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Reviewed by Grace Masso for Readers' Favorite
Killing Strangers by Ram Gopal is a stunning novel filled with political and religious realism; a tale of crime that poignantly addresses one of the ills of contemporary American society: mass shootings. Larry Watson is an ex-FBI agent who goes to Atlanta Tech Corridor for an interview for a security job. He makes sure he is early, but he is caught up in a mass shooting that leaves many victims in its wake while traumatizing the survivors. He gets into action, but can he catch the shooter? The story introduces readers to compelling characters who are suspects, each with a solid motive for the shooting: Alim Mubarak, an immigrant with the means, skills, and a strong desire for religious revenge; Dave Pruitt, an Asperger sufferer obsessed with guns; and Mark McCarthy, a successful businessman who inherits a questionable legacy from his father.
The narrative is suspenseful and the characters leap off the pages with life. They are multidimensional and written with fascinating details, and the author does an impeccable job when it comes to writing solid backdrops against which the story develops. The conflict moves from a social crisis to personal struggles, exploring the inner worlds of complex characters. The lead characters are high-profile individuals, each excelling in their field, each driven by a problem that can push them to violence. In addition to Ram Gopal’s meticulousness in writing characters that are real, the author writes prose that is engaging, flawless, and very descriptive. I particularly enjoyed the way this author translates human emotion into reality in the story that readers can resonate with, especially the sentiment of fear. Killing Strangers is a realistic story that shines a brilliant light on one of the ills that plague American society.