THICKER THAN BLOOD…..

A Yellow Winged StrangerA Yellow Winged Stranger by Imran Usman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A murder is at the core of the story. If it is a murder that everyday happens in thousands-then it would not have been raised anybody’s interest. But it was brutal, it was cruel, it seems every inch the work of a psychopath, the work of an insane. It has enough elements inside it to raise the interest of the media –and the public attention.
Because the unfortunate victim was tortured before death with a heated rod-red hot –that burnt the skin of the victim on several places.
It was exactly the modus operandi of one of the most infamous blood thirsty serial murderers in the history of the U.S.A crime-the Black Smith. Eighty three victims have died a horrible death-and without a single clue, without a single evidence. His whereabouts remained a mystery for twenty long years. His appearance is mysterious, too. Before the serial murders have started to take place-another serial killer was on the rampage-killing only when there was full moon on the sky. The murderer came into the night of the full moon- like a lone wolf-some ghostly power overriding -to quench the thirst of blood. And one day the full moon killer evaporated like camphor-and the next murder was staged on a no-moon day. And then there was no murder staged again on no moon.
Is it a Mere coincidence? Or there is some other thread to connect the two murderers?
If we classify ‘A yellow winged Stranger’ by Imran Usman as a murder mystery story then it will not identify fully the chilling novel. Rather it is a story that seeks to investigate the roots of the crime diving to the depth of human minds. The dark sides of human minds are exposed to perfection. However there is no detective to expose the crime-a most heinous serial crime that has its roots years ago-the protagonists themselves told their story-exposing us to the chill of fear-fear of a psychopath, a sadist approaching from any corner.
Matt-the lawyer standing for the defense of the alleged Blacksmith-the murder was confused throughout the case for a single reason. The suspect is thirty five –if he has been the murderer then he has to start his journey of murder when he was a boy of fifteen. And that Blacksmith started to copy the operational procedure of the full moon butcher. It implies that the suspect has started observing the murder procedure of the psychopath when he was a boy. Some threads do not add to make a fabric.
The victim was a widow who lived alone. The suspect was identified by an aged lady-who also reported the crime. And when the suspect was arrested on the basis of identification from his residence-he was quite and calm-to much quite and calm for even a great actor to hide his mental state. The method of killing was horrific-
‘The main cause of death in all the victims of both killers was exsanguinations. The killer would cut a shallow slice in the first go, after puncturing the larynx and vocal folds and severing the nerves to keep the victim voiceless by inserting a needle, the blood spilled would be slight and he would initiate the torturing process. He wanted them to suffer. Very sadistic, and then see the life drain out of them. When the victim’s body became tried of the pain and it was no fun to him anymore, he would cut a major slice cutting throughout the trachea and severing the jugular vein across their necks from left to right finally resulting in their death.’
When Matt’s turn came to cross examine the lone witness who had reported the crime and identified the suspect-Ms. Jacob-he emerged as second Daniel in the courtroom. On the face of his logical and brilliant cross examination all her statements went hazy-like the blurred vision with which she had claimed to identify Ethan-the suspect.
But was that merely a clever ploy by an intelligent lawyer? Is Ethan innocent? After all there are other evidences too-DNA sample collected from a burnt glove collected from a waste bin matched that of Ethan and in another turn of events –burnt fiber of the glove matched the sample of fiber found on the kitchen floor of the unfortunate victim. The suspect had burnt his hand.
Does two and two always make four?
If it was crime detection story-then it will be a fairly ordinary story-but at that point of time a flashback from the perspective of the suspect gave a dramatic twist to the total event. The prologue of the story which has initiated with a happy family conversation and ended in a tragic death of the mistress of the house has been linked with the past of the suspect and that made a 180 degree rotation of the entire story. It was his past where he has been raised as an orphan in an adopting family-the family members-emotional attachments with the family members- his quest for his biological father-all started to cross his mind like the slides in a projector.
He was put in a high security prison-waiting his fate to be decided. Here h came across graffiti-on the cold silent cell wall-a silent echo of the grief pain and despair of the inmates-Something that changed the destiny of Ethan-changed it forever. As if the writings were intended for him
‘The yellow butterfly was the one that had shaped my life completely. It was an object, which brought freshness back into me, it was an object which brought freshness back into me, it was an object of freedom, beauty and the best playmate I had during the course of my childhood years. It was my reset-to-default button.’
Life may be fragile-but the writings taught Ethan to rise above the fragility –writings on the wall were songs of life.
But more than every other aspect the quickly changing scenario-the motive-the plot-the twist and turns made this story a successful crime story –albeit the fact that there is no official crime buster. It is the first writing of Usman and it is commendable endeavor of a debut writer. He has analyzed the complex psychological traits of the characters effortlessly.
It is jingle all the way for Usman.

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Fiat justitia ruat caelum

Road Humps and SidewalksRoad Humps and Sidewalks by Kalyan C. Kankanala
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What’s in a thriller?
Obviously a story- that thrills you with surprises and unpredictability. But can a boring courtroom drama thrill you? Or a story that that has a sizeable part full of legal implications.
In front of a judge two counsels are arguing about various aspects of law. They are trying to get closer to the truth or might in fact, trying to hide the truth. Nobody will believe there will be thrill elements. It may be exciting, ornate-but thrilling? No way!
Well- the debut novel by Kalyan Kankala- Road Humps and Sideways is enough to correct your misconception about the thriller. Kalyan is an esteemed practitioner of intellectual property act and his insight into the nook and corner of the intellectual property rights has been transformed the story into an entertaining fast paced thriller.
The story runs on two parallel threads- one is the spread of a mystery disease and consequential profit motive of a multinational drug firm and the other is the near silent rise of fame of a blind lawyer.
it is virtually a battle for the eminent physicians of CIMS (Charaka Institute of Medical Science) to tackle the killer disease which is threatening to take the form of a silent epidemic. Equally anxious is the famous Dr. Krishna about the cause and treatment of the disease –because it is virtually a disease suddenly rising from hell. And it strikes swiftly-like cold jaws of death. An unknown team from the institute is working day and night for revelation of the killer disease. And
“Our team is of the opinion that it is a mutant variety of the Human Immuno Deficiency virus, which causes Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).but unlike HIV it attacks all kinds of immune cells in the body and also other cells. As a result of the attack, the patient is exposed to number of infectious agents and succumbs in less than a week. Our team is calling it the Immune Killer Virus (I virus) and the disease, Immediate Immuno Deficiency Syndrome.”
It was like searching a needle in haystack-because nobody knows the possible remedy. But suddenly there seems a faint ray of light at the end of the tunnel- a near unknown doctor practicing at a hamlet shared his experience with the India famous doctors of CIMS. That he had successfully applied a drug of neurological disorder patented and solely manufactured by a multinational giant. The experiment proved miraculous-it really cures. Probably Dr. Krishna had uttered, just like his predecessor yeas ago
“Oh million mudering Death, I know that this little thing
A million men will save
Oh death where is thy sting? Thy victory oh grave?”
But it is the cruel corporate world of profit and loss-and the multinational major has weighed their profits higher than the death of, say probably a few thousand black Indians. As news of the findings spread, thanks to media-they saw their golden opportunity. And there was an artificial production scarcity-in India. The motive is simple- sell the drug at ten times the price.
Desperate doctors first sought the help of the Government- but after all a People’s Government is a people’s Government. The effort proved futile. Then in a desperate ploy-they went to generic firms to manufacture the patented drug. Nobody was with them-all doors are seemed closed-when one small player turned out to help them.
Have you ever tried to snatch the prey from the mouth of a starved lion? Have you ever thought of the crushing impact? It will tear you into pieces- unless of course you have a gun blazing. More devastating will be the impact here- the multinational giant will tear the generic drug firm away. It is a patented drug and they will take full advantage of it.
From there the story gets the new turn- a turn full of unpredictable swings.
The CIMS and the drug firm desperately need a lawyer to go with their cause of saving lives. Ironical it may be heard-but here a lawyer can give them a breathing space only. But no lawyer of the field is ready to defend their case.
Nobody except one……
Blind lawyer Arjun- who’s till date only fame was winning a case of celebrity for supposed violation of intellectual property rights fearlessly stood for the cause of ailing humanity. It was truly a David versus Goliath fight-the opponent lawyer for the multinational is the undisputed leader of the field.
Arjun will be merely a cannon fodder in front of him.
Or will he? if he-then why the cruel corporate will apply all their nasty tactics to tame this modern day Partha-who may be sightless-but whose inner eye is capable of piercing through your mind-like a sharp arrow-right on target.
There will be spine shivering murder attempts- bribery attempt to the honourable man- pressure tactics to withdraw from the game-all contributing together to a very palatable meal.
And what will be at the end?
To whose side Nemesis will take?
Discover after reading- and utter- oh, a Daniel has came to the judgement.

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