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Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite
Richie King had already seen his fair share of the unusual in Manila but it's the visit of a strange lady offering his family piano lessons that set him and his friend on a mission that would draw them into the world of the multi-millionaire business tycoon Lee Chan. Lee had emigrated from Fujian to the Philippines in search of a better life but little else is known about how he rose to the top of a business empire that would come to rival the government of the day. Richie and his friend are led to a cemetery with a million stories about spooks and zombies around it but their interest in one particular spook leads to a ghost story like no other in Rezaul Khan's 8 Frog Street.
Rezaul Khan's story about a business mogul's climb to the top is revealing. While it is a work of fiction, the way he incorporates the paranormal angle that Manila is famous for is simply delightful. His characters have deep origin stories that are tied to different aspects of Manila's rich history. The novel alternates between the comedic and the frightening, ramping up the fear factor as you progress through each chapter. I kept looking over my shoulder as I became immersed in this enthralling novel. The story in 8 Frog Street may be centered on Lee, but Isabella's coy antics make you wonder who is running the show. The book combines some of the best elements of drama, romance, and mystery in an elaborate manner, resulting in a one-of-a-kind novel that teases the imagination of the reader from start to finish. Kudos must go to the author for a beautiful piece of work.