THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is a detective novel by Agatha Christie. It was written in the middle of the First World War, in 1916, and first published by John Lane in the United States in October 1920 and in the United Kingdom by The Bodley Head (John Lane’s UK company) on 21 January 1921.
Styles was Christie’s first published novel. It introduced Hercule Poirot, Inspector (later, Chief Inspector) Japp, and Arthur Hastings. Poirot, a Belgian refugee of the Great War, is settling in England near the home of Emily Inglethorp, who helped him to his new life. His friend Hastings arrives as a guest at her home. When the woman is killed, Poirot uses his detective skills to solve the mystery. This is also the setting of Curtain, Poirot’s last case.
 The story is told in the first person by Hastings, and features many of the elements that have become icons of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, largely due to Christie’s influence. It is set in a large, isolated country manor. There are a half-dozen suspects, most of whom are hiding facts about themselves. The plot includes a number of red herrings and surprise twists. Continue reading “THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES”
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THE SECRET ADVERSARY

The Secret Adversary is the second published detective fiction novel by Agatha Christie, first published in January 1922 in the United Kingdom by The Bodley Head and in the United States by Dodd, Mead and Company later in that same year.


The book introduces the characters of Tommy and Tuppence who feature in three other Christie novels and one collection of short stories; the five Tommy and Tuppence books span Agatha Christie’s writing career. The Great War is over, and jobs are scarce. Tommy Beresford and Prudence “Tuppence” Cowley meet and agree to start their own business as The Young Adventurers. They are hired for a job that leads them both to many dangerous situations, meeting allies as well, including an American millionaire in search of his cousin.
Reviews were generally positive on this adventure, which manages to keep the identity of the arch-criminal secret to the very end.

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IF TOMORROW COMES

If Tomorrow Comes is a 1985 crime fiction novel by American author Sidney Sheldon. It is a story portraying an ordinary woman who is framed by the Mafia, her subsequent quest for vengeance towards them and her later life as a con artist.

Plot

Tracy is a successful bank-worker in Philadelphia, engaged to a wealthy heir, whose child she is carrying. Then her mother commits suicide, after being scammed by the New Orleans Mafia and left in debt. Tracy gets a gun to frighten the scammer, Joe Romano, into admitting her mother’s innocence, but he tries to rape her and is wounded in the struggle. Her attorney convinces her that she will get a much shorter sentence if she pleads guilty, but the judge sentences her to fifteen years, and she realizes that the judge and the attorney are both working for Romano’s boss, mafia don Orsatti. As she goes to jail, her employer and her fiancé abandon her and the unborn child, which she miscarries under the horrendous abuse she suffers from other prisoners.

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ANGELS AND DEMONS

Angels & Demons is a 2000 bestselling mystery-thriller novel written by American author Dan Brown and published by Pocket Books and then by Corgi Books. The novel introduces the character Robert Langdon, who is also the protagonist of Brown’s subsequent novels – The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, Inferno, and Origin. Angels & Demons shares many stylistic literary elements with its sequel, such as conspiracies of secret societies, a single-day time frame, and the Catholic Church. Ancient history, architecture, and symbolism are also heavily referenced throughout the book.
PLOT 
CERN director Maximilian Kohler discovers one of the facility’s physicists, Leonardo Vetra murdered, his chest branded with an ambigram of the word “Illuminati.” Kohler contacts Robert Langdon, an expert on the Illuminati, who determines that the ambigram is authentic. Kohler calls Vetra’s adopted daughter Vittoria home and it is ascertained that the Illuminati- an ancient anti-religious organization thought extinct- have stolen a canister containing antimatter—a substance with destructive potential comparable to a nuclear weapon. When at CERN, the canister is stored in a unique electrical charger which ensures the antimatter’s stability but when removed its back-up battery provides power for 24 hours after which the antimatter would fall out of suspension and, on coming into contact with the physical matter of the container, explode. The canister is located somewhere in Vatican City, with a security camera in front of it, as its digital clock counts down to the explosion due to occur at midnight, an explosion which will wipe out the Vatican.
Langdon and Vittoria make their way to Vatican City, where the Pope has recently died. They are told that the four Preferiti, the cardinals who are most likely to be elected pope, are missing. Langdon and Vittoria search for the preferiti in hopes that they will also find the antimatter canister. Their search is assisted by Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca (the late pope’s closest aide) and the Vatican’s Swiss Guard……

Download the book: Angels and Demons.pdf

THREE

Three (sometimes stylized Thr3e) is a 2003 suspense novel by Ted Dekker.
Kevin Parson, a 28-year-old seminary student, has his life turned upside-down when a killer named Richard Slater decides to stalk him. If he can “confess his sin” Slater will stop killing. Kevin is shown as being a purely innocent character with no idea why anyone would want to hurt him, and the story that follows involves an FBI agent and a very old friend named Samantha Sheer.

 

PLOT

        Thr3e opens with a conversation between seminary student Kevin Parson and Dr. John Francis, his philosophy professor and mentor, on the relationship between human nature and evil, the subject of a paper Kevin is writing. They discuss the possibility that all people have an equivalent, inherent capacity to do evil as part of their human nature. Driving home after leaving the seminary, Kevin receives a cell phone call from a stranger identifying himself as Richard Slater, who claims to know what Kevin is hiding and says it is time to expose him. Slater gives him three minutes to confess his sin to the newspapers before Slater blows up the car. He also leaves Kevin with a riddle.Unaware what sin Slater could mean, Kevin abandons the car just in time to escape the explosion. More bomb threats and riddles follow, always escalating in destructiveness, always with time limitations or clues involving the number three. Kevin contacts his closest friend and soul mate, Samantha, whom he has known since childhood, to visit and help him solve the mystery. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) assigns agent Jennifer Peters to the case at her earnest request; the case resembles the pattern of a riddling bomber who killed her brother a year before, and she seeks to avenge his death. With the help of Samantha and Jennifer, Kevin seeks to discover Slater’s identity and motive while they seek to solve his riddles and thwart his explosions.
         The second riddle and bomb lead Kevin to visit the home in which he was raised by his Aunt Belinda after his parents’ death—the home he left at his earliest opportunity eight years earlier. The involvement of Kevin’s home arouses memories and emotions associated with the highly abnormal, mentally tortuous first twenty-three years of his life. Though Kevin is too conflicted to…

Download the book: Three.pdf

DIGITAL FORTRESS

Digital Fortress is a techno-thriller novel written by American author Dan Brown and published in 1998 by St. Martin’s Press. The book explores the theme of government surveillance of electronically stored information on the private lives of citizens, and the possible civil liberties and ethical implications of using such technology. 

PLOT 

When the United States National Security Agency’s code-breaking supercomputer TRANSLTR encounters a new and complex code—Digital Fortress—that it cannot break, Commander Trevor Strathmore calls in head cryptographer Susan Fletcher to crack it. She discovers that it was written by Ensei Tankado, a former NSA employee who became displeased with the NSA’s intrusion into people’s private lives. If the NSA doesn’t reveal TRANSLTR to the public, Tankado intends to auction the code’s algorithm on his website and have his partner, “North Dakota”, release it for free if he dies, essentially holding the NSA hostage. The agency is determined to stop Digital Fortress from becoming a threat to national security.
When Tankado does indeed die in Seville, of what appears to be a heart attack, Strathmore asks David Becker (Susan’s fiancé) to travel to Seville and recover a ring that Tankado was wearing when he died. The ring is suspected to have the code that unlocks Digital Fortress. However, Becker soon discovers that Tankado gave the ring away just before his death. Each person he questions in the search for the ring is murdered by Hulohot, a mysterious deaf assassin.
Meanwhile, telephone calls between North Dakota and Tokugen Numataka (chairman of the Japanese computer company Numatech) reveal that North Dakota hired Hulohot to kill Tankado in order to gain access to the passcode on his ring and speed up the release of the algorithm. At the NSA, Fletcher’s investigation leads her to believe that Greg Hale, a fellow NSA employee, is North Dakota. Phil Chartrukian, an NSA technician who is unaware of the Digital Fortress code breaking failure and believes Digital Fortress to be a virus, conducts his own investigation into whether Strathmore allowed Digital Fortress to bypass Gauntlet (NSA’s virus/worm filter). However, Chartrukian is murdered by being pushed off the catwalk in the sub-levels of TRANSLTR by an unknown assailant. Since Hale and Strathmore were both in the sub-levels, Fletcher assumes that Hale is the killer; however, Hale claims that he witnessed Strathmore killing Chartrukian. Chartrukian’s fall also damages TRANSLTR’s cooling system.
Hale holds Fletcher and Strathmore hostage to prevent himself from being arrested for the murder. It is then that Hale explains that the e-mail he supposedly received from Tankado was actually in his inbox because he was snooping on Strathmore, who was also watching Tankado’s e-mail account. After the encounter, Hale’s name is cleared when Fletcher discovers through a tracer that North Dakota and Ensei Tankado are actually the same person, as “NDAKOTA” is an anagram of “Tankado”. Strathmore exposes himself when he fatally shoots Hale, and arranges it to appear as a suicide. Susan later discovers through Strathmore’s pager that he is the one who hired Hulohot. Becker later kills Hulohot in a violent confrontation.
Chapters told from Strathmore’s perspective reveal his motives. By hiring Hulohot to kill Tankado, having Becker recover his ring, and at the same time arranging for Hulohot to kill him, he would facilitate a romantic relationship with Fletcher, regaining his lost honor, and enable him to unlock Digital Fortress. By making phone calls to Numataka posing as North Dakota, he thought he could partner with Numatech to make a Digital Fortress chip equipped with his own backdoor Trojan so that the NSA could spy on every computer equipped with these chips. However, Strathmore was unaware that Digital Fortress is actually a computer worm that, once unlocked would “eat away” at the NSA databank’s security and allow “any third-grader with a modem” to look at government secrets. When TRANSLTR overheats, Strathmore commits suicide by standing next to the machine as it explodes. The worm eventually gets into the database, but soon after David Becker figures out the password (3, the difference between the Hiroshima nuclear bomb, Isotope 235, and the Nagasaki nuclear bomb, isotope 238, a reference to the nuclear bombs that killed Tankado’s mother and left him crippled), and is able to terminate the worm before hackers can get any significant data. The NSA allows Becker to return to the United States, reuniting him with Fletcher. In the epilogue, it is revealed that Numataka is Ensei Tankado’s father. Numataka left Tankado the day he was born since Tankado was a deformed child.

Download the book: Digital Fortress.pdf

THE LOST SYMBOL

The Lost Symbol is a 2009 novel written by American writer Dan Brown. It is a thriller set in Washington, D.C., after the events of The Da Vinci Code, and relies on Freemasonry for both its recurring theme and its major characters.
It is the third Brown novel to involve the character of Harvard University symbologist Robert Langdon, following 2000’s Angels & Demons and 2003’s The Da Vinci Code.

Synopsis

Having returned from Europe and his adventures in Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to Washington, D.C., by his mentor, Peter Solomon, to speak at a prestigious Smithsonian fundraiser. However, when Langdon arrives, Solomon is nowhere to be found. After calling Solomon’s assistant, Langdon learns that his scheduled speech was only a trick to bring him to the Capitol.
Moments later, screams are heard and a severed hand—Solomon’s—is found in an adjacent room in the Capitol Building. One of the fingers wears a ring that bears the mark of the Freemasons’ highest honor. Each of the fingers is tattooed, as is the palm of the hand, with symbols that only Langdon comprehends. Langdon realizes that the tattoos are an invitation to unlock mysteries of the ancients. Soon, a number of high-ranking national security officials demand that Langdon help them as he is the only one able to decipher the mysterious invitation. Langdon, the chief of Capitol security Trent Anderson, and CIA official Sato find themselves in a sub-basement room of the United States Capitol Building; the room is set up in a scene familiar only to Langdon and Masons the world over.
Meanwhile, Solomon’s sister, Katherine, goes to work in a secret lab constructed by her brother in an empty pod deep within the Smithsonian’s storage facility. Katherine, trying to advance the science of noetics, finds it strange that Peter is not answering his phone. Summoned by a mysterious Dr. Abbadon, who claims to have been working with Peter to deal with psychological distress, Katherine learns that her brother has shared some of her secret research with the doctor, which shocks her.
Katherine and Robert are eventually brought together in a desperate attempt to save Peter Solomon—and the nation—from a single madman determined to reveal information that could change life as we know it. 

Crazyilluminatus: “The Lost Symbol is a fast-moving, action-packed thriller told in Dan Brown’s riveting style that will keep readers turning page after page. It is worth it.”

Download the book: The Lost Symbol.pdf