The book “Faith and the Beloved” by Kochery C Shibu is a crime thriller which presents a riveting saga of love, lust, betrayal, intrigue and revenge.
In the novel, Alice Cherozil, daughter of business woman Naithy Cherozil, kills her stepfather Tony D’Souza, who is connected to a terror outfit. In a parallel storyline, the brother of Prem Rollands is killed by the police under mysterious circumstances, and he wants to avenge his brother’s death.
As the lives of Naithy, Prem and Alice cross each other, they must retain their faith and protect their beloved ones, even at the cost of their own lives.
Read an excerpt from the book below.
Alice Cherozil had the story of Ubuntu in her mind as she looked at Tony in the muted bedroom light. She listened to his deep rhythmic breaths. He was in deep sleep. Alice peered carefully at the handsome, well-chiselled nude body as she held the knife in her hand. She paused for a moment as she tried to position the knife on the rib cage. Alice was naked and sitting straddled across him on the bed. She recalled the passage from the Bible, “Jael placed the tent peg on the temple of the man and hammered it to the ground and killed him.” She raised her hand to hammer the knife into his chest but backed off at the last moment as her mind seemed to go numb. Alice then lifted the knife and took it to his temple. She was not sure if the knife would go through the temple. She removed the knife and placed it on his chest again. “Lamb of God take away the sins,” Alice whispered the prayer as she paused for one last time. She took a deep breath and swung the hammer to plunge the knife deep into his chest.
The soft sound of the cleaver knife penetrating the muscles turned to a muted thud as it struck a rib and slipped. Alice was panting from fear as she held the knife straight again and tried to hammer it in with all her might. She was still panting in fear of the unknown and saying, “Die, you animal Tony D’Souza, die,” in her mind as a fountain of blood splashed on her face and body.
There was a groan as he woke up with a surprised look on his face. The chiselled body responded with a lightning move, pushing her away as he stood up after tumbling to the side of the bed. He stood looking disbelievingly at his chest as he squeezed the wound tight around the knife to minimise the bleeding.
“You little slut, you are trying to kill Tony?” he shouted as he stumbled towards the dressing mirror and yanked open the door with his hand. She stood there frozen and watched as he pressed his thumb to the small safe in the drawer. It sprung open, he pulled out a revolver and turned around.
She jumped out of bed and fell on to the French window as Tony pointed the revolver towards at her. She stood there frozen and kept staring at the gun pointed at her.
“You little bitch, you too are after the diamonds, like your stupid mom. That is Tigers’ property. They are coming to collect it. How could you?”
Tony stood there looking disbelievingly at the knife plunged into his chest, and the blood oozing out.
“I will rip you to pieces,” Tony shouted and charged towards her with his arms flung open. As he let go of his chest, a fountain of blood spurted out. He paused to squeeze the wound tight again.
“Look at me, you stupid girl,” Tony commanded as he pointed the revolver towards her and clutched his chest even more firmly with the other hand. He stumbled as he fired. Alice heard the bullet whiz past and strike the glass behind as it shattered. He fired again as his hand wavered, and she stood there numb as another bullet whizzed past. He had a stupid grin on his face as he ambled towards her with a massive erection. Alice looked at his blood-lit penis as it stood up like a gun about to fire.
“A knife will add to the fun. I told you I can do it after three stiffs,” Tony mumbled as he charged towards her. Blood spurted from his chest and splashed on her as he neared her. He paused with a look of surprise at the fountain of blood which was all over his body. Alice woke up from her stupor, ducked, and moved to the side. The revolver fell out of his hand as he tried to pin her to the French window.
“The stupid cunt!”
Alice heard him mutter as Tony almost collapsed and fell on to a small table near the French window. His body stood there awkwardly poised on the table and supported by the window frame.
Alice watched for a few seconds as the blood kept flowing. She noticed the revolver with the silencer lying on the ground. The curtains were drawn on the French windows. There were two holes where the bullets had passed through. She paused for a while and felt a load off her chest as she watched the well-chiselled naked body leaning against the French window, very dead, and like a Roman statue. She stood silently and listened out for noises from the outside. She was not sure if anyone had heard the gunshots and the breaking of the glass. She felt relieved by the silence all around.
Alice put on a pair of rubber kitchen gloves and two pairs of socks. She tiptoed to the cupboard that Tony had left ajar and looked carefully into the safe which was lying open. There were two small brass statues, one of a Laughing Buddha, and the other of Lord Ganesh. There were a few bundles of 100-dollar bills and 1000-rupee notes. She lifted the brass statues and was surprised by their weight and exquisite workmanship. An old rudimentary Nokia phone at the bottom of the safe caught her attention. As she lifted the phone, she noticed one half of an old 500-dollar bill. Alice looked around for the other half and realised it was only one half of a bill. She placed it back in the safe. She was familiar with the voice-only Nokia phones that were allowed in their school hostel. She powered the phone on, and a smile crossed her face as she started typing a message.
“Allah’s black diamonds are forever, only the blessed can possess them.” Alice sent an SMS to the first mobile number that came up, and her heart started pounding as she sent the message.
“Get well darling. Will keep diamonds for you. They are after me.” Alice sent a second message to her mother’s phone. Her heart was beating faster now.
“Tigers’ dollar bill not OK. No deal without match.” Alice sent an SMS to the next mobile number that came up. She could hear her heart beating like drums in her ears as she sent out the third message.
“Your delivery boys need to improve.” Alice smiled and sent the next message to the fourth number. She thought her heart would burst as she sent the message and immediately powered off the phone. She stood there leaning against the cupboard for a few minutes, gasping for breath. She gathered courage and powered on the Nokia phone again. She copied the three mobile numbers and the two landline numbers onto her mobile.
Alice felt her adrenaline pumping as she dialled the next number, which was a landline number from Mumbai, and disconnected the call after one ring. She dialled the next number, which was also a landline from Mumbai, and did the same. She powered off the phone and paused to gather her breath.
Alice carefully carried the statues and the bundles of notes and tiptoed across the room, avoiding the blood pool that was spreading on the floor. She stashed the notes and statues in her backpack.
Excerpted with permission from Faith and the Beloved, Kochery C Shibu, Mishan Design Point Pvt. Ltd. Read more about the book and buy it here.