A crime fiction novel and a guide to workplace diversity – two new reviews from Cardyn Brooks

This tangle web of intrigue, double-crosses, and romantic disappointments spins across northern India from (fictional?) Sanover to Guwahati, Chamba, Dongri, and various destinations dotted between River Ravi, the Himalayas, and the Arabian Sea. Those dots link to form threads that spool outward from the 20-plus-year marriage of Gayatri Bhardwaj and Rajinder Bhardwaj in this tale about the infinite varieties of being two-faced in a society shaped by double standards that are dictated primarily according to caste, gender, age, physical appearance, marital and parental status rather than by actual character traits like honesty and ethical disposition.

At first, the choice of the 1970s context may seem odd, but the interweaving of themes of feminist and anti-feminist frictions, traditional versus progressive conflicts, and generational sparring with quotes from literary notables to set the tone for each chapter establish obvious comparisons between then and now. Shouldn’t society in India (and the world) have evolved further beyond prioritizing the superficial appearance of women and the financial resources of men in calculating their value?

As if a mildly sedated Patricia Highsmith had written Peyton Place with input from Gillian Flynn, the three acts in this morality play start with a briskly paced setup in Book One. Adding more players in Book Two noticeably slows the narrative tempo until it regains speed toward its conclusion in Book Three. The glossary is convenient, although the meanings of the italicized words are easy to understand when reading them in context.

Tied to Deceit establishes the investigative team of Superintendent of Police Sharma, his deputies Rawat and Diwakar with the potential to launch an engaging series in the tradition that blends Inspector Maigret’s intuition with Sharon McCone’s persistence in following each and every crumb of evidence wherever they lead.  More info at neenabrar.com.

Tied to Deceit by Neena H. Brar was publsihed by Penguide Books on 6 August 2018

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Cardyn Brooks is a reading fiend, compulsive writer, chocoholic, and swim enthusiast. She writes upbeat, diversity-is-mainstream contemporary erotic fiction for and about grown-ups in love. Her previous titles include Seducing the Burks: Five Erotic Tales and Dodging Eros, Through Past, Present and Pleasure. In spring 2018, When She’s on Top, a collection of four novellas about powerful women and the men who are strong enough to love them, written as her edgier persona of C. X Brooks, will be available in print and e-formats from BlackOpalBooks.com. She earned her B.A. in English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A.

Find Cardyn Brooks on Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, SheWrites, Smashwords, Tumblr, and on Twitter and Instagram @CardynBpresents.

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