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Ghost Eater by Frederick Highland

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; ISBN: 0312306717

Ghost Eater by Frederick Highland is one of the better Historical Mysteries I read this year.

The story takes place in the late 19th century in the Dutch East Indies. Captain Ulysses Vanders is given the task of investigating the truth behind some evil spirits that are terrorizing a Christian Missionary Home in Sumatra. Together with Claridge, a self-proclaimed nemesis of Pirates, Vanders launches into an investigation, an investigative journey that takes the reader through the supernatural, the sub-normal and through the vestiges of an alien culture- that will enthrall and enchant the lover of mysteries.

With myriad plots and several sub-plots, sometimes the book may cause confusion- but on the whole Ghost Eater proves a real thrilling reading experience. The book combines it the suspense adventure spirit felt of Wilbur Smith works, the fun adventure spirit felt in books like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer- and the classic voyage sagas like that seen in King Solomon’s Mines.  However, on the whole, the work can be likened to Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton in terms of sheer suspense. But where the book fails is in the area of creating horror- with a title ‘Ghost’ in it, the reader is bound to expect some horror- of course there is suspense, suspense that falls short of creation of terror.

Though the book is more descriptive, than narrative, it doesn’t much affect the paciness of the work. Enjoyed the work, recommended for a light evening read.

                                                           - Narayan Radhakrishnan

American Roulette by Richard Marcus

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books  ISBN: 0312291396

Sniglets: A word that doesn’t belong to a dictionary but ought to.

Richard Marcus: (Sniglet) A person who cheats the cheaters, a person who pulls wool over the professional thieves. A thief of thieves.

WOW! WOW! WOW!

or rather

ACE! ACE! ACE! 

American Roulette…is an exciting and thrilling read. Richard Marcus in a stylish but unassuming manner narrates how he and his fellow casino-busters ripped off, or rather gave a ‘clubber’ to some of the world’s biggest casinos right from Las Vegas to Monte Carlo and to London. With sleight hand tricks and mastering the art of ‘pastposting’- (to find out what it is, simply read the book)- over a period of 25 years Marcus and his team systematically ripped off some of the worlds best know casinos- and that too never getting caught.

The author never says that what he did was not illegal, however, there is a sort of a Robin Hood touch in narration where he describes some of his stylish and dangerous capers and escapades. The author says all this actually happened. There might be exaggerations, the whole thing might be lies- forget all about it and enjoy this fascinating and fantabulous adventures of a  cheater’s cheat… ooops, fantabulous adventures of a Richard Marcus.

For me, I have never gambled, seems like a good time to begin….

Great read. The CAPER OF THE YEAR.  Highly Recommended.


                                                                     - Narayan Radhakrishnan

 

Tears of the Cheetah by Dr. Stephen J. O'Brien

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books  ISBN: 0312272863

Tears of the Cheetah… almost reads like a fable,  a modern day sci-fi fable.

Let me confess, Sci-fiction is not my cup of tea, and I generally tend to stay away from such writing- the jargon sometimes is too much for me. So it was with trepidation I began reading Tears of the Cheetah….- Genomic Diversity, recombinant DNA- I had a good mind to shut the book, but my persistence paid off- Tears of the Cheetah… provided a grand reading experience, a unique experience totally akin to any fiction work I had ever read. In short the work is about the fascinating mystery behind evolution of different species of animals.- right from Cheetahs to Pandasand from Oranguttans to Humpback Whales,

The work almost reads like Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park- minus the spine chilling terror. The book gives a vast insight of the author’s knowledge of Genomics- (he is the head of the National Institutes of Health's Laboratory of Genomic Diversity), but keeps the technical jargon at a minimal level.

The work provided poignant reading.  Kudos Stephen O’ Brien. A great book, a great, great read.

                                                              Narayan Radhakrishnan