DOUBLE-FACED : A SUSPENSE THRILLER

An Excerpt from my upcoming Novel – “Double-Faced”

 

But first the synopsis:

 

 “SIMPLY ENTERTAINING.

A HEART-WRENCHING SUSPENSE THRILLER

 ‘GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO’ MEETS ‘THE NOTEBOOK’….

 

What would you do if the man you love takes off with your face-double?

 

When Anjali Iyer wakes up in a strange place drugged and beaten up the day her wedding was supposed to take place, she is devastated. What comes next defies all explanations. When she finally makes it back to her hometown, she is greeted by doors shutting in her face, and a family that is convinced she is an imposter.  Just back from the wedding themselves, they refuse to believe she is their daughter. How could she be when her dad thinks he just gave her away to Uday Karla, the most eligible bachelor in the country?

 

Heartbroken and alone, Anjali must find her way back to her family, her love, and her life itself.

 

BUT EVERY STEP SHE TAKES LANDS HER DEEPER IN A VORTEX OF LIES…”

 

 

And now, the excerpt:

 

She grabbed them and tried them on. The slippers fit. She looked up at the man, who seemed pleased, and handed him the gold chain. He took it, bowing down in reverence, and then placed it on a shelf in front of an idol of lord Ganesh. He prayed, his hands folded. When he looked up again she was gone. He strained his neck and found her running down the road trying to hail an auto-rickshaw. The man used his fingers and let out a whistle. The auto guy’s head popped out of a parked vehicle.

“Early passenger hoy!!” The shoe-seller yelled. The auto guy nodded. He dragged his vehicle out of the sleeping caravan and stopped just as she approached.

“She already paid!” He yelled again, and she turned and shushed him. She did not want to alert her captors whoever they were. She got into the rickshaw.

“Where to?”

“Where are we?”

“Chowpati”

“Chowpati? Which one?”

“There is only one in the whole world. It is in Mumbai. Don’t you see the beach there? Where are you from?”

“Ba… Bangalore.” She was in Mumbai?!!! How did she get here?!!

“Oh,” He gave her the once over, “How did you get here?”

“Just drive. Take me to the train station.”

“You paid the full fare for that? Are you sure?”

“I… yes. Paid a lot more. Take me there as fast as you can.”

 

He drove in silence, yawning every now and then. After a while he asked, “Madam why did you run away from your own wedding?”

 

“What?  Why do you think I ran away?”

 

“Your fine clothes and jewels, your bridal veil, no shoes. It is obvious. You don’t look like the queen of the night.”

 

“I did not… yes I did, but it’s none of your business!”

 

She sank back into her seat and wept, and he eyed her in the rearview mirror worried and concerned driving now like they were treading thorns.

 

“Drive faster, please?”

 

“Yes madam.”

 

When they got there, she ran, again. She stopped when she got an eyeful of the crowd on the railway platform. She could not go in there looking like this, dressed like the ‘queen of the night’. She turned away and walked in the opposite direction, removing the veil pinned to her head. The brocade work pricked her fingers. Images of someone she knew too well flashed before her eyes. He was here, bending down to lift her veil like only he should. He was smiling, and her eyes glowed with happiness. He cupped her face, and she fainted.

 

She fainted.

 

When she came to she saw a couple of women bent over her, busy stripping her off her jewels. When they saw her open her eyes they took off.  Anjali looked down at her breasts. All that remained were the two larger necklaces. One was a family heirloom, and the other was a gift from him, her fiancé. She hated parting with either, but by the time she found the pawnbroker she’d made up her mind. She handed the ornaments to him for a pittance. She’d be able to get back to Bangalore. She’d be able to take a flight out, and she’d be back home as soon as possible. Soon her ordeal would be over.

 

End of Excerpt