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Issue: July - October 2018
Issue Title: Book Review
Author: Palabra Critica

Imagery studded suspense writing

Joslyn Chase’s amazing thriller is sheer poetry in prose

Ever thought of the phrase “nail-biting suspense” as clichéd? Well, you shall be forced to re-think once you sit down with What Leads a Man to Murder by Joslyn Chase. It was a question that led the protagonist of the eponymous first short story to stumble upon clues that led to his own personal nightmares.

Adalet is the second story in the collection calculated to send the shivers down the steeliest of spines. Harbouring a secret that is blacker than the hide of a buffalo Adalet compels the reader’s sympathy. The victimization compels one to empathize with the story’s protagonist when she writes, “A rush of blood coursed through my eardrums, filling my mouth with the taste of tin…” Not to be missed is the fierce sense of purpose dinned with optimism at the end of the story: “I intended to live”.

Being an Agatha Christie aficionado my favourite story in the collection is The Sodden Spectators with Cathryn Harcourt as the central character who is endearingly similar to the evergreen Miss Marple.

The beauty of reading Joslyn Chase lies in her fabulous control of prose. Her imagery, even in the grim face of murder, is absolutely stunning. Witness the following:

“A patchwork quilt of green and white stretched over the gentle hills. Emerald squares of pasture were sectioned off with white fences, sprinkled with stables and moving dots of horseflesh. The air smelled of clipped grass and leather…”

The racy plots are laced with brilliant imagery. Here is an underrated thriller writer who surely merits wider readership.


Chilling karma cola


Aarohi is a work of fiction that forces the reader to look at hard realities

Anupama Dalmia’s soul-searing fiction Aarohi serves up as a heady karmic cocktail to the reader. For, surely it is karma at work when two utter strangers become firm friends in the neutral backdrop of a badminton court?

Getting frustrated with her game Anusha meets Arohi for the first time. Playing a vigorous game she strikes immediate rapport with the other whose winning modesty is underscored by the words: “…But you are such a proficient player, you slayed it like a boss. It was almost impossible for me to keep up with your smashes.”

And then, rather unexpectedly, things begin to go wrong. It all starts with Aarohi’s nonappearance at the badminton court. The denouement is a revelation. But for that, you will have to read Aarohi.