by KB Meniado
Sometimes, I deliberately put off picking up crime fiction for fear that: 1) I will have nightmares about it, and 2) It will happen to me.
But Chasing An ATM Schemer, the first book in The Fraud Haunter series by Racquel Sarah A. Castro, has been calling, and I thought it didn’t look like it would be triggering any uncalled-for paranoia.
I was wrong.
Gabe Jacinto is assigned to capture a lady ATM Schemer, Teri Francisco. When Teri heard that he was dating the beautiful Carrie Rios, she plots on using her to trap the fraud hunter. Will Gabe risk his life and money to save Carrie even though he knows her true identity? Read reviews: Goodreads
WHAT I LIKED
It’s a chase, alright. It’s fast-paced with no space for breaks. I sat down and read it in one go, under an hour. To be fair, the book is only 67 pages short and the narrative is chop, chop, chop. Which was fine by me, because the more action-packed and less wordy it is, the easier for me—or anyone, at that—to get into it. There’s no wasted time and it encourages me to get overly imaginative by visualizing the actual scenes on my own. Think about it: Teri Francisco describing how she will trap Gabe Jacinto, or Teri Francisco actually trapping Gabe Jacinto?
I also liked how the dialogues seemed to be always snappy comebacks (and a lot of times, especially when Teri Francisco was around, retorts), which helped in getting to know the characters better.
Last, this one’s super relatable, because 1) surely, you have (or have had) an ATM account, and more than once, you’ve been paranoid about who’s tailing you at the machine, and 2) surely, you know how fear feels.
Some of the parts were a little cringe-worthy because they seemed to have been done on a whim, like Teri’s reason for ATM scheming and Gabe’s love interest. Others seem to have popped out of a typical Filipino action film, but hey, fiction reflects facts. I know I’ve seen enough TV news reports and documentaries to be convinced these scenes do happen in real life.
If you have been wanting to jump into the brewing Filipino crime fic craze but is a bit intimidated by the longer novels, start with Chasing an ATM Schemer (The Fraud Haunter Book 1) by Racquel Sarah A. Castro. It is a quick and easy yet gripping (also as in: get-a-strong-grip-on-your-ATM-cards kind of way) read that might just do you in. ☁
Anything to share? :)