Thursday, July 21, 2016

Blog Tour [Heist Club]: Classified

Classified (A Prologue to Les Dames des Fluers) by Georgette S. Gonzales

SYNOPSIS: Danilo Halili was not an investigative journalist. He was simply a photographer who accompanied the news publication's events reporter to cover the province-wide festivities. But his curiosity was piqued when he overheard something he was not supposed to hear... and we all know what they say about curiosity killing the cat.

Ramon Tanchangco had no doubt in his mind and in his gut that the victim of the gruesome murder in Quezon was his brother Danilo who had been unable to get back to Manila from his assignment. Angered and aggrieved, all he wanted was to find out who the killers were and why Danilo died the way he did.

He had a vague inkling that there was more to the crime than met the eye and he was ready to expose what that conspiracy could be. If only the French nun would refrain from detaining him at the Couvent du Sacré-Coeur with her hospitality.

Classified is the prologue to a 4-book series titled Les Dames des Fleurs chronicling the story of four military-trained women and their black ops team of dedicated individuals who fight for justice for the common Filipino.

MY REVIEW: I'm open to any genre even though I haven't read a story under sci-fi. Apart from romance and fantasy, thriller and mysteries are one of my favorite genre.

I haven't read books of MSV, but I could vividly recall stacks and towers of pocketbooks of my aunt and mother when I was younger. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect in the Heist Club books or Classified since I didn't read the summary firsthand. This is my first time reading a crime fiction set in the Philippines, and it was closer to home than expected.

Classified is a short quick read and is really just an introduction for the 4 books series. I thought Ramon would be the main protagonist in the story, though I admit he was a bit hasty and stupid for his actions. (Who on earth would go to the last place where his brother was seen alive without actual plans? Seriously. He threw himself in the lion's den.) But I love the part where he saw the news and had the inkling about Danilo. In my opinion, it would have been more attention grabber than in Danilo's POV. I was pulled in that part, and I also felt my stomach twist and turn.

The story is written in third person point of view and starts with Danilo before he got himself killed. It was really short, so I couldn't say much about the characters and Danilo died too soon, patriotically. His motivation for sacrificing his life, even though he said he had nothing to lose, or much backstory weren't revealed. As for Ramon, despite his rush actions, he's a brother anyone could ask for even if their relationship was complicated.

There's not much mystery, but the ugly story about the government is enough to hook me or you. And there's vigilante undercover French nun. Sweet, right? A physical description would be nice because Rose isn't really French, and Ramon mistook her as one, but the nun cover is weird yet cool. I believe she'll be the protagonist on the first book because she already has an assignment at the end. Speaking of the ending, it was quite satisfying even though I was expecting a bigger blowup.

Classified is a fast paced read, and you wouldn't able to put it down until part of it was resolved. A gruesome murder will bring you in a dangerous adventure, ugly side of the government in the province.

I'm not sure if the book series would be a full novel, but I think it would be as intriguing and hopefully gruesome and dark too.

It's available in Amazon Kindle for $1.29:, and for print copy, contact the author (there's number of ways listed below).

Here's an excerpt:
DANILO SLUMPED on the floor of his room, panting hard. His stomach lurched and he hurried to the bathroom to empty its contents into the toilet bowl. He retched so bad, he thought his intestines would spill out of his mouth, too.
Weak and spent, he sat on the cold, damp tiles doing breathing deeply so he could calm down and clear his thoughts. He clutched his Galaxy Note 4 tight, needing to protect the little device. It held a lot of important information already and must not fall into the wrong hands.
Death. Destruction. Thousands of innocent lives. Indigenous people whose forefathers had founded that community and lived there far longer than any of the present locals have ever walked this earth. And he got all the evidence he needed to pin this thing on the perverts.
The hidden files contained correspondence, CONTRACTS! – all signed by the sender and recipient; bank statements and documentation of money transfers; a list of names to whom the disbursements were made; a map; photos....
The Governor was in on it, certainly, although he himself was not hands on in the mission. He was there only as the boss. The big man whose thumbs up was much awaited to make things possible. He also made sure everyone was well covered up for otherwise, he was going down. Colonel Clemente and Police Chief Inspector Jesus Bermejo, the two highest ranking military and police officer of the region, with their host of corrupt military and PNP minions, were the ones who orchestrated and manned the actual dirty work.
Of course, some local government heads, individuals with no government affiliation but who must hold some important designation somewhere for them to deserve to be paid in millions were in the payroll, too and… Shit. Pretty much every big named politician was in on this up to Manila. The municipal mayor, however, was left out of the loop and that did not surprise Danilo. Mayor Gascon was from a rival political party. It was actually more of a surprise Gascon won the mayoralty race during the last elections.
Hands shaking, he selected all the photos he took of the hard evidence he found, uploaded them in an electronic folder, encrypted the file and sent it via email to his contact, praying this contact gets the message soon.
As an afterthought, he composed a message, something that wasn’t a total giveaway that could link the recipient to this incident, and sent it to his one remaining family.
Then he took out his SIM card, destroyed it and flushed it down the toilet. He erased all information on his phone, too, just in case. If he was lucky, he would be able to leave that property by morning without incident. He could still get back to Manila and move on like nothing happened.
He wasn’t lucky.


Georgette S. Gonzales is a full time author, residing in a small house somewhere in the Visayas. She has been writing for 12 years now under the pseudonym Edith Joaquin for My Special Valentine (Bookware Publishing, Corp.). This is her first English story to be published online.

Contact her through:
Twitter: @edithjoaquin
Instagram: @neferjetjet


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