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“Another day in paradise… The sky turns from tropical night blue into cherub blood red, before the sun peeks above the low hills of Siquijor, illuminating the waters of the sea and throwing its light over the shimmering white sand. The sea is perfectly calm, but something is disturbing the apparent peace; a dark longish object bobbing on the waves, drifting slowly towards the island... “
The Philippines, Summer 1978. Confusion opens with the murder of Elena Lee, daughter of a powerful local magnate, on the beautiful tropical island of Siquijor. Enter Jonathan Sy, a successful detective who is hired to carry out the investigation, along with local Chief of Police Daniel Arozo. During his quest, Sy meets several potential suspects – but instinctively knows that the real killer is not among them, an inkling that is proved as, one by one, the suspects all meet with a gruesome, premature death. The mystical atmosphere of the island and its inhabitants slowly change the attitudes of the otherwise cool and reserved inspector, and drive him to carry out actions he otherwise would have never remotely considered... Confusion is the first in the four-part series ‘Nothing Is What It Seems’. The story ends on a cliff-hanger to be continued in the next two instalments, Clarity and Commitment. The truth is finally revealed in the final book, Confinement.



“Corpus meum, vestrum vas.” Her body seems to expand and fills the room from one corner to the other, closing in on me, slowly but relentlessly. I feel small and insignificant in front of her majestic shady form and know it will crush me if it goes any further.” The Philippines, Summer 1978. Clarity reveals the identity of the Elena Lee’s murderer. In the book, the murderer will explain his life until the killing and the reasons for his actions. The murderer has been tormented by his environment and tried several times to escape. But he is too weak to start off fresh and throw off the shackles of his past. He actually never intended to kill the girl, but after the act, he had to continue killing again and again to make sure his dark secret is not revealed. Every killing strengthens his self-confidence and inevitably pushes him further into the dark side. The story ends with the murderer escaping the island Siquijor with several kilos of heroin in his bag to start a new life in prosperity in the big city Manila.



“Afterwards I wondered many times why I hadn’t become suspicious by then. After all; the tiredness was too sudden, too deep…. My detachment of the world around me too unnatural… The unspoken confidentiality between the doorman and Estelle too dubious… The secretiveness of their looks and moves too obvious….” In the third book Commitment Elena Lee’s murderer has arrived in the cesspool Manila, capital city of the Philippines, tries to sell his heroin and enjoy his riches. But Manila is unkind to the man from the province and throws up one obstacle after the other, preventing him from reaching his ultimate goal. However, he progresses up the criminal ladder, slowly but surely, not knowing that his past is about to overtake him once again…



The concluding book of the quartet Nothing is what is seems, where the past has finally overtaken the hapless killer and destroys him completely.

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© Peter de Vos | 2014