RED BRIDE’S NOOSE
Being a girl in a Sikh family can be a real killer.
Camille Hayer should be preparing for a job interview—not ordered to pack her bags for a cousin’s wedding in rural Orissa. India is the last place on earth she would go to willingly; it’s where her sister disappeared thirteen years ago.
On arrival, Camille’s bag is brutally snatched and her family is more concerned about catching a train. No ticket, no passport, and adapting to third world conditions is the least of her worries when a body is found in the sugar cane stalks.
Without forensic specialists, Inspector Chandra Bhan accepts the monumental task of finding a calculating killer. In the midst of a poisonous agenda, Camille breaks the ban of silence about Samara’s disappearance and a gruesome truth leads her to question everything she knew about her family.
Against this backdrop, Chandra grapples for a motive, but this is a crazy marriage obsessed society and the murder of a stranger is hardly a worthy curiosity. While she treads carefully through ancient rituals, scorching daylight blurs into the night and nothing is as it seems. A second body is discovered, sinister lies unfold and Camille’s father becomes prime suspect.
Then Camille makes a connection, but is she too late to escape the red bride’s noose?
Ordinary People Carry Grisly Secrets
On Writing While I read traditional whodunits, suspense, and thrillers, Red Bride’s Noose is a story that unfolds in rural India and the police procedural elements are unique to the location. The village of Noor-Nayimi, its characters, and events are from my imagination. This is fiction and I have taken some liberties to improve the story.
The Setting Bookstores are stacked with mysteries and thrillers, but I have not found much about women from other cultures who manage to turn oppression and violence into opportunity. So I chose to write about a very closed culture and explore a different kind of outcome for Camille.
Bond Between Siblings I wanted to write about the tender ties between brothers and sisters.
Camille and Neil are incomplete as one other sibling is missing. Memories of Samara have been methodically expunged, but not for long.
Inspector Chandra Bhan Marriages are arranged or forced and violence against women has been a part of life for centuries, but India is a land of duality. A society that prefers men over women also appoints female inspectors. There may not be many of them, but it’s progress I wanted to work with.
The Idea I am lucky to have had the opportunity to live and work in other countries. This book was sparked by travel experiences. The story, Red Bride’s Noose was with me for years and I am really happy I was finally able to write it.
Published on March 3, 2014.
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Radio interview with Financial guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade at NEWSTALK1010.
Select podcast Gail Vaz-Oxlade – June 9, 2014. You can listen to the whole program or fast forward towards the end at 1:02 to catch the clip on Red Bride’s Noose.