4 out of 4 stars
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Dan Goldstein was so happy when his wife, Becca, told him that she was pregnant. Upon exiting a restaurant, a group of gangsters sprayed bullets, kidnapped Becca, and knocked Dan's head off with a gun. Flashbacks of braided criminal underworld events started to unfold.
The Killer's Ruse by Darrin J. Friedman is a sequel to The Crazy In Babylon. This international crime/thriller/mystery/horror tale revolves around the nightmares of the couple, Dan and Becca Goldstein, in the hands of contemptible criminals. This fast-paced fiction has 177 pages that can be read in one sitting. It was self-published in 2019. After reading, I become the author's avid fan.
The story has a villain-driven plot with lots of unexpected twists and turns. I find the narrations unpredictable and easy to follow along. The settings jump from countries in Asia to the United States and to a hideout in Afghanistan. It is a standalone read. There is no need to read the first installment in order to understand the twists of events in this book. The flashbacks are skillfully inserted. This might hit blockbuster if filmed.
There are quite a lot of characters introduced in this story, but they are all distinctive and realistic - not free from flaws. Dan Goldstein is a likable character. I admire his strength in keeping himself whole despite the extreme hardships - including his bipolar II disorder. The female characters (Bess Myers, Becca Goldstein, Lori Cox, Sarah Jenkins, and Robyn Chen) are women of courage.
I was as shocked as Becca seeing Bess Myers alive in their house. I would have wanted to know the details on how Bess Myers escaped death from a sniper's shot and a burning house. I was not satisfied with the ending, but the author might start a new story from there. I would have wanted the fall of Bess Myers and all the drug lords in order to eradicate both drug and human trafficking.
There were curse words and topics about abuse, rape, homosexual relationship, drugs, and murder peppered in the contents, so this is not for the young and squeamish readers. The mentions about Jewish faith didn't make this book limited to Jewish readers only. I found fragmented sentences, capitalization, and punctuation errors. The Killer's Ruse by Darrin J. Friedman deserves nothing less than a perfect rating (4 out of 4 stars). Fans of C/T/M/H novels will surely love this book.
The Killers Ruse
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