“When dusk arrives in the city of Manila, that’s when you become the most likely prey of the criminal underworld.
Kidnappers and thieves will be the least of your worries.
Beware the criminals that can’t be bound with handcuffs nor harmed with bullets.
Beware the ones that crave for your blood, those who hold your heart ransom, and the ones that come to steal your soul.
When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese.”*
The second volume in the Trese series, Unreported Murders delves deeper into the world of the paranormal, much to my delight and horror. I have revived my old high school habit of reading during the thin sliver of time between studying and sleeping, and reading about monsters that could probably be a-creepin’ around my room at the moment doesn’t really help in the sleeping part. Nevertheless, I was able to revel more in the interesting aspect of this volume rather than the scare factor, which leads me to mention my thoughts after finishing the last case.
There are four cases featured in Unreported Murders. I was very much amused to find so many references to things that exist in our collective consciousness, parodies of well-known people and places, and urban legends that get passed on from generation to generation. Exhibit A: In A Little Known Murder in Studio 4, ABC-ZNN sounds very much like ABS-CBN, a real-life Philippine TV network that is presently located along Mother Ignacia Street, and Heather Evangelista, the victim, clearly references Heart Evangelista. Exhibit B: Embrace of the Unwanted. This case clearly plays on the infamous Robinsons malls urban legend about a snake that kidnaps and eats women in dressing rooms. There are much more, and finding these Easter eggs definitely adds to the fun of reading this volume, and every volume in the Trese series.
So far, this is the more graphic of the first two Trese books. Because one of the cases involves zombies, and another involves a horde of the creatures, there are naturally more fight scenes between the monsters and Alexandra with her kambal. If you enjoy that sort of thing, you will definitely enjoy this volume.
I still like the first book more, but this volume doesn’t trail too far behind. I liked Unreported Murders, and it’s doing a really good job of keeping the next books hyped up and keeping my interest. There are still things about Alexandra Trese and the other characters that I wished to be explored ever since the first book, but since this is part of a series, I am not without hope that the next book will explain the mystery of their identities.
In a nutshell…
Writer: Budjette Tan
Illustrator: Kajo Baldisimo
Publisher: Visual Print Enterprises
Published: July 2008
Genre: Paranormal, Horror, Crime
Trese #1: Murder on Balete Drive
Trese #3: Mass Murders
Trese #4: Last Seen After Midnight