to grasp them. And this is what makes you admire his writing style.

Buy this novel now! Click here!

“Prey”, although begins with a plot about questioning fidelity between a husband, Jack & his wife, Julia but takes a turn so unpredictably terrifying that this novel becomes an ‘un-put-downable’. Jack has invented a ‘Pred-Prey’ programme which is based on the module of how a predator preys upon his food. Taking this programme as a basis, certain scientists, including Jack’s wife Julia, create a swarm of micro-robots which would then be given for serving in military services. These micro-robots will help in spying on the enemy because of their characteristic that they can combine themselves to form a camera and after that, can scatter into tiny dust particles (I know, the plot sounds amazing, right?!)

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This nanotechnology experiment becomes hazardous when a swarm of these micro-robots escape the lab, whether due to a deliberate action on the part of some scientist or due to a mistake (is something I won’t be spilling in this review :p) and then, become extremely dangerous to human lives. This swarm is self-reproducing, it eats human flesh and can beat the hell out of you till you die by cutting off your oxygen supply.

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Now, how this nanotechnology proves to be a fatal one for Jack and Julia’s relationship and for humanity at large, is something that you’ll have to buy & read this novel to know! So, no matter whether you are a sci-fi fan or not, this novel has something to teach everyone 🙂

The Client – John Grisham

” At times he thinks like a terrorist, then he cries like a little child.”

                                                                                             – The Client (John Grisham)

Click to buy this novel now – The Client

My first Grisham novel and gratifyingly, looking forward to read more!

The quote above I’ve given, becomes a synonym for Mark Sway, the protagonist, in this novel. Mark is an eleven year old child of a single mother, Dianne Sway and have one younger brother, Ricky. But, do not fool yourselves, by looking at his age because his mind works faster than any brave adult or “The FBI”.

No, no,wait! He is not a terrorist, but he is that child who by an incident happens to come to know that fatal secret, which is definitely not suitable for an eleven year old to be familiar. And, that deathly secret, turns his whole life upside-down in just 7 days. From being a trailer kid, he becomes the center of attraction for the paparazzi, FBI, mafia and of course, the headline of ‘Memphis Express’, continuously for those life-changing 7 days.

The Client by John GrishamWell, Grisham is a very brilliant writer. He tells his readers, that “fatal secret” in the beginning itself. As soon as we start reading the novel, he provides us with the secret, to swallow from the start only. So, now, you know what all mystery is there but, you do not know what will be its’ consequences. Likewise, the start is very intriguing, he gives us an almost flabbergasting description of Mark sway, a cigarette smoking child, who now will show Ricky how to smoke.

After, all this, we come to know about the secret, which is, the corpse of a U.S. Senator has been hidden somewhere by a known mafia man, Barry Muldanno and his lawyer, Jerome Clifford, spills his beans to Mark, who is a far-away stranger to him. Jerome, before committing suidcide, tells Mark the exact place where the body of Boyd Boyette is hidden and this directly lands Mark Sway in the world of danger.

FBI, who has been finding this corpse from past eight months and failing on every attempt, now gets all magnetized to our little Mark, whom only Reggie Love (Mark’s lawyer) can secure from FBI, mafia and an all-eyeing Memphis residents.

Though, we know the secret from the start, the story still not fails to make it an unputdownable one! Grisham, himself, being a Law graduate, shows off his knowledge of laws and legal terms, throughout the book and when you’ve finished the reading, you’ll definitely be acquiring much of the knowledge about laws and stuff.

Undoubtedly, I recommend this novel!