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A Mexican end, or the beginning of new?

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A girl who believes that the more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle, one who believes that the best way to avoid having your heart...

A girl who believes that the more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle, one who believes that the best way to avoid having your heart broken is to pretend that you don’t have one, is on a mission – to live it alone, fight it alone and finally to live like a queen – in some unknown land. Though it is a chancy, tricky journey, she is hellbent.

Julietta West Williams – Jule – opts for the byzantine and thorny path. Her closest friend, the only one for that matter, a runaway heiress, Imogen Sokoloff, provides Jule whatever she needed. Yet, she turns a stumbling block in Jule’s journey due to her eccentric lifestyle and mysterious ways.

The intense friendship turns bitter hostility. One star-crossed day Imogen – Immie – is found floating in a river, lifeless and beyond recognition. The adopted daughter of a superrich childless couple, Immie, leaves all her property to her friend Jule through a will, or so her bereaved parents believe.

Brooke, a common alcoholic friend, who realises some secrets about Jule, dies in an accident under mysterious circumstances. Jule, by now rich and strategic, continues her journey. And makes the whole world around her believe the story she has weaved about several things.

But the cops – they don’t buy any story so simply. Noa, the woman inspector, who is on a hot pursuit of a treacherous and crafty murderer, stumbles upon her, outwits her and overpower the crook. But, dexterous in martial arts and so quick-witted, Jule smashes the enemy and manages to flee. To fly to another world, an alien land, where she can live life royally, without being disturbed by any. And she goes away, successfully misleading the cops about the real murderer and the real victim. And the story ends.

E Lockhart, originally Emily Jenkins, is basically the author of children’s book, who occasionally doubles up as a young adult fiction writer. And for the very reason, Lockhart’s latest book’s title ‘Genuine Fraud’ fools the readers who judge the book by the cover. As the title suggests, ‘Genuine Fraud’ does not belong to the genre of a light-spirited humour.

It is an intriguing suspense thriller, with the protagonist having the traits of a person affected with OCD, and several adrenaline-pumping moments, cold-blooded murders, agony of orphan children, treacheries of deep, dark, desires and above all, a new school of writing.

With a melancholic, yet the intricate story of a determined girl who doesn’t care being soaked in blood in her attempts to nip the obstacles in bud coined in montage, ‘Genuine Fraud’ gives the reader a gripping tale.

Yes, as the back cover rightly sums up the whole saga – there is an intense friendship, a disappearance, a murder, or maybe two, a bad romance, or maybe three, Lockhart did a wonderful job. It is a genuine fraud, Lockhart. The best is still to come, I guess.

By: Payam Sudhakaran

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