Wednesday, May 09, 2012

April Reading … Part 2

Continued from previous post ...
10. the Gemini Contenders by Robert Ludlum
This was the second Robert Ludlum I have picked up. Trevayne was an enjoyable read and this one turned out to be an equally enjoyable one. the story begins with the secret hiding of a large vault (which is supposed to contain religious artifacts that can rock the world) and then followed by the assassination of the person (and his entire) who was involved in the hiding operation. His eldest son who survives the slaughter is saved by British Intelligence and taken out of the country and made the mastermind of a special team which would cause mis-management in enemy folds.  the vault and the train carrying it keep haunting our man  from time to time (in spite of his repeated claim that he knows nothing about it) until he decides to take it head-on; wherein he meets an adversary who literally cripples him.
The story moves a generation and his twin sons are on their own career paths in military and in law (lawyer). Both are almost at loggerheads when the train and the vault resurface and they are brought together by their dying father and sent on the quest for the vault.
As usual, it is a delight to read Robert Ludlum … a gripping story with a fantastic pace. You want to know what happens next (even if the story is spread across a timeline of several years).
I did wonder if it was necessary to put in the parallel stories which seem important but have little to do with the quest for the vault except delay the quest itself. To some extent, I was even disappointed. Definitely, this one is not one of the best of Robert Ludlum. It was unlike any other Robert Ludlum novel that I have read.

11. Sherlock Holmes: the Adventure of the Veiled Lodger by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
This is not much a mystery actually. It is more of a strange incident from Sherlock's life where Watson recounts the horrors of an old case and a lady (victim), with a heavily and horribly mutilated face, confesses to the real scenario which was never brought in the light of public knowledge.

12. the Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Purple Pirate by William Arden
The three investigators try to earn some summer vacation money and end up with getting into a case of their own. they see some suspicious behavior and begin to investigate it. the story involves Pirate history and a Pirate show on a Pirate boat with a watch tower around.
The case comes to a close with a Pirate treasure being found and the thieves being caught. AND then the case re-opens as all was not what it seemed to be. there is an additional villain in the story whom no one suspected. the story ends in a superb twist.

13. Sherlock Holmes: the Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The employees at Shoscombe Old Place approach Sherlock with a peculiar problem. Weird changes in the habits and behavior of their Master and also of the Mistress; which gives them a feeling that something very sinister is going on. Sherlock unravels the mystery and finds that there is something afoot but the 'sinister' angle is mistaken.

14. Indigo by Satyajit Ray
A person takes a chance journey which is full of unexpected twists and turns with interruptions and burst tyre along with travelling along wrong roads and a dak bunglow to spend the night. He wakes up with changed surroundings and a changed self; reliving the final moments of another person. Scary … right?

15. Velocity by Dean Koontz
It has been a long time since I read a Dean Koontz novel so decided to pick one this month. I read his last one in 2010 and before that in 2005/2006.
Velocity has an interesting premise (although the name has practically nothing to do with the story or the plot). A killer sends a note to our protagonist giving him a strange choice. He (killer) would kill a person if he took the note the police … and if he did not take the note to the police; he would kill another. A deadline of 6 hours is given to make the decision.
The first note is considered a prank and almost ignored. the second note arrives with a similar choice and a deadline of 5 hours. Things get serious here onwards as the second murder happens very close our protagonist. He is now involved in the murders as accomplish; even by not doing anything since his inaction is also a decision maker in the choice of murder victim.
After the second murder, the murderer begins to physically harm our Hero and also gives him choices about killing/saving people who are close to him making the whole 'game' more personal and painful. the murderer is also implicating our protagonist by leaving evidence against him on the murders he is committing. An interesting story although the climax and the suspense wasn't as great as I has expected.

To be Continued …

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