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Under strange circumstances

By

Loved it! 😍

A neatly crafted mystery short story that’ll keep you guessing till the very last page.

Synopsis

Detective Stephen Brown was getting ready for his sleep when his home line rang. Every muscle in his body was saying he shouldn’t pick it. He had just returned to New York City on an assignment. He picked the receiver;
“Yes, this is detective Stephen speaking.”
“We need you down here…” boomed a voice at the other end. “There is a gruesome murder at Houston Street…”
"I will be right there." He hung up, put on his clothes, wore his hat, and headed out.
He got to the crime scene as fast as he could.
“What’s going on here?” He asked the nearest police officer.
“Inside are the corpses of the renowned writer Thomas Chase and his mother.”
Thomas Chase, the name rang a bell in his head as he headed into the house.

Thomas chase is going through what every writer dreads the most - writer’s block. He struggles to find inspiration and no matter how hard he tries, the ideas stay elusive. He packs up his bags and leaves for Avignon, France in hopes of penning a story. But a series of murders shatters his tranquility and he is driven to paranoia.


Did Thomas chase have a hand in the murders? Or is he hallucinating? The rest of the story holds key to the mystery behind the bizarre murders.


Under Strange Circumstances, being the author's debut work, has all the elements that a good mystery short story is supposed to have. Kudos to him for keeping the enigma under wraps throughout the book, thus making it hard for the reader to predict what the next page holds. The characterization was done superbly and as a writer myself, I was able to relate to Thomas' feelings/desperation very well.


Had the final turn of events in the climax been justified a bit more, I’d have given this book a solid 5 stars. Nevertheless, I feel like the author started off his mystery short story series on a good note.

Reviewed by

Pursuing a degree in Library & Information Science. I've read more than 750 books to date and lately, I shifted my focus to Indie books in a bid to expose them to the greater audience.

I post reviews on GR and IG as well.

Tip me only if my work is to your liking.

Paypal ID: paypal.me/chotusiddhu

Synopsis

Detective Stephen Brown was getting ready for his sleep when his home line rang. Every muscle in his body was saying he shouldn’t pick it. He had just returned to New York City on an assignment. He picked the receiver;
“Yes, this is detective Stephen speaking.”
“We need you down here…” boomed a voice at the other end. “There is a gruesome murder at Houston Street…”
"I will be right there." He hung up, put on his clothes, wore his hat, and headed out.
He got to the crime scene as fast as he could.
“What’s going on here?” He asked the nearest police officer.
“Inside are the corpses of the renowned writer Thomas Chase and his mother.”
Thomas Chase, the name rang a bell in his head as he headed into the house.

....... "I just couldn't get a straight idea in my head." He said this one day he went to buy groceries as he was standing before the counter. "It is as if my head is empty."

"It happened to all writers. You will get the hang of it." She had said this with a reassuring smile that lifted his spirits for the day.

On the thirtieth day of his stay at the hotel, he stood up from his bed and sat at the vintage wooden table, opened his laptop to check where he had gotten to in his book. To his surprise, he had not typed a sentence; the word document was blank; he was yet to write his first sentence.

He slumped back on the bed; he suddenly realized that all the time he had spent at the hotel had been a fruitless waste of time, energy, and money. A sudden reality hit him; he was worse than he had come. His creative skills had reduced to nonexistent. The realization saddened him; a once-great creative writer is wallowing in the pool of writing emptiness.

He decided it was time to leave. He couldn’t achieve anything great as his Mum had promised. He was in this disappointing state where sleep came to take him away to another realm. He was brought back to life by the annoying buzz of the telephone receiver. He walked with wobbly legs to his desk, half awake, half in the dream world. He picked the receive;

“What is it?” He said through clenched teeth because he was woken roughly by the phone.

“Sorry to disturb you, you have a package.”

"A package, okay, I am coming for it.” He sure was startled because nobody except for his Mum knew he was staying in France. He was not expecting a package.

He walked out of his room, not so awake. He went through the passage and entered the elevator, which took him down. He collected the small package from the receptionist and headed back to his room. The package was roughly wrapped with old purple wrapping nylon, and it was small, like a small pocket novel which was a little bigger than his palm.

Immediately he entered his room, he unwrapped the package and found a notebook with rough black leather cover; the book looks very old, like an ancient relic of a particular family. He opened the book, and a strange sensation went through him that his body shivered. He wasn’t completely awake, so he thought it was the sleep that was playing tricks on him. He went back to sleep still in his depressed state and went into a deep sleep. That was when it all started.


About the author

I'm James Halloran and this book is the first brick of my first writing project that consists in series of mystery short stories. My passion for this genre was born all of a sudden on a rainy evening, while a was on vacation in Tuscany, Italy and a was reading my first Stephen King novel, The Mist. view profile

Published on May 21, 2020

10000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Thriller & Suspense

Reviewed by

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