Neel Mullick is the Head of Product and Information Security at a Belgian family-office technology company and has degrees in Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon, USA and Business Administration from INSEAD, France. He mentors women entrepreneurs through the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, is involved in raising a generation of digital and socially-aware leaders with the Steering for Greatness Foundation (Nigeria), supports improvement in the quality of life of domestic workers at Emprendedoras del Hogar (Peru) and is helping IIMPACT (India) break the cycle of illiteracy plaguing young girls from socially and economically impoverished communities. In his new book “Dark Blossom,” the lives of Cynthia, a therapist, and Sam, her new client, intertwine in a story that shows a glimpse of what lies under the surface of apparently normal people.
“Dark Blossom” begins as Sam, who is struggling to deal with his son’s death a day before his thirteenth birthday, shows up at Cynthia’s office, seemingly ready to start counseling. His depressed demeanor and volatile mood say another story. Tragically, his son and wife were killed in an automobile accident which cruelly shattered his world. Cynthia has recently restarted her counseling practice after taking half a year to deal with a bitter divorce, so she sees in Sam a sort of kindred spirit who so desperately needs her help. At first she tries to brush off the similarities between them as coincidence, but when he meets her daughter Lilly, the pieces of the puzzle start coming together. Sam knows too much about their personal lives and as it turns out, he as well as Lilly have secrets. She has more to do with the death of Sam’s family than anyone knows and his presence in Cynthia and Lilly’s life is no accident.
Neel Mullick’s debut novel is part thriller/part drama and offers readers an inside view of a therapist’s mind as she deals with patients and how to properly treat them. Told in the first-person point of view of Cynthia, it starts off as a routine trip to a therapist’s office and soon unravels as situations are more complicated than they seem. Sam clearly is resisting Cynthia’s help, but it becomes evident that he has plans of his own. Even though it is a short book, the character development is excellent as it gives the necessary background needed to propel the plot forward. It is well written, with easy to understand language and the author tells the story without any extraneous information. Since this emotional rollercoaster of a novel is fast paced and a page turner, it can easily be read in a few days, but the plot twist and surprise ending will dwell in readers minds for days. To interact with them, the author has created a competition where readers can chime in with their opinions. Details and rules are available online. “Dark Blossom” is a suspenseful novel that packs an emotional punch and is recommended for readers who enjoy getting lost in the inner workings of the mind.
*The author received a copy of this book for an honest review. The views and opinions expressed here belong solely to her.