White is the coldest colour by John Nicholl

whiteistheThe chilling, dark, psychological suspense thriller from ex-police officer and child protection social worker, John Nicholl.

Revised edition 12, June 2015.

BLURB: Be careful who you trust…

The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when 7 year old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.
58 year old Dr. David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory pedophile employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town house he shares with his wife and two young daughters.
Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession, and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies into reality.

About the novel: The novel is entirely fictional but draws on John Nicholl’s experiences as a police officer, child protection social worker, manager and trainer.
During his career the author dealt with many cases that left him incredulous as to the harm sexual predators chose to inflict on their victims.

The story is set in 1992, when the world was still adjusting to the idea of seeing their little ones in a danger of this kind. Pedophile was a newly learnt term for some. We think our children will be their safest in the boundaries of their home and in the arms of their loved ones but in reality its a whole different picture. Most of the victims are abused by the hands of the ones closest to them. ( And yes, that includes their parents too) In the book, this idea will be reflected.

The book contains material some may find upsetting from the start.
It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.

About the author:  John Nicholl wrote a multi-agency child protection good practice manual and articles for newspapers and a national social work magazine during his career, but White is the coldest colour is his debut novel.

He has worked as a police officer, and as a social worker and operational manager for the child guidance service, two social services departments, and the NSPCC. He has also lectured on child protection matters at several colleges and universities.

He lives in rural West Wales, has been happily married for many years, and has three adult children and one grandchild.

The novel entered the Amazon.co.uk top 100 bestseller chart in just 15 days and reached # 1 in British 51eFvYhiuIL._SY300_Detectives.

Main Characters:  Anthony, a 7 year old boy who is torn between his mother and father’s divorce, still accepting the idea of not seeing his father at home is advised by his general practitioner to see a child psychiatrist.

Dr. David Galbraith, a renowned, respected and influential personality who has powerful contacts in the administration and society, is handed Anthony’s case. But Dr. Galbraith has a disturbing secret. He is also the head of the local pedophile ring. He has made many adolescent boys as his victims in the past. And now, is again on a hunt. Anthony fits his next potential victim requirements and he will not back down till he gets what he wants. He is a raging madman with an ego taller than the Everest.

He also has two daughters and a wife, Cynthia. He treats her like his subject of study of how to break a totally confident lawyer wife into a miserable, fearful, diffident, troubled mess. The tension and fear is palpable when they are in a scene together.
Molly Mailer, who is burdened under the worries of her family. And how to get her son, Anthony, back on track.
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Review: Its a blood curdling, terrifying, heavy story with stunning character reveals, the dirty work in the society, eerie settings challenging our notions, trust and prejudices.
John takes his readers into the vile mind of a manipulative and heinous pedophile. Trust me, it feels like you are in a filthy mess, being attacked by a mentally sick mob, drowning in a bottomless pit of stink and fleas, you are flailing your limbs and trying hard to come out of it, begging for a big gulp of fresh air. You will wash yourself for a thousand times but that filth is just not going away.
But it is also important to go there at least once to know their thought process, how they work, what they think, how they plan, what they are capable of, how deceptive they can be and how controlling they are. It is a filth that needs to be stuck on your mind forever so whenever you sniff even a possibility of danger, your mind will give an instant response and recognize it.
In the society we are living today, these kinds of books with such a powerful, intense and insightful message should be read by all.
He also reflected on how such dealings and revelations affect the people who are working to solve such cases. The ones who are listening and recording the statements of the victims first hand (some of them are toddlers, for God’s sake), what impact does their disclosures have on their mind. No doubt some of them would need a drink (or drinks) to sleep with such horrendous revelations running in their minds.
We also get a bit familiarized to their working and course of action. How they get the little, innocent and scared victims to speak up. How they have to measure and weigh their words before speaking. (as many words can act as a trigger or may cause them to lose confidence) How they make sure to provide them a feeling of safety and an assurance to accept that it was not their fault.
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Considering John Nicoll’s background, the plot seems very convincing, realistic and has depth to it. It seems like after years of dealing with such scenarios this book was kind of a let out for him. May be to understand these things better or to acquaint the readers with such realities of life. I am sure he saw more horrific cases then this one. I can only wonder (more like I don’t even want to wonder) how it would have been for him or people with similar jobs at the field.
It was a nail biting, gripping and moving plot. This book made me feel so many things. I was crying with Anthony when he missed his father, I was excited with Anthony when he thought that the psychiatrist will fix his family, I was scared with him when he faced the first lash of Dr. Galbraith’s vicious plan. I was suffering with him in his captivity.
I felt the pain of Molly when she saw her family splitting away, the infidelity of her husband, the worry of her son’s behavior and beloved daughter’s whereabouts.
I empathized with Cynthia and his other victims. Feared for their safety and prayed for their well being.
My thoughts resonated with the ones who wanted to give those pedophiles the worst punishment possible.
I learnt how a criminal justifies his despicable actions. How they are also constantly working on their plan and means to get what they desire. To what extent they can stoop. The air of control and fear they create to keep others at bay and under their influence.
When I first started reading it, I was taking time, fearing what will I find in the upcoming chapters. But instead of a subject like this, the story is told very gracefully without being graphic or voyeuristic.
How the story proceeds: The story starts with a glimpse of Dr. Galbraith’s handiwork and evil secret life. Continues to show how his mind is wired with all the strings which he knows well how to pull and how much to let them lose. It’s shown how he makes his two lives completely under control and hidden from the lot.
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It continues to how the first victims speaks up, which leads to many new evidences and how all those disclosures gets tied to a single person.
The doctor starts anticipating and fantasizing about his new victim, Anthony, making plans for the next course of action. How to get things done with no interference from his mother.
Side by side, the police is leaving no stone unturned to catch the ring.
The story leads to a scene where the Doctor finally starts losing his grip, gets desperate to fulfill his fantasies. That is when the story comes to a climax where the least expected one drags him to the fate which he very much deserved, leaving you with full of hope.

To buy this book click here


An exclusive interview with John Nicholl, the author himself. Click here. 😀

City Of God (Cidade De Deus)

“Fight and you’ll never survive….. Run and you’ll never escape.”

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This 2002 Brazilian movie, based on a novel by Paoli Lins, is a directorial master piece by Kátia Lund and Fernando Meirelles with majestic screenplay, fantabulous acting & the narration is beyond perfection. A word of caution: Watch this movie with no feelings involved. Even if you have any, this movie will deprive you of it and will leave you with nothingness. Yes, when you see the short-pants running in the streets carrying guns and killing innocents just for their own sadistic fun, all the empathy for their state will be lost. It’s about the deprivation of society and emotions.

Douglas Silva as Li’l Dice in City of God

This movie enlightens the viewers about the life at the world’s most notorious slum, Rio de Janeiro’s City of God, a place where combat photographers fear to tread, police rarely go and residents are lucky if they live to the age of 20. The story is about the streets where you can see 5 year olds with guns and carrying out open shootings. Drug dealing, getting high, rivalries, robbing, killing and getting killed is the main outline of the life on the City Of God streets. So, you can say scholastic ambitions are almost nil but still, even with all these absurdities, this boy Rocket(Alexandre Rodrigues), with an artistic eye and a dream of becoming a professional photographer finds his way out.

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This movie starts with a story of an amateur gang Tender Trio who gets it pretty bad and with their downfall rises Benny(loved by all, charismatic, friendly, into brands & fashion, a romantic and is a gang lord for status and money)  images (5)and Lil’ Dice/Lil’ Zé (a psychotic killer). Benny & Lil’ Zé becomes one of the most violent gangsters in the City of God as they start up their own gang, kill many rivals, and make many enemies. Everything goes smooth till Benny decides to retire and leave the city with his girlfriend but gets shot, accidentally, on his farewell party. This gives rise to the inevitable battle between Lil’ Zé and his rival Carrot who partners with Knockout Ned (seeker of justice but becomes a warrior legend himself). The war between Knockout Ned and Li’l Zé is based on their real life counterparts. Rocket and Lil’ Zé’s paths cross at many points in the movie. In the end, it’s Rocket who documents the who war and sells it as his ticket to escape.

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This movie leaves you thinking about the state of people facing these horrendous situations throughout their short lives: the open killings, mobs, young kingpins and drugs. The state of poor people who have no one to help, no voice to raise their concerns, no ear to listen to their problems, no eyes to record the proofs, no window to the outside safer world.

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This movie has been embraced by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as a cry for help. It is a directorial masterpiece, not to be missed. If you like movies with a substance, a heavy plot based on real stories, interest in knowing more about gang of hoodlums… Go! Watch it. 🙂

Hope you will enjoy it! 🙂

-pcb

Her

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This movie leaves you with warmth and a wry smile buried in sadness….

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If you are thinking… :- “I don’t need to go to the movies to see a man fall in love with his phone.”

Well, trust me. You do!

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So, a few days back I finally got a chance to watch this masterpiece- “her“. I found it so hard to comprehend how I actually felt after watching the movie. I could not sleep that night because I was so disturbed about the message this movie tried to give. It felt like Theodore Twombly is me. We are so alike. The world shown in the movie, we have already reached it’s anigif_enhanced-buzz-17356-1391493207-8beginning. And the movie is going to be a reality… very, very soon. I can so feel it. I can so see it. The emptiness of computerized communications. All of us more interested in the world inside our phones. Everyone is ignoring everyone for the world of internet and technology. We are least interested to live in the moment with the person sitting next to us but more in what our social networking sites are offering us. We ignore the beautiful souls sitting next to us, internally begging for our attention and lost ourselves in the fictional world. The beautiful nature pleading to enjoy it’s warmth and vibrancy but we are busy taking it’s pictures from different angles, adding filters, thinking of a cool caption & hash tag and posting it on Instagram. The delicious food waiting for us to savor its myriad of flavors but we are fidgeting with our phones to capture a picture. An evening date planned out with friends to talk about our lives, latest happenings, new relationships, new changes, our feelings about the New Year is all put on hold to get a fancy group selfie and a Facebook check-in post. Hmph… See? How the things are going?

We love the solitude, melancholy, do-not-disturb signs of our rooms. We avoid hanging out with people for real but love to chat all day on internet with strangers and may be friends too (with whom we havetumblr_n1j6l8evxF1tn59xho1_250 all the time in the world to chat but to meet in person). We are slowly forgetting the ways to interact in speech, to express, to laugh, to cry for real and have learnt to type our responses, put smileys or slangs and internet short forms for our feelings. Isn’t it all just so sad? All of this is taking us more far away from each other, slowly… day by day & we are extremely busy with our heads bent into our phones to actually realize the fact. The more connected we are, the less connected we feel. And we are all drifting to loneliness, slowly… day by day. We all know it, but are to proud or may be scared to actually admit it to ourselves or others.

Sometimes we all need to be alone, not to be lonely.

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So, this movie starts with Theodore Twombly, who is in a profession to write personal, intimate, hand written letters for others. (And gosh, he writes such beautiful letters, with a software of course. Each one so intimate and full of passion. You fall in love with the words). He is basically a lonely, introvert who has all these feelings in him but not a soul to share with. So, as the world is so busy in technology & internet, ignoring the real world, no time to write their loved ones a letter by themselves, people like Theodore are hired to write one for them. And Theodore put all these feelings in his letters for people to find, what he can’t.

So, one day, he finally finds someone to share himself with. But wait! It’s not a voice (female voice) with a human flesh & body organs attached to it, it’s an OS (Operating System). OS1, an operating system with artificial intelligence, designed to adapt andHER-FP-0833.JPG evolve. And the OS names itself Samantha. They develop an unusual relationship and yes, fall in love. But by the end of the movie, Theodore realizes that what he is seeking, what will make him happy are the real human emotions and not an OS who is kind of in love with hundreds of more human beings like him. He ends up having some momentary joy with the operating system but much like computer porn, he is unsatisfied and ends up with a real human.

So, this movie ends with all these feelings coming to you and a huge list of questions and realizations. Are not we are headed there? Are we all letting the life pass us by while we are too busy keeping our eyes and fingers glued to our smart phones? It’s true, I love my smart phone. It keeps me updated, it is convenient, a time-saver, speedy and all but it also keeps me on an electronic leash. I can’t help but wonder, isn’t it that the more our daily lives go online, the quality time is forsaken in regards of quantity, in the form of an avalanche of meaningless messages?💁 The fact is, as much as I love my smart phone, I feel a bit enslaved by it.  Every time it dings and flashes the green light, I feel compelled to check it. Immediately! Out of habit or restlessness or what, I don’t know. 😦 And the most annoying thing is when you are out with people, hanging out, you all keep checking your phones. Come on man, no body died while you were ignoring your smart phone and paying attention to the real life person who was right in front of you. Well, sadly, we are all guilty of that. 😦 We need to recognize our compulsion and try to break ourselves from it. I am trying to do that. So, after watching this movie, I promised myself to switch off my internet button on my smart phone whenever I go out and try to have real conversations, real moments, real life… just like old times. 🙂 God, how I miss those old times. 😦 I don’t want to lose my humanity to a computer or become one of those people who only knows how to relate to others online. I don’t want to miss out on having a great time at a concert or a sports event because I’m too busy ‘checking in’ about the great time I’m having. Whatever the new update, new, email, tweet, Instagram picture & Facebook status is there, it can wait. Or may be it can wait forever… I wish 😦 So, Lovers, let me know your thoughts on this… the movie & how you feel about your electronic leash. 😉 And if there are any suggestions on how to fight these compulsions. Thank you for reading. 🙂 Much love: pcb

PS : I wanted to share some fabulous quotes from the movie “her” 🙂 :-

Samantha: It’s like I’m reading a book… and it’s a book I deeply love. But I’m reading it slowly now. So the words are really far apart and the spaces between the words are almost infinite. I can still feel you… and the words of our story… but it’s in this endless space between the words that I’m finding myself now. It’s a place that’s not of the physical world. It’s where everything else is that I didn’t even know existed. I love you so much. But this is where I am now. And this is who I am now. And I need you to let me go. As much as I want to, I can’t live in your book any more.

Theodore: Sometimes I think I have felt everything I’m ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I’m not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I’ve already felt.

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Looking for Alaska by John Green

(**This post may contain some spoilers and not taking any credits for the pictures attached. 🙂 )

If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.

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“LOOKING FOR ALASKA”

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When I started reading this book, I was not expecting it at all to go like this. In the first half, I thought it is going to be another teenage romance novel and I, seriously, hated Alaska Young’s character 5631570_orig and Mile was pretty boring. The life at boarding school is written okay-ish. I mean it was pretty normal with all the nicknames to the fellow students, tease names/name calling for teachers, general student life and food issues at mess. I liked Eagle’s character though. May be because we can all relate to it as we all had one Eagle in our times. Loved Takumi’s rapping skills. They were a little silly but awesome. Although, I found his character a little low, not much to it. So, his character was not very interesting. Seemed like he was always third-wheeling or something. Lara was a girly girl. I loved her cuteness. Then, Colonel is the only lovable character among them. He was pretty cool, smart and normal. But the way John Green wanted to project him as the popular, don’t give a crap kinds, it did not come our very well. Basically, I hated the first half of the book.

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EXCLUSIVE: Taylor Swift leaves a photoshoot in New York City

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BUT…

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The second half! It leaves you with a whirlwind of emotions. It takes all the five stars from me. I can’t even fathom how John Green manages to put such emotions in words and make his readers feel so much. You feel empathetic towards the loss of someone so hateful and broken. Really! I don’t think anyone could put the loss and grief of losing someone so very accurately and well by putting the mere 26 alphabets together. And the self blaming part was very relatable and well written. The parts where they try to walk through the incident and get inside Alaska’s brain. Again and again just to get a closure or make sense of it. Or may be to keep remembering her, to keep a memory of her or just finding an excuse to talk about her. They tried to keep her alive by bring that night again and again as if by just taking about her & by solving the puzzle, they could change things and bring her back from the dead. May be it was their guilt or a way to keep her close or may be both. The struggle with loss & grief and the difficulty to keep the friendships after a group member is lost or dead is heart wrenching. How Alaska left so many unfinished things and unkempt promises reflects the point that the bubble of life can burst any second, any moment. We cannot fore see it and make safety plans. We don’t get time to finish things or say Goodbyes. It doesn’t even warn and let prepare ourselves to go for good. Things may happen when we least expect them to. We give no thought to death but keep planning for future. How nonchalant we are towards death and take life for granted.

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The regret we keep for years of that one wrong deed. And keep rewinding our brains back to the very moment and think that how we could do things differently. Later, with all the reminiscence, how we wish for a real time machine. We actually think about death and what happens after it. We are too scared a specie to talk about death so openly, that we don’t give it a thought unless someone really close to us is dead. Or until someone’s death has affected us in some way. And then only we sometimes rack our brains mad thinking where do the person really go after being dead. Is it a place prettier than this one or is it a living hell? Or is it just a space made of plain darkness & nothingness? And how we get ready to deny the space of darkness & nothingness over a place called Hell, just to keep them alive if not in this but some other world.

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I won’t lie this book really drifted me into depression for a while. And the paper, that Pudge wrote, in the end was very intelligently & thoughtfully written and adds more awesomeness to the book.

Like in the book, I truly believe that forgiveness is one way of getting out of the labyrinth but it is also the hardest thing to do. May be that is why, most of the world is stuck in the labyrinth and never gets out. 😦

I guess, I liked this book a little more than” The fault in our stars”. And looking forward to read more of John Green’s. 🙂

So, Lovers, if you have read this book or any other John Green book or may be anything related to this books.. please share your thoughts. Thank You! 😀

-pcb