Tyrants
Khalid Mukhtar

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Synopsis

The fateful end of a cold-blooded despot from ancient times and the severe chastisement endured by a schoolboy in eighties India, are part of a cosmic progression that leads to a curious hostage situation at a Chicago area campus deli.

When Sociology major Eli YapDiangco walks into Henry Wu's for a quick bite before class, he gets more than he asks for. A deranged cop, O’Reilley, takes the entire deli hostage, killing the proprietor before turning on some of the customers. He takes Eli and five others, and confines them to the modest basement of the deli.

With the quiet passage of time, the hostages loosen up and bring forth a world of subtle oppression as they share accounts of their deepest regrets. The group is distracted from their despair when, in moments of curious serendipity, the contents of an old suitcase and an inactive cell phone reveal damning evidence of a strained partnership in high crime between O’Reilley and Henry Wu. The shocking revelation leaves the hostages increasingly wary of the cop’s motives. They execute a plan to get the evidence into the right hands.

But their spirit is crushed when they witness the violent death of Mohamed. One by one, the killer cop takes them away until only Eli is left. Eli’s suspicions are confirmed when he finds himself meticulously framed as the fall guy in a mass homicide. Desperate, alone and awaiting his imminent arrest or death, Eli’s attention returns to the reticent walls of Henry Wu’s den that sport a decorative mural of Frank Dillon’s masterpiece, The Stray Shuttlecock. What he finds baffles him. But what he is entirely unprepared for is the truth he is about to discover.

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Reviews by the community

Deepak Kaul

The author has evidently put in a lot of in constructing the chapters, but I felt the Chapters were too long. You have to grip the readers' attention within 10-15 pages and and create enough of a mystery (in this case, a link between the past and the present), for them to carry on reading. Definitely the synopsis should do that, and there should be a link between the synopsis and the book.

Mar 06 '15
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Deepak Kaul

The opening line of the synopsis got drowned out by the next 3 paras, and then there was very little hint in the 1st 3 chapters of the link. Your writing is nice and descriptive, but between the Red Sea parting (assuming it was that!), and Niyaz's story and the coffee shop scene, the link is totally lost. A great proponent of establishing the link between past and present is Dan Brown. Anyway, all the best.

Mar 07 '15
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Khalid Mukhtar

Thanks for the candid critique. 1 for calling out the first 15 pages not being gripping enough for you. However, the opening line of the synopsis means to convey the existence of a link (a "progression") between the past and the present. Resolution comes at the conclusion of the subplot. Thanks again, for the strong feedback, and taking the time to read.

Mar 06 '15
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pandustar

Thankfully here is an Indian author who has written a story not entirely based in India - I mean our stories are limited to only our peripheral vision, its like we don't know that there is a world beyond India.
The stories seem unconnected to each other - however that is what the rest of the book is for i presume.
Good Job!

Feb 02 '15
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Niyati Shinde

Wow! Intriguing and gripping! Would love to read the rest of the book :-)

Dec 06 '14
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About the author

Khalid Mukhtar Follow

I live in suburban Chicago with my wife and four children. I spend a lot of my free time writing classical poetry. I am also an aspiring novelist and have two completed manuscripts of fiction drama.