With technology bringing together like minded people like never before, I came across this Author on a mobile application that’s a go-to to explore all things I love.
Dr. Mohd Sulaiman hailing from the Middle East is a lover of mysteries and thrillers and has very recently released two novellas in the same category, and I’ve had the opportunity to receive a gift copy of both the novellas, so without much further ado let’s dive into the double review of both the novellas in the Robert & Fahad Series.
Both novellas have a dark background signifying the dark unsolved mysteries that our protagonists are set to unravel The Mystery of the Desert Lights (#1 in the series) has a tank with the silhouette of two men as the background with the title in bold yellow lettering The cover is not gaudy in terms of the graphics but the title makes it rather unappealing due to its bright coloring and size. However, the cover gives us an insight on the story it holds within.
The Mystery of the Absent Student (#2 in the series) also has a black background with an empty student’s chair drawing a direct connect to the title, and to how the story within begins. The text for this one is not as starkly outstanding as the first one and the overall arrangement makes for a decent cover.
Robert, a European by descent but living in Kuwait and Fahad a native of the region studying at the same school are the protagonists of the Robert & Fahad Series. Both novellas take the reader on the adventurous journeys that they embark on.
While The Mystery of the Desert Lights is a short read on them solving crimes in UAE among friends Khamis and Hamdan, The Mystery of the Absent Student revolves around Robert and Fahad on a the lookout for their friend Raed who is missing from school, and their journey there on.
Set in different parts of the Middle East Asia,both stories are about the adventurous attempts at crime-solving by Robert and Fahad.
The Mystery of the Desert Lights has our lead character exploring the case of strange intermittent lights that are used as signals in the desert of Abu Dhabi, where they are camping, what each revelation in their exploration leads to discovery and deduction of a long impending crime.
With a friend missing from the first day of school, both friends are perplexed by his absence and decide to find the whereabouts of their friend. The Mystery of the Absent Student, takes us on a journey of discovery of a larger more grievous problem and how Robert and Fahad manage to crack this one too.
Written from a third person perspective, both novellas have a very similar pattern of story telling. Simple English that one can quickly get accustomed to has been used assisting in breezing by these stories.
However, the language and the style especially the sentence formation and grammar require a lot of refinement before it starts shaping up as a piece of work by a polished professional.
These novellas take us on a journey through the lives and streets of the Middle East which is not very extensively written about in this particular genre. The small details provided like the names of streets etc give an intimate touch to the narrative.
The stories are short (Yes, I get it! Novellas are supposed to be SHORT), by which I mean the description is crisp and to the point. The plot does not drag unreasonably and still manages to give to its readers all the facts and details to weave the thriller together.
Both characters though not very old display sharp minds and good deductive skills and the crimes are solved using good reasoning sensibilities which are not overdone (for a lot of books in this genre tend to almost paint the picture of a crime-solving psychic)
Apart from the language that needs to see more refinement, I would have liked a little more elaborate character portrayal.
Considering this to be a series that aims to have many more titles added to it. I would prefer to know a little more about the leading characters themselves in order to build a long-lasting bond with each of them, which only happens when each story along with the main plot displays traits and characters of the protagonists (Don’t we all know that Sherlock Holmes often resorted to playing Violin as a means to calm his mind and think about the events?!, Well it’s little details like that).
A little more depth and detailed analysis of the crimes and more dialogue between the character which would give us fodder to think about always has a way of making an imprint on our memories (Hence no Quotable Quotes for this one!).
Both the characters and the Authors creative plotlines look promising and the length of the stories works extremely well to make it a quick absorbing read.
Who do I recommend this to?
Anyone who loves this genre, and like fast paced thrillers and interesting plots to piece together will enjoy these.