Mystery lovers, rejoice! You now have a new, exciting writer who will keep you guessing long after the body has grown cold. Bollywood Storm, by N.K.Johel brings a dash of intriguing Eastern mysticism to the genre, and serves up a new brand of private eye — one that talks with the dead.
Elanna Forsythe George is a paranormal forensics investigator in New York City who gets called to meet with the illegitimate daughter of renowned Bollywood film director Rajesh Sharma, who died mysteriously in his hotel room two years earlier. The daughter, Simryn Gill, herself a Bollywood starlet, believes foul play was involved.
At stake is the contested will of Gill’s father, whose fortune will be split among his thirteen children — all but one of whom were conceived with women who were not his wife. The legitimate heir is contesting the last-minute directive made by Sharma in the waning days of his life.
Can Elanna pick up a trail that’s grown stone cold?
Of course. Cold cases are her specialty, and she quickly rises to the challenge when her new client dies after an assault by a six-feet-four Indian man who calls himself Anil Negendra — Lord of Snakes.
Several new clues emerge as Elanna meets up with Simryn Gill’s half-brother, Suraj Amir. It’s short-lived, however, as he succumbs to some toxic take-out. The bodies keep piling up in Buffalo: first, the assassin is shot between the eyes while in police custody; then, the Indian restaurant delivery boy is found dead in a dumpster; and Amir finally succumbs to the poison polluting his body.
Elanna returns to New York, mulling over a strange clue embedded in the last movie her client had completed. In it, twelve half-brothers and sisters danced and twirled behind the lead actress, herself an illegitimate daughter of the dead director, pointing fingers at each other. What did it mean, and which offspring would be killed next?
Later, Elanna is at a Bollywood Film Festival in New York City, and falls into one of the many superbly written dream-states to which she, as a mystic medium, is susceptible:
“I felt the longing of the crowd. The communal throb. The eternal dance of Kama. The pulse and flow of a thousand-and-one erotic dreams. For some, the longing was inescapable. It had seeped into them. Like a tattoo transcending the flesh.”
This is much more than a mere mystery. The author infuses and interweaves liberal doses of Indian and South Asian language and customs into almost every page. Indeed, each finely crafted character draws from a wellspring of Indian culture to flavor this novel and give it added zest.
Elanna continues to investigate these murders with the panache of a latter-day, psychic Perry Mason, encountering disembodied spirits and dodging hit men right up to the end.
Does she eventually solve the murder of the Bollywood film director? Will the dark visions that invade her dreams dissuade her from her quest for the truth?
Download Bollywood Storm II and discover the exciting and unexpected resolution to this well-written mystery. Five stars to Bollywood Storm and to its creator, author N.K. Johel.
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