Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bloomsbury Crime Boxset - Review

I was extremely excited to get my hands on this book set. Three bestselling crime novels by Bloomsbury, I was all set for a month long entertainment package (I read only while travelling, hence month long). A little about the box set -


Bloomsbury presents the first ever Crime Box set with bestselling novels from three
different authors!

The Hanging by Lotte and Soren Hammer, is an explosive introduction to the dark world
of Copenhagen police investigator Konrad Simonsen, which has sold more than
147,000 copies in Denmark alone! A nerve-wrenching look at justice and retribution, it is
a spectacular crime tale straight from the heart of Scandinavia.

Before We Met by Lucy Whitehouse, a psychological thriller that will keep readers
guessing right up until the last page. The fans of Gillian Flynn will definitely love this
story full of secrets, lies and shocking revelations.

The Ghost Runner is Parker Bilal's third novel and the strongest so far. Taking in Cairo
and the Sahara desert, it is both thrillingly plotted and a rich insight into Egyptian society
and the first stirrings of the Arab Spring.

Basically, I would give this a 9/10. The best is Before We Met, Followed by The Ghost Runner and then The Hanging. It is available for purchase on Flipkart.

Here is a synopsis of the books (Don't read if you don't like spoilers!)

Before we met -
The story revolves around Hannah, an independent and strong woman who's married to Mark, a rich business man. He owns a company named datapro. Apparently he got all that wealth at a very young age (Around 25). He seems mysterious but Hannah really doesn't get the hang of it till certain events occur.

About Hannahs past, she had few bad relationships and hence stops believing in them and begins to have random flings with guys (On night stand, one date type thingy). Her family front, shes got her mother and a brother (married to...) who she's really close to. Her dad left when she was young and she had been blaming her mom for that, since her parents never had a healthy relationship (Constant bickerings etc). But in the end she gets to know that he had actually left them for another women. Her brother tries to make her understand that flings aren't good and that she should get married. She doesn't really give it a thought. She has a healthy (Advertising something) career in had. She eventually meets mark through mutual friends. Initially she avoids him but with time they get along and finally get married (after some 6-7 months of knowing each other).

About mark, in the beginning everything seems normal. But they aren't. (No spoilers here). He doesn't have a family. This is the initial story. That's about it on him.

So the story begins with him going for some trip. He promises he would return on a particular day and hence Hannah waits for him at the airport to give him a surprise. He doesn't turn up. He had gone on his usual trips so Hannah knew where he normally stays, but for that particular trip he din stay there. She got in the touch with the officials at the airport, no clue there as well. She gets anxious and tries every possible way to get in touch with him but nah (In vain). After like few days, he calls her and that's when he tells her that he's lost his phone in a cab and tells her some jazz story of him being stuck there coz of work. Soon after that, things keep cropping up (Her getting some letter etc) and she gets suspicious. She checks his office for clues and she gets to know that he's in some deep debt shit. Hes taken out some huge chunk of money from his account and hers( they were married but there professional lives were their own stuff, so they never intervened). She gets all the more clueless. In due course, she gets to know that he's in constant touch with this woman. Hannah thinks it's an affair. She confronts the other chic (A "doc" by profession) only to realize that they talk about mark's brother (This chic was in a relationship with his brother apparently), a criminal with a bad record of rapes, girly stuff, drugs, theft etc etc.

Mark returns and Hannah bombards him with questions about his bank withdrawals and his brother. He tells her that his brother his brother used to hate him coz mark was perfect and he wasnt and (long story short here) went to jail because be raped and killed mark's then  girlfriend one random night. He drugged her and killed her. He tells her that his bro owns a part in datapro and that mark had promised him he would give him his share once he gets out of jail. And he din want Hannah to be scared so he never told her about him.

Things unfold slowly and they get really fishy. Hannah's scared that his brother would hurt them. One day she actually sees his brother on the streets and runs for her life. They notify the doc chic.. His brothers ex flame and the very next day they find her dead. His brother was blamed and hence these guys were given protection. The police gets involved, Hannah and mark get dragged in. Mark looks for a way to find them a safe place and they shift temporarily. Hannah still won't trust mark and hence she looks for clues and during the process she gets to know mark's parents aren't dead. She finds them. There she gets to know that mark never liked the poor life that his parents lived and hence he worked hard to become a rich guy. He left home during his collage days and never returned. Many things open up during the conversation. Hannah leaves the place after sometime. And on her way out, she's attacked by marks bro. He takes her to a secluded place but doesn't hurt her. Instead he tells her to shut up and listen to his side of the story. Moral of that story: The culprit is mark and not his brother! Mark never liked his bro and never was a good man. He lied to Hannah because she was never after his money and he liked her a lot. But he was a psychopath (Should see the way he talks). Both brothers have a fight, mark hurts his brother and Hannah eventually kills mark.  😛

The ghost runner:
Story revolves around Makana, a detective and ex-investigation official in Cairo.

He gets paid by Mrs. Rashid (Or rashad) to keep a watch on her hubby for any illicit affair. This process leads Makana to a top elite hospital where he finds a 14-15 year old girl, burned because of a fire accident. She gets admitted as Mr. Rashids daughter, karima (Eventually she dies). Mr. Rashid gets to know about makana tracking him. He gets in touch with him as he thinks that makana is the best person to solve the mystery behind karimas death. Rashid thinks that the person behind her death is her father, Musab. Musab and Nagat are karimas parents. They ran from their home town at a young age and never returned. Musab was a criminal and hence would get involved in all sorts of activities. Nagat gets to know she's pregnant after he gets jailed. Mr. Rashid is the one who takes charge of his case. But be fails so Musab gets a sentence. So hence, according to Rashid, Musab thinks that karima ain't his daughter and hence killed her for revenge or sorts. (Also, Musab might have escaped from jail is the theory here)

He starts investigating and then meets Zahra, a social worker, who knew Nagat and karima personally. Makana and Zahra get close. Zahra was close to karima and her mom. For further investigation he goes to nagats hometown, siva (Or something). There unfortunate events happen. (In the past a police official gets killed and a girl gets raped and left in the desert - thats nagats sister, safira).

During makanas stay 3 people get killed in the most gruesome way. Makana gets dragged into this case along with the locals police. He finds past details about karimas parents. Also all these deaths have to do something with some land deals and also with what happened in the past (killing safira). He meets different people and heard different stories. Thus, he comes to a conclusion that it was one mysterious land. A series of events happen and towards the end he gets to know that the killer is Zahra, who is actually safira (The girl who gets raped and people think dead). Safira somehow survived and escaped to Cairo and lived under a different identity.  She takes revenge by killing these men who were involved in that past stuff. She gets killed during a firing.

About karimas death, yes her father (Musab) did escape but he did not kill her. It was Rashid who did it. Karimas mom owned a plot in siva that Rashid wanted. With Nagat dead the only barrier was karima and hence he kills her.

The Hanging

I shall update this one once I am done reading it!!

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