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A Yellow Winged Stranger by Imran Usman

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
fiction, contemporary fiction, Imran Usman, On My Kindle, book review

A note on a wall, written by one convict to another, has the potential to change the lives of two young men. A father has given one of his sons a second chance in life, but can he do the same for the other?

I received a PDF copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A serial killer known as "The Blacksmith" has been caught and is on trial for the gruesome murders of 83 victims. The methods he used when murdering his victims closely resemble that of another serial killer known as "The Full Moon Butcher" in so many ways it seems that the two serial killers are the same person; a notion that is dismissed because The Blacksmith would have been a child when The Full Moon Butcher struck. Is there a connection between the two that investigators have somehow missed, or is The Blacksmith just a copycat killer that has done his homework?

A Yellow Winged Stranger by Imran Usman delves into The Blacksmith's past to give readers a glimpse into the origins of a notorious serial killer. Usman boldly switches from first-person to third-person perspectives as he guides us through a web of love, treachery, and manipulation to a surprising ending. Weaving descriptive details and philosophical prose, Usman invites readers to immerse themselves in the story to learn more about The Blacksmith and his connection to The Full Moon Butcher.

contemporary fiction, philosophical, book review, On My Kindle

Grammatical errors aside, I enjoyed reading A Yellow Winged Stranger. The beginning of the book starts out slow as Usman provides readers with the characters' histories, but the pace picks up in the middle when Usman introduces us to The Blacksmith. There are enough descriptive details combined with philosophical prose to give readers a sense of emotion while reading, but not enough details to give readers the sense that they are reading a screenplay. I also liked that Usman provided enough clues about the ending without ruining the surprise. The pieces that lead to the ending are all there; however, the pieces do not fit together until the end when even more information is uncovered.

As much as I enjoyed this book, there is one element of the book that I would change if I could; the alternating perspectives. The story changes between first-person and third-person perspectives several times. The switch from one point of view to another did not confuse me, but how those changes were executed felt a little awkward. This may be caused by reading the PDF book on my Kindle, or it may be that the author needs to re-edit to make those transitions from one perspective to another seem effortless.


A Yellow Winged Stranger by Imran Usman is not a crime thriller, despite the summary provided on the back cover; it is an intriguing, riveting, and philosophical piece of contemporary fiction that poses more questions about justice and love than it answers. If you enjoy reading philosophical and dramatic fiction, you might want to give this book a try.

To find out more about A Yellow Winged Stranger: you can view and download a sample from Amazon or Google, check out other reviews on Goodreads, or chat with Imran on Twitter.

 Enjoy!
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