Tag Archives: murder

Alfred Hitchcock (b. August 13): “In films murders are always very clean…”

13 Aug

hitchcock

“In films murders are always very clean. I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man.”

~ Alfred Hitchcock, b. 13 August 1899

http://pinterest.com/pin/39406565462631790/

Alfred Hitchcock (b. August 13): “In films murders are always very clean…”

13 Aug

hitchcock

“In films murders are always very clean. I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man.”

~ Alfred Hitchcock, b. 13 August 1899

http://pinterest.com/pin/39406565462631790/

Alfred Hitchcock (b. August 13): “In films murders are always very clean…”

13 Aug

hitchcock

“In films murders are always very clean. I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man.”

~ Alfred Hitchcock, b. 13 August 1899

http://pinterest.com/pin/39406565462631790/

Alfred Hitchcock (b. August 13): “In films murders are always very clean.”

13 Aug

hitchcock

“In films murders are always very clean. I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man.”

~ Alfred Hitchcock, b. 13 August 1899

pinterest.com/pin/39406565462631790/

 

Alfred Hitchcock (b. August 13): “In films murders are always very clean…”

13 Aug

hitchcock

“In films murders are always very clean. I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man.”

~ Alfred Hitchcock, b. 13 August 1899

http://pinterest.com/pin/39406565462631790/

Hard to solve redneck murders…

29 Sep

redneck_murders

See more original eCards at http://pinterest.com/alanannand/ecards/

 

Alfred Hitchcock (Aug 13): “In films murders are always very clean.”

13 Aug

hitchcock

“In films murders are always very clean. I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man.”

~ Alfred Hitchcock, b. 13 August 1899

http://pinterest.com/pin/39406565462631790/

 

Hide in Plain Sight: book review by Val Tobin @ Suite101

9 Oct

Take one rich twin and one poor twin, throw in a bipolar wife, shake violently, and you have the makings of another delicious crime novel by Alan Annand.

Alex Carson’s life has turned into a country song. He owes the government thousands of dollars in taxes, courtesy of his fraudulent accountant; his wife, Connie, is bipolar and his dog is dying. What he doesn’t realize is, things are going to get much worse. During a visit to Alex’s wealthy brother Dave, which Connie turns into a quest to get financial assistance, Connie causes Dave’s death after a heated argument.

Alex decides that the only way out of this mess is to take Dave’s place and allow Connie to go establish an alibi, thereby avoiding the ordeal of having to ‘fess up to the police about what had transpired. The execution of Alex’s creative solution makes for a crazy wild ride as we tag along in Alex’s first person narrative.

Inside the Mind of Alex Carson

According to Annand, who agreed to talk with Suite101 about his book, his use of the first person was designed to, among other things, “oblige the reader to suffer in sympathy with Alex, no matter what morally questionable actions he had to follow through on.” And suffer the reader does. Exquisitely.

During this charade, Alex must share a bed with his beautiful sister-in-law, a woman stolen from Alex by Dave years before. He must also maneuver his way around Dave’s various existing relationships, including one with the housekeeper, with whom Dave may or may not have been having an affair.

Following Alex on his adventures in Dave Land makes compelling enough reading, but the questions that arise about what was going on in Dave’s life at the time of his death compound the intrigue and the tension. When you also factor in the logistical issues with which Alex must contend, reading the story becomes an addiction.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder and How to Dispose of a Corpse

Annand, as always, has done his research to make everything in his novel authentic and credible. Dave suffered from Guillain-Barré Syndrome, something with which Annand was familiar via an extended family member who had the disease. Having Dave suffer from GBS was a unique twist that makes things more demanding for Alex playing Dave, and of course makes it more entertaining for the reader. Connie’s bipolar disorder also spices things up, but it also provides a glimpse of what it might be like to be married to someone who is bipolar.

The most intriguing questions presented by the novel, and dealt with deftly by Annand, however, relate to Dave’s body and how Alex deals with it: How can Alex store the corpse? Where will he keep it? How can he obscure the time of death? How can he create a new, believable cause of death? Can he really pull it off? Should he really pull it off? The practical considerations run neck and neck with the ethical ones.

Tension and Sleepless Nights with Hide in Plain Sight

Alan Annand has an uncanny knack for forcing the reader to read at breakneck speed to get past all the tense moments, while at the same time making him/her wish the ride would never end. The first time you read Hide in Plain Sight, you will want to savor it, but it’ll be impossible. As the tension and questions mount, you can’t help but read as fast as you can to see what happens next. It is a most delightful form of torture.

Don’t pick up this book if you’re looking for a bedtime reading cure for insomnia. But if you’re looking for suspense, tension and the queasiness that comes from participating in questionable activities, then this book is for you. This is the perfect book to take on a flight or on vacation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT  (psychological mystery suspense) eBook $2.99, paper $9.99.  A man assumes his twin brother’s identity in order to alibi his own wife who’s accidentally killed his brother in an argument. But when he finds himself sharing a bed with his beautiful sister-in-law, he faces bigger challenges and harder choices.

www.amazon.com/Hide-in-Plain-Sight-ebook/dp/B0050K1EZA

www.smashwords.com/books/view/59291

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Val Tobin is a Feature Writer for Suite101. Formerly a software developer, she has pursued her interests in the occult, paranormal and spiritual fields through formal studies in nutrition, mediumship and parapsychology, all of which have become active professional avenues. For more information, see her website at:  http://www.serenitynowgifts.com/

 

Scorpio Rising: book review by Dell Horoscope

22 Apr

SCORPIO RISING, by Alan Annand

What astrology needs to show its authentic depth is a super-hero in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade, and Hercule Poirot. Since astrologers have inside information about how the universe works beyond the apparent three dimensions of our manifest world, they should make great detectives. So far, our justice system remains skeptical about how astrologers might help, but a few writers have begun creating protagonists who use the celestial arts to solve murder cases.

Author Alan Annand has created Axel Crowe, an astrology-savvy hero in Scorpio Rising. In this dramatic tale, three murders take place simultaneously in three separate locations across the USA. Axel Crowe has been hired to investigate one of those murders. At first, all he knows about is the one that took place in New York. The other two murders take place in San Francisco and Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Due to the wealth of all three of the murder victims, and the anti-terrorism work of the victim from Los Alamos, all kinds of police investigators and FBI agents are called in. Naturally, they don’t have a clue about whodunit, but Axel Crowe starts figur­ing it out after 300 pages or so. His first insight comes from noticing a variety of threes and triangle shapes during his investigation. The trail is interrupted by some violence, a few sex scenes, and a tangled narration that jumps from one location to the other every few pages.

When he arrives at a place relevant to the case, he adds up the digits in the address to get a numerological clue. He notices whether a corporate building is designed according to vastu (akin to feng shui) principles. When he’s offered a drink, he asks for mango juice (“rich in anti-oxidants”). He quickly sizes peopl­e up according to their ayurvedic body type or the shape of their hands and fingers. He reads signs, coincidences, and is always ready with an appropriate quote from his guru. What more could you ask for in a New Age hero?

Most importantly, Axel Crowe has an iPhone with an astrology app. When he arrives on a scene, he checks the current transits. He can guess a suspect’s rising sign with uncanny accuracy, and thus also derives a natal horoscope to check out character and alibis. As it turns out, the murder he’s investigating took place when Scorpio was rising, hence the title. Most people associate Scorpio with death, sex, and the dark side, and much of this book’s content provides ample fulfillment of this connection.

Take one of the main characters, Carrie Cassidy. In her opening scene, she meets a handsome, studly fellow on the elevator while on her way to visit her mother: “Fit as an athlete and squeaky clean, just the way she liked them.” She quickly hooks up with the stranger to indulge in an afternoon quickie, and still has time to visit her mother without being too late. For most of the story, Carrie appears to be an ambitious, lusty writer trying to make it big with her first novel. She’s spent the last three years working on it and just wants to get the thing pub­lished.

Those interested in astrology will find some satisfaction with Crowe’s analysis and interpretation, and the story line is a welcome entry into twen­ty-first century fiction. Naturally, Axel Crowe is skilled in the martial arts, and toward the end, he has a merry chase through the craggy terrain of New Mexico. In the last chapter, he explains to his client and the hapless mainstream detectives how the murders were all connected.

Spoiler Alert: The plot was akin to Alfred Hitchcock’s film Strangers on a Train, where each stranger agrees to kill the other stranger’s intended victim, a wife and a mother, respectively. In this way, the out-of-town killings would provide foolproof alibis. Hitchcock’s story involved two murders, while in Scorpio Rising, there are three.

Scorpio Rising is a step forward in the New Age detective genre. For those with a mystical blend and more than a touch of Scorpio darkness, you’re in for a treat. Just remember that, as Crowe’s guru was fond of saying, “The subtle has the capacity to penetrate the gross, but not vice versa.”

– Chris Lorenz @ Dell Horoscope

For all the latest REVIEWS of Scorpio Rising, see: http://pinterest.com/alanannand/scorpio-rising/

To purchase Scorpio Rising (digital $2.99, paper $11.99)


Scorpio Rising: book review by Horoscope Guide

20 Mar

 SCORPIO RISING, by Alan Annand, Sextile.com

358 pages, paper $11.99 (available at Amazon.com or Createspace.com). Digital versions for all ereaders available ($2.99) through Smashwords.com.

Independent investigator Axel Crowe has promised to look into the murder of a friend’s sister, who was found dead under odd circumstances on a New York street. Having been allowed access to the detectives assigned to the case, he asks first for the basic details of the murder: where it happened, approximate time of death, and so forth. As the cops give him the requested information, he is thumbing his smart phone, glancing at it from time to time, not the kind of gesture that gets much attention from anyone these days of course. What he is doing, though, is having an astrology app do the chart, and a Vedic chart at that, for the date, time, and place of the murder. He glances down at it and thinks to himself:

With Scorpio rising, a fixed sign suggested murder connected with a family member. The seventh house was Taurus, a female sign, and its ruler was Venus, a female planet. Together, they indicated a female killer. Venus in dual sign Pisces implied more than one person involved. An exalted Venus, in planetary war with Mars, described an aggressive professional who was into sports or martial arts…   

And neatly with a few strokes of a thumb and a not insubstantial fund of knowledge gained from his former guru, Crowe has outlined the clues that begin to lead him to the murder. Earlier in the book Crowe’s guru had cut him loose as someone too much taken with his vices (relationships, drinking, and gambling) to give proper attention to spiritual tasks.

That kind of character work I found refreshing almost from the start of Scorpio Rising, as over the years I’ve read probably most of the small number of works of astrological fiction published, and a major fault in most (with the exception of Barbara Shafferman’s Addie Price in The President’s Astrologer, published in 1998) is that the main character tends to be a type, not a person. One can’t imagine them falling in love, having any bad habits (if they have habits at all), and certainly one can’t conceive of them ever making a mistake. Crowe is good at what he does, but he is not perfect, and he is good at being human, though again not perfect.

Though I’ve started this review with a quote that is firmly astrological, protagonist Crowe is also a palmist and uses other intuitive and symbolic techniques such as vastu shastra (similar to feng shui, though there is only a partial overlap between the two). Mostly though, he is a smart, observant detective who knows how to put together little bits and pieces of clues to make the big picture that leads him to the culprits. While there is no doubt that astrology, supported by these other techniques, is a central player in the untangling of the mystery, that app on Crowe’s smart phone is introduced only where it makes a difference and this is done in such a way that the reader isn’t required to know much, if anything, about the subject.

The story revolves around three murders that occur on the same day in geographical locations far removed from each other, and though from very early in the book we have an idea of who the culprits are (by nature if not by name), just how the murders might be linked, and how that could relate to the motives is always just a chapter or two ahead of the reader. I happen to gravitate toward mysteries in my off-hours reading (and more so since the advent of the Nook and library e-loans), and they tend to fall into two categories: those you read to the end in order to find out what happened, and those you read (sometimes grudgingly) to the end to confirm what you already know.

The first category is the best of course, and Scorpio Rising falls firmly into that class. Around page 150, though I was enjoying the read, I was quite sure that I had figured out most of the key elements of the mystery, but two chapters later I had to stop patting myself on the back when a couple of additional details told me that I had totally misjudged two of the characters, derailing most if not all of my detective work. And so it went, all the way to the end.

What it comes down to is that Scorpio Rising is an engaging mystery with twists and turns that keep you reading all the way to the last page of the last chapter. Axel Crowe is a new kind of character on the mystery scene, who is a quick study when presented with a baffling murder in part because he combines his own mix of intuitive methods with a thorough understanding of methods used by police and crime labs the world over. Though his intuitive insight may give him an edge and put him a level or two above the more tedious tasks of police work, Crowe is not some shiny mystical figure travelling on a higher plane, but rather someone who deals every day with the limitations of his own imperfections.

A good mystery all the way around!

~ Kenneth Irving, editor, Horoscope Guide

For all the latest REVIEWS of Scorpio Rising, see: http://pinterest.com/alanannand/scorpio-rising/

To purchase Scorpio Rising (digital $2.99, paper $11.99)


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