Archive | ebook RSS feed for this section

The world’s most interesting astrologer: the Great Significator

6 Dec

great_significator

Alan Annand is an astrologer and writer of crime fiction, including his New Age Noir series featuring astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, a criminal profiler whom one reviewer dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

Read reviews for Scorpio Rising (#1), buy it or Felonious Monk (#2) at:

Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Flipkart, KoboSmashwords

Alan Varanasi @ 50%

FELONIOUS MONK: book review by Horoscope Guide

1 Nov

This review first appeared in HOROSCOPE GUIDE, August 2014, and is reprinted here with the permission of editor and reviewer Ken Irving:

~~~~~~~~~

A little over two years ago I reviewed a mystery novel called Scorpio Rising, by Alan Annand. This title was actually the first in what he calls his “New Age Noir” series, and now the second installment, Felonious Monk, arrives just in time for a review in this issue of Horoscope Guide.

The hero of the series is a Canadian named Axel Crowe, a private investigator licensed in all 50 states of the USA (and presumably all provinces in Canada). Although like any detective he knows the ways and wiles of criminals, he has one thing extra going for him: he’s what might be called a trained intuitive.

By this I mean that, although his primary tools are much the same as those of any good private investigator, possibly the most important item in his toolkit is astrology. He uses both natal and horary astrology, added to which is an intuitive awareness of a symbolic ebb and flow in the environment around him. The astrology he uses is “Vedic,” the astrology of India, and the two astrological techniques just mentioned are integrated into that ebb and flow, with astrology and its symbols interacting with various elements of the spaces in which Crowe finds himself over the course of his investigations.

Here’s an example of how this works – at a point when Crowe is in the apartment of the main victim, Seth Greer, whose murder he’s investigating. One notable thing about Greer’s murder is that within a day or two after he was killed, someone has systematically gone through the offices of The Village Voice (where Greer worked as a freelance journalist), his apartment, and anyplace else where he might have used a computer or saved a file. By the time these mysterious intruders are finished, they’ve destroyed or stolen hard drives, paper copies of Greer’s work and notes, and anything else that might have a word or two on it.

A cursory inspection of documents remaining on the premises (file folders scattered across the floor) reveals little of obvious interest, but Crowe sits down and begins to organize a search based on his astrological thinking:

He sat for a moment at Greer’s desk and surveyed the mess. What was he looking for? A clue to what got Greer killed.

With too many file folders to look through, he decided to narrow his choices using ruling planets – the day lord, the ruler of the Moon sign, and the Ascendant lord. Monday was ruled by the Moon, whose color was white. That was no help. There were too many off-white folders.

The Moon was in Taurus, ruled by Venus whose color was blue. So blue folders might be relevant…

The blue folders do not yield much of interest either, so Crowe opens up his smart-phone astrology app and takes a look:

…Documents were signified by the third house, Libra. Its lord Venus was in Taurus with the Moon in the 10th house.

Since that was a fixed sign, the files had to be nearby. But Saturn, which sometimes obscured things from sight, occupied the third house. Perhaps near a doorway, which the third house also ruled…

He looked in the hallway closet adjacent to the entrance. Several jackets and coats hung on a rod. Near the back of the closet was a long black winter coat.

Saturn in the 3rd house: something stiff in the arms. He felt inside the coat and withdrew three blue file folders that had been rolled together and hidden inside the coat sleeve. Each file was almost half an inch thick. He immediately got the sense this was what he’d been looking for….

And indeed it was. By outlining an example of Crowe’s astrological thinking, I want to emphasize that I’m doing this only because I’m writing for an astrological audience that might find this interesting. But I don’t want to give the impression that the novel is like this, page after page.

Astrology or not, this is a murder mystery through and through, and you don’t have to know anything about astrology to read it. Crowe shuttles back and forth from locations that range from New York to Vermont to Thailand, among many other locales, all in pursuit of a motive for the killing of Greer, a muckraking reporter who was thrown off a cliff to his death during a peaceful week-long retreat at an ashram run by a friend of Crowe’s. The local police quickly decide that Crowe’s friend is the culprit, and throw him in jail, so Crowe is off on the trail of the real killer.

Greer’s murder is not the whole of it, however, and by the time we’re a few chapters into the story, Crowe is actually investigating Greer’s murder while simultaneously consulting with the NYPD on several unsolved serial killings. In order to get needed information for the Greer case from the police, he works a trade by consulting on the unsolved killings, and at times the two cases seem destined to intertwine, while at other times they seem to have nothing to do with each other. Crowe sticks with it, however, until every last murderer is dead or in jail, and every last murder is solved. I guarantee that if you pick this up you won’t be able to set it aside.

With Felonious Monk, Alan Annand has written a worthy successor to Scorpio Rising, and by the time you finish this fast-paced, wide-ranging tale you’ll be anxiously waiting for the next book in his New Age Noir series.

~ Ken Irving

Ken Irving, editor of Horoscope Guide, is an astrologer specializing in locality mapping, Astro*Carto*Graphy, and related subjects. See his website for more information.

~~~~~~~~~

Alan Annand is a Canadian astrologer and palmist with an education spanning both eastern and western astrology. He has diplomas from the American College of Vedic Astrology, as well as the British Faculty of Astrological Studies for whom he was their North American correspondence tutor for several years.

He is also a writer of crime fiction, including his NEW AGE NOIR series (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) featuring astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

Read the highlighted reviews of Scorpio Rising on Pinterest.

Buy Annand’s New Age Noir series and other crime fiction on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Flipkart, Kobo and Smashwords.

~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Mystery-thriller “Al-Quebeca” anticipated this week’s headlines

22 Oct

Ebook Al Quebeca v4darker charcoal thumbFor years nothing happens. Then everything happens at once. This applies to publishing novels as well as launching terror strikes.

For the record, I’m a writer, not a fighter, but I admit to a fascination with terrorism. As a Canadian, I’ve watched terrorist acts unfold across the world with frightening speed and consequences. These usually occur at a distance, allowing Canadians to be mere spectators rather than forced participants. But now, things are happening right in our backyard.

On Monday October 20th, a Quebec man named Martin Rouleau ran down two uniformed Canadian Forces soldiers in a Montreal area parking lot. Rouleau, who had embraced Islam, changing his name to Ahmad LeConverti (Ahmad the Converted), had become radicalized a year ago. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), fearing he might join other western jihadists fighting in support of ISIS, had recently seized his passport to prevent his leaving the country.

After the hit-and-run incident, Rouleau was pursued by provincial police officers in a high-speed car chase until his vehicle left the road and overturned. When he emerged from his car brandishing a knife, he was shot by officers at the scene and later died of his wounds. The incident sent ripples of concerns through CSIS, the RCMP, and Canadian Forces bases throughout Canada, raising security levels and instigating a lockdown at certain facilities.

p-hill-1Today, Wednesday October 22nd, one or more gunmen made an attempt to storm the legislative buildings on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. One uniformed soldier was shot and killed at the National War Memorial. One gunmen was shot and killed by a Sergeant-at-Arms within the Parliament building. Office buildings in downtown Ottawa went into lockdown as local police, RCMP tactical squads and military personnel conduct a search for an unknown number of assailants, whose attack is presumed to have been encouraged by the “lone wolf” action of Martin Rouleau two days earlier.

This isn’t the first time radical Islamists have made their presence known in Canada. In 2006, CSIS arrested a group of jihadists, the Toronto 18, as they took delivery of three tonnes of ammonium nitrate intended for massive bombs in U-Haul trailers. Their targets: the Toronto Stock Exchange, CSIS offices in downtown Toronto, and a military base. After the bombs, they would storm Parliament, seize the Cabinet and behead the Prime Minister, all in time for the evening news and instant fame via al-Jazeera. But the Toronto 18 had been infiltrated and monitored for over a year before security officers swooped in.

skull-bomb@50%In April 2013, hard on the heels of the Boston Marathon bombings, two men with alleged al-Qaeda connections were arrested in Canada for plotting to derail a Canadian train traveling from Toronto to New York. Turns out there may have been an Iranian connection, wherein financial or technical aid was provided on behalf of al-Qaeda.

Although these Canadian plots admittedly pale in comparison to 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings, the reality is, Canada is as much on the front lines of the international war on terror as any other coalition nation. And not for lack of warning. For years the Mackenzie Institute, a Toronto-based think tank on terrorism, has been warning us that jihadists would necessarily change their program.

Large-scale operations like 9/11 would probably become a thing of the past. Instead, jihadists would adopt that popular line from environmentalists: “Think globally, act locally.” The terrorist equivalent would be a guerrilla war of “lone wolf” or “autonomous teamwork” missions designed to attack infrastructure and terrorize civilian populations and destabilize governments.

I published my novel Al-Quebeca less than a year ago. With every passing month, the central circumstances and events seem all the more inevitable. The plot involves an al-Qaeda sleeper cell in Montreal summoned to life by order of a Paris-based mullah. Although Osama bin Laden is long dead and gone, he’d issued a fatwa several years ago, vowing revenge against any country, Canada included, that had sided with America in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

guns_in_the_sky(Since then, ISIS has echoed equally violent sentiments, encouraging independent acts of terrorism in every western country that participates in the US-led coalition against their brutal insurrection in Iraq and Syria.)

In Al-Quebeca, the Montreal terrorist plot involves a simultaneous three-pronged strike: to sabotage the Hydro-Quebec electrical grid that supplies power to Boston and New York, behead the visiting Governor of New York and, for body-count bonus points, kill thousands of hockey fans with nerve gas.

Preposterous? Not really. For years the CIA has warned CSIS that Montreal, where almost one in four residents is Muslim or has ties to Arabic-speaking homelands, is a hot-bed of al-Qaeda sleeper cells awaiting the call to jihad. We all think it could never happen here. Until it does.

In Al-Quebeca, the heroine Sophie Gillette is a Montreal homicide detective dispatched in the middle of a snowstorm to investigate the suspicious hit-and-run death of an Iranian engineer who worked for Hydro-Quebec. Defying easy resolution, the case launches her on a collision course with biker wars, arms smuggling and, unexpectedly, a terrorist plot.

In the course of her investigation, Gillette uncovers militant students at Concordia University, drug financiers and a rogue professor with a PhD in chemical toxicology. All are linked to a shadowy figure called al-Quebeca whom Gillette must track to a brutal confrontation.

I just hate to be prescient, but as Aldous Huxley once said, The trouble with fiction is that it makes too much sense.

But don’t take my word for it. Read Al-Quebeca and judge for yourself.

You can purchase it at Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo or Smashwords.

 

My novel “Al-Quebeca” ripped from tomorrow’s headlines

10 Oct

Ebook Al Quebeca v4darker charcoal thumbFor years nothing happens. Then everything happens at once. This applies both to writing novels and launching terror strikes.

For the record, I’m a writer, not a terrorist, although I admit to a fascination with the latter. As a Canadian, I’ve watched terror events unfold across the world with frightening speed and consequences. These events usually occur at a distance, allowing Canadians to be mere spectators rather than forced participants. But sometimes, things happen right in our backyard.

In 1999 the LAX bomber, Ahmed Ressam, was intercepted in Port Angeles, WA, with a carload of explosives destined for the LA airport. He’d entered Canada in 1994 with a forged French passport and lived in Montreal for almost five years, surviving by stealing airport luggage. After a trip to Afghanistan where he learned how to build bombs, the RCMP began following him, and alerted US authorities when he crossed the border from Vancouver en route to Los Angeles.

In 2006, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) arrested a group of jihadists, the Toronto 18, as they took delivery of three tonnes of ammonium nitrate with which they’d planned to build massive bombs in U-Haul trailers. Their targets: the Toronto Stock Exchange, the CSIS offices in downtown Toronto, and a military base. After the bombs, they would storm Parliament, seize the Cabinet and behead the Prime Minister, all in time for the evening news and instant fame via al-Jazeera. But the Toronto 18 had been infiltrated and monitored for over a year by 700 security officers gathering evidence via 80,000 electronic intercepts.

skull-bomb@50%In April 2013, following hard on the heels of the Boston Marathon bombings, two men with alleged al-Qaeda connections were arrested in Canada for plotting to derail a Canadian train travelling from Toronto to New York. Turns out there may have been an Iranian connection, wherein financial or technical aid was provided on behalf of al-Qaeda.

Apparently, news of that domestic terrorist plot raised only tepid interest from the US media, while the Twitter-verse responded with several jokes on the subject. Understandably, a neutralized threat in Canada pales in comparison to exploding bombs in Boston, but seriously, folks… Just because Canadians are liberal and polite doesn’t mean our society is any less liable than America’s in unwittingly harboring terrorists in our midst. Quite the contrary.

I wrote the first draft of my novel Al-Quebeca in 2009 and revised it several times over subsequent years. Each time it all seems even more inevitable. The plot involves an al-Qaeda sleeper cell in Montreal summoned to life by order of a Paris-based mullah. Although Osama bin Laden is dead and gone, he’d issued a fatwa several years ago, vowing revenge against any country, Canada included, that had sided with America in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

In Al-Quebeca, the Montreal terrorist plot involves a simultaneous three-pronged strike: to sabotage the Hydro-Quebec electrical grid that supplies power to Boston and New York, behead the visiting Governor of New York and, for body-count bonus points, kill thousands of hockey fans with nerve gas.

Preposterous? Not really. For years the CIA has warned CSIS that Montreal, where almost one in four residents is Muslim or has ties to Arabic-speaking homelands, is a hot-bed of al-Qaeda sleeper cells awaiting the call to jihad. We all think it could never happen here. Until it does.

guns_in_the_sky(Currently, in a case of life mirroring art, the radical jihadist group ISIS is encouraging independent acts of terrorism in every western country that participates in the US-led coalition against their brutal insurrection in Iraq and Syria.)

In Al-Quebeca, the heroine Sophie Gillette is a Montreal homicide detective dispatched in the middle of a snowstorm to investigate the suspicious hit-and-run death of an Iranian engineer who worked for Hydro-Quebec. Defying easy resolution, the case launches her on a collision course with biker wars, arms smuggling and, unexpectedly, a terrorist plot.

In the course of her investigation, Gillette uncovers militant students at Concordia University, drug financiers and a rogue professor with a PhD in chemical toxicology. All are linked to a shadowy figure called al-Quebeca whom Gillette must track to a brutal confrontation.

I just hate to be prescient, but as Aldous Huxley once said, The trouble with fiction is that it makes too much sense.

But don’t take my word for it. Read Al-Quebeca and judge for yourself.

You can purchase it at Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo or Smashwords.

 

Al-Quebeca: fiction that could be tomorrow’s headlines

27 Sep

AQ ebook thumbMy police procedural AL-QUEBECA, in which a female Montreal homicide detective investigates a hit-and-run and discovers a terrorist cell, has received 30 Amazon reviews averaging 4.5 stars. The top 10:

“A police procedural with such atmospheric detail I was reminded of Inspector Renko of Martin Cruz Smith fame.”

“Fascinating novel with just the right amounts of procedural, mystery and suspense! Detective Sophie Gillette is a mix of tough and tender, trying to keep it together and do her job in spite of her own pain.”

“Annand’s hypothetical telling of an unfolding terrorist strike in Canada chills with its realism. Riveting story-telling on multiple levels.”

“Hard to believe the author’s a man, since his insight into the feelings of his female lead are so sensitive.” 

“It starts as a police procedural, shifts to suspense/thriller and winds up as an action joyride to a surprise ending. Right up there with Clancy and DeMille!”

skull-bomb@50%“What do you get when you weave renegade bikers and a terrorist cell with weapons of mass destruction into a police procedural? So many threads masterfully twisted, then unravelled to a satisfying ending.”

“Very entertaining and just enough truth to be scary. Fiction that could be tomorrow’s headlines.”

“Annand has a knack for quick, realistic, witty dialog. His lead police officer Gillette gives us everything we want in a female character. She’s smart, tough, vulnerable and real.”

“Intense and captivating, very hard to put down. Highly recommended for anyone who likes thrillers and complex police procedurals.”

“A timely subject and a plausible plot. Montreal’s atmosphere is rendered with a touch evocative of Graham Greene!”

ski_mask_crop2~~~~~~~~~

AL-QUEBECA is available at Amazon, AppleBarnes&Noble, Flipkart, Kobo and Smashwords.

One-man Canadian crime wave

19 Sep

AA & halloween handsThey call me Canada’s answer to Dan Brown and Michael Connelly. They are my parents. They’re biased, but also great fans of mystery, suspense and thrillers. They fed me a diet of Elmore Leonard, Michael Crichton and Nelson DeMille.

I write novels that offer a cocktail of action, mystery, suspense, thriller, humor and literary pretension. Think of me as Canada’s answer to Larsson, Mankell and Nesbo. Or Hemingway and Spillane mixed in the same highball. Beaten, not whipped.

One reviewer called Harm’s Way the closest thing yet to being the classic Canadian hard-boiled mystery. Set in Montreal, it showcases Lee Harms, a hardened man with a tender heart, in a case involving a local politician’s runaway daughter.

In Hide in Plain Sight, a mystery/suspense, a man impersonates his dead twin to conceal that his own bipolar wife killed him. But sharing a bed with his brother’s wife gives him a libidinous fever, and now someone else wants to kill him.

My New Age Noir series features Axel Crowe, an investigator who uses astrology, palmistry and other tricks learned from his guru. One reviewer called him Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope … who also knows martial arts and plays blues guitar.

Scorpio Rising presents Crowe a three-way murder whose wealthy victims across the USA all have beneficiaries with alibis. From New York to Frisco and the badlands of New Mexico, the trail ends where it began – in the heart of a frustrated writer.

In Felonious Monk Crowe investigates a reporter’s murder at an ashram. His search uncovers a series of Manhattan rape-murders going back 12 years, with connections to sex trafficking, drug smuggling and the theft of an ancient golden Buddha.

Al-Quebeca is a wintertime police procedural. Montreal detective Sophie Gillette investigates a fatal hit-and-run, only to discover a terrorist plot to assassinate a governor, disable the electrical grid, and kill 10,000 hockey fans.

And in a mash-up of genres, Antenna Syndrome dips Raymond Chandler into sci-fi to send up the hard-boiled genre. In a post-apocalyptic New York, an investigator searches for a kidnapped artist fascinated with insects. What a buzz!

www.amazon.com/Alan-Annand/e/B0052MM0PO

www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AlanAnnand

 

HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT: ebook giveaway

20 Jul

HIPS_free_thumbHIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT (psychological mystery thriller): A man assumes the identity of his dead twin brother in order to alibi his guilty wife.

Alex Carson is in mid-life freefall. He owes a quarter million in back taxes, his bipolar wife Connie keeps going off her meds, and his dog’s just died. When his estranged twin brother Dave, a multi-millionaire with a disease that’s reduced him to crutches, invites him for a weekend visit, Alex is so eager to escape his own reality that he accepts, even though his wife decides at the last minute to tag along.

Over drinks that evening, Dave tells them he suspects his wife Kristina of having an affair. Uninterested in Dave’s marital problems, Connie seeks sympathy for Alex’s tax debt and asks for a loan, which Dave refuses. In a fit of anger, Connie knocks Dave down a flight of stairs and accidentally kills him.

Given their motive and opportunity, Alex and Connie fear a murder charge if they inform the police, so he decides to take Dave’s place long enough for her to return home and establish an alibi. In a few days, he’ll engineer Dave’s “death” all over again, and escape to rejoin her. Although she suspects he just wants to sleep with Dave’s wife Kristina, she’s forced to go along with the plan.

It’s supposed to be simple but it gets very complicated. Kristina is drop-dead gorgeous, and lying next to her at night gives Alex a libidinous fever. Ironically, when it also comes to light that Dave appears to have been having an affair with their hot-blooded domestic, Alex finds himself trapped in a ménage-a-trois from hell.

And now someone is trying to kill him…

~~~~~~~~~

For a limited time, HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT is free in all ebook formats at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/59291.

If you take advantage of this offer, please consider writing a review on Smashwords and/or Goodreads.

~~~~~~~~~

Alan Annand is an astrologer and writer of crime fiction whose books are available at AmazonAppleBarnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

Alan Varanasi @ 50%

~~~

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 968 other followers

%d bloggers like this: