June 10, 2018

Book: Rage Of Angels by Sydney Sheldon

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 12:13 am

imageEqually famous as Master of the Game, this book ranks very high on Sydney Sheldon’s books. Expertly crafted with the unique style of storytelling that the author has perfected, it holds you in its thrall until the very end.


The first scene, where Robert Di Silva  is trying to nail Michael Moretti the mafia boss and it all rests in the hands of one mobster, Camillo Stela, who has agreed to testify against Michael. Jennifer Parker, a rookie law assistant, gives an envelope to the witness in a break – the envelope that was handed to her by Robert via an assistant to give to Stela –  and all hell breaks loose from that moment on. What she delivered was a dead canary with the neck broken and the case, along with Robert’s hopes of being elected governor on the strength of the victory in this case, both end up in smoke. Jennifer wanted to be a lawyer like her dad from a very young age and this was a devastating blow to her that her official career was over a mere four hours after it started.


When she tries to survive by the lowly act of issuing subpoena, she is informed that disbarment proceedings are to be launched against her by a livid Robert Di Silva. He asks a top attorney in town to personally take care of it. He gives it to Adam Werner, who is his son in law angling for the District Attorney post. After Adam checks everything out, he recommends that the proceedings to disbar her be dropped, much to the anger of Robert.


She devises clever ways to serve difficult subpoenas.


When she takes up an impossible case to defend a murderer, she finds to her horror that Robert de Silva himself comes to court as a prosecutor, to crush her once for all. She triumphs and is noticed by Michael Moretti.


She also has fallen for Adam Warner and has constant sex with him even after knowing that he is married already, despite her mother’s life being earlier ruined by her father’s infidelity. Meanwhile Michael is thinking of hiring a young lawyer for the Family and increasingly thinks of Jennifer.


She gets a paternity suit decided in her favour by undoubtedly questionable means, which may not stand up in a real court! (Was DNA evidence not available when the book was written? God, is the book that old? )


There are episodes obviously put there as fillers: they do have a twist but have absolutely nothing to do with the story itself. For instance, the nice woman whom the daughter and the son in law had admitted to an asylum that Jennifer is determined to release; the accident victim from a truck company – the company having almost gotten away with the crime.


Main story? Adam is surely in love with Jennifer but stands for the Senate and can have no blemish in the past including any affairs. Michael Moretti is intrigued and increasingly drawn to Jennifer.

Adam’s wife tricks Jennifer into believing that she is OK with Adam marrying Jennifer and when Jennifer finds herself pregnant, also reveals that she is pregnant. Now Adam is trapped into the marriage and Jen has the child in a faraway place.


Michael Moretti charms her in a dinner one evening. When her son is kidnapped by a vicious murderer who is enraged about her, she calls Moretti in desperation and he pulls all the stops to get him back. So starts her relationship with Michael, alienating all her friends and well wishers. One by one they leave her.


She connects with Adam and instantly has sex with him, throwing consequences to the winds. But Joshua’s head injury, when they return back, causes him to die, she completely loses it.


She then loses her son Joshua and Adam learns that she is the Mafa’s counsel as well as the fact that she has a son, both of which devastates him. This is done by the testimony of the previous lawyer of the mafia who, when he realizes that Moretti wants to kill him, goes straight to Adam Warner and spills the beans.


Moretti wrongly suspects and kills his loyal deputies until he realizes that Nick Vito lied to him saying he had killed the lawyer. Jennifer is arrested in Singapore.


The events gather frenetic pace where Michael finds out that Jennifer was the girlfriend of Adam and thinks she has been betraying him all along and his plots to kill both Adam and Jennifer and how it all exhilaratingly ends.


Great story. Well told. Lightweight but who cares? All Sheldon’s stories are lightweight.


8 / 10

–   –   Krishna


Book: The Dark Tower by Stephen King

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 12:02 am

imageThis is the final chapter in the long Dark Tower saga. The series consists of the following previous books (in the story order not the chronological order of publication :  The GunslingerThe Drawing of the ThreeThe Waste LandsThe Wizard and GlassThe Wind Through the Keyhole, Wolves of The Calla, and Song of Susannah.


Takes off right from page 1. Callahan, Jake and Oy enter the den of the evil low men and bird creatures, ready to die and kill, and the excitement goes up right from something like page 2.


When Callahan and Jake enter, Callahan mermerizes the low men with the turtle and then with the cross. Oye keeps the bugs in check – they emerged from under the table. Then the Class 1 Vampires with teeth all over their body emerge from the feasting room, where they were dining on human flesh and blood and Jake is ordered to move and leave Callahan in Roland’s voice emanating from Callahan. Callahan finally blows off a couple of them and then makes the ultimate sacrifice before they get him while Jake slips inside.


Roland and Eddie are hit by a wave where they witness the birth of Mia from a disembodied state. Then they go witness Callahan dying and Jake running inside the vampires’ den. Mia’s baby turns into a giant spider.


Beautiful tie ups. As Jake hears Roland’s voice coming  from Callahan, you hear how that happened after. As Susannah hears a word sent telepathically by Jake, we learn how that happened later. This is vintage Stephen King, beautifully written, tense sequences following one after the other.


Jake barely escapes the vampires and runs with Oy to find Susannah, and finds that the tunnel has suddenly turned into a forest. It is a mind trap and interestingly, he escapes by switching his mind into Oy’s body and vice versa. They almost get him before Oy and Jake escape through a door with Susannah’s help on the other side. The mind bending illusions are also great. (The jungle, the dark woods, the dinosaur and the dragon, all are fascinating. )


Meanwhile Eddie and Roland meet John Cullum the man they met in the beginning of their visit, again. He hears their story and believes it all.


They send him to Deepneau and go to find Susannah. Find her they do, with a treacherous robot very reminiscent of Andy in the previous book. The boy/ spider kills Walter (or Randall Flagg) through a mental string that immobilizes him, drinks his guts and blood and leaving his dessicated corpse, follows the ka-tet of Roland and company.


Meanwhile Roland and co walk through a painful (makes them vomit and dizzy) portal and meet Ted (who features in the Hearts on Atlantis book and mistakes Jake for the Garfield boy in that story) with his companions Stanley and Dinky. They explain how the breakers are kidnapped and fed by pills from the brains of the kids, and also explain how the people wasted by radioactivity wander, lost, till they die. Roland asks that one of them be brought to him.


Meanwhile Pimliss and his assistant (a half man half rat thing)  are surveying the place to find what the disturbance was about. They are going to investigate the disturbances in the telemetry when the ka tet is brought in by teleportation by Sheemie, the same bar servant that Roland saved in Mejlis in another earlier episode.


They go into the compound at the time of change of guards and there is a spectacular, chaotic war that is described brilliantly.


When Eddie is shot by a dying Primliss, the group is devastated. He dies and in an attempt to save Stephen King from the accident that would kill him and not let him complete the story, another member of the ka-tet is killed too. It is narrated with feeling and verve, though I still hate King placing himself into the story, however self deprecatingly.


Roland, Susanne and Oy go to the Crimson King’s castle where they meet an entity assuming human form (three of them come to Roland as the human Stephen King). They escape the trap, killing two of them and leaving the third to his fate with an infuriated Mordred.


They meet an erstwhile stand up comic who is an old man and though they like him Susanna’s antenna buzzes, and she realizes that he is lying to them.


More Stephen King intrusions, equally pointless and annoying. The Odd’s Lane and the funny comic and how they overcome his devious hidden plans are well told. They rescue Patrick, kept prisoner.


They discover the unique gift Patrick has and the clues that the author drops are brilliant, and the slow exposition of his true powers is exhilarating, in the best of King’s style. More yucky intrusions from the author himself again jars, as they meet the stand up comic and foil his evil plans. The slow break up of the ka-tet is heartbreaking but the killing of the two villains, Mordred and the Red King seems a little bit forced, in order to get the book to end. In fact, once you think about it at the end, Mordred was killed with painful effort when they had an easier way (which they employed against the main villain the Crimson King) to get rid of him as well.


However, after the epilog, there is another section of the book (Coda or in my parlance, epi-epilog) that surprises and stuns you.


All in all, you are sorry to have the series end and part with a lot of characters you have grown to love.


Due to the numerous and painful Stephen King intrusions into his own story, I give it a 7/10


–  – Krishna

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