BOOK REVIEW: THE DIAMOND CROWN

Book: The Diamond Crown tempImageForSave

Author: VS Rao

Genre: Suspense, Fiction

Published by: Srishti Publishers

Number of pages: 119 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of the book by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

The story has been translated into English from Tamil and is a breezy and fast-paced read.

The story begins with a meeting of villains: the leader Balaram, Parabrahma Rao, Ramjogi, Gajapati and the seductive damsel Kumkum. The plan is simple, they will steal the diamond crown of Dasavatar Baba during his birthday celebrations and substitute it with a fake crown.

The robbery is executed and the police are called in. But the case cannot be solved without the expertise of Detective Tempo.

It is very difficult to review the book without giving away the plot. But there is yet another villain in the picture. Kumkum is not exactly who she seems and it is difficult to guess whose side she is on.

The climax is certainly thrilling as the different characters turn against each other.

I recommend this book to readers as value for money.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: VS Rao is a celebrated Telugu author, playwright, translator and scriptwriter. He passionately highlights women’s issues.

BOOK REVIEW: PI AGENCY

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Author: Neelabh Pratap Singh

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Cosmos Prints

Number of pages: 313 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was kindly provided with a copy of this book by the author Neelabh Pratap Singh.

I had previously reviewed Neelabh’s first novel, “The Resurrection of Evil”, a mythological thriller. So my first thought on starting with “Pi Agency” was that this story was completely different.

Rashmi Purohit is a tough, no-nonsense woman who aspired to join the CBI but couldn’t do so. She is running her own detective agency, i.e. Pi Agency from the basement of her house with her two assistants, Akshay and Diksha.

Pi Agency is hired by Brajesh Arya, a rich businessman, to investigate a drugs cartel that has succeeded in getting Brajesh Arya’s son addicted to drugs.

An investigation is launched which turns out to be full of twists and turns with danger thrown in. The investigation involves the use of technology, going undercover, using a honey trap and also the danger of physical violence.

Rashmi Purohit comes across as a fine character as a dedicated and skilled investigator. The characters of her two assistants, Akshay and Diksha are also very nicely etched.

Does the Pi Agency succeed in tracking down the main culprit behind the drugs operation? That of course is the focal point of the story.

Pi Agency is an extremely enjoyable suspense thriller and I recommend it to readers. I will be definitely looking to reading another story about the next adventure of the Pi Agency!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Neelabh Pratap Singh is a mechanical engineer by profession and a writer by passion. He can be followed on Instagram on his handle @authorneelabh.

BOOK REVIEW: DEAD TO THEM

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Author: Smita Bhattacharya

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: StoryMirror

Number of pages: 268 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: The author Smita Bhattacharya kindly provided me with a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.

“Dead to Them” is an intriguing suspense thriller with so many sub-plots that it is extremely difficult to review the book without giving away the story!

Moira Madhwa is a single woman who lives alone and works as a management consultant in Mumbai. When she has not been seen or heard from in several days, her colleagues and friends attempt to trace her whereabouts.

On the work front, there is her boss Himanshu, her colleague Kartik who appears to have had a complicated equation with Moira and her colleague Kavya who seems to be genuinely concerned about her.

Among her friends, we have Misha who is pregnant, her husband Piyush and Avni who is madly in love with her boyfriend Ashish. There are a lot of undercurrents and subtle tensions among her friends as well as colleagues.

The story is also partly told in flashbacks from Moira’s point of view.

As the search for Moira continues, it becomes clear that nothing is what it appears on the surface. The end of the story, is extremely unexpected and was surely nothing that I anticipated!

I highly recommend “Dead to Them”, as a highly enthralling and intriguing suspense thriller that will keep the reader guessing till the very end!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Smita Bhattacharya is a management consultant who lives in Mumbai. She can be followed on Instagram @smitabe

BOOK REVIEW: TRICKSTER

Book: Trickster    tempImageForSave

Author: Vinaya Bhagat

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Harper Black

Number of pages: 335 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: The author Vinaya Bhagat graciously provided me with a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.

The story begins when Diya’s parents are killed by the “Chakwa” in what appears to be a car crash. Diya continues to live in her parents’ house but it appears that a mysterious entity is out to get Diya as well. Diya remembers her father telling her a story in childhood about the “Chakwa”, i.e. a trickster who can take any form he desires, animal or human.

Though Diya was told that her parents had no family, she receives a letter from India from her father’s relatives inviting her to visit them. Diya flies to India in order to find out more about her family.

She is warmly welcomed by Sunny Varghese and his family and learns that they were her father’s adoptive family. Sunny’s son Ronnie becomes a special friend to her specially when mysterious events continue to take place and deaths keep happening.

Diya meets her grandfather and much of her father’s family history becomes known to her. She then tries to find her mother’s family.

It is apparent to Diya that someone is trying to kill her, but is it the “Chakwa” or is it a human killer?

Diya manages to find her mother’s relatives and spends some days with them. It is when she is staying there that more supernatural events take place.

The story is definitely very interesting. The author has skilfully built up the climax in a way that the reader is wondering who the real “Chakwa” is. It is only at the very end that the identity of the “Chakwa” is revealed. I recommend “Trickster” as an extremely gripping suspense thriller.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vinaya Bhagat is an IT professional and author. She can be followed on Facebook and on Instagram as Vinaya Bhagat.

BOOK REVIEW: TRUST ME NOT

Book: Trust Me Not         tempImageForSave

Author: Ankita Verma Datta

Genre: Fiction

Published by: Jaico Books

Number of pages: 376 pages

My Rating: 5/5

BOOK SUMMARY: Reeva Rai is offered a prestigious position in a PR agency. When an activist friend turns to her for help with a real-estate scam, Reeva has to make a high-stakes choice. As she digs deeper to find solutions, a nefarious scheme unravels with unexpected connections.

MY REVIEW: I have received a review copy of “Trust Me Not” by Ankita Verma Datta from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest review.

The story has multiple plots and sub-plots as well as numerous characters. I will attempt to review the book without giving away too much of the plot!

Reeva Rai is a beautiful young woman who works in an advertising agency. While attending a wedding with her family, she meets a handsome and wealthy bachelor Kunaal Kabi. Sparks fly between them and Kunaal takes her number but fails to call Reeva for weeks.

At the same wedding, Reeva is introduced by Kunaal to Mr. Rishi Uttur, an honest politician and the president of Jagrut Bharat Party (JBP). The wedding is taking place between two members of the Thapar and Jaiswal families. The fathers of the groom and the bride, i.e. Mr. Ramcharan Jaiswal and Mr. Dindayal Thapar have arranged this alliance for business purposes.

Jaiswal and Thapar approach Rishi Uttur through Kunaal to get certain land released that has been earmarked for Garib Griha Pravesh Yojana. However, Rishi Uttur refuses to get involved in such a dishonest scheme, thereby earning the enmity of Jaiswal and Thapar.

A new colleague Shalini Ray joins Reeva’s advertising agency. Reeva finds her very cold to work with. Reeva is on good terms with Nihaal, the creative director of the agency.

Their boss Mr. Sehgal plans to form a new sub-division in their company and offers Reeva the job of Assistant Vice President and accompanying perks. It turns out that Jaiswal and Thapar are also the clients of the agency where Reeva works. Reeva is dismayed when she learns that Kunaal is joining the agency as Vice President.

In the meantime, Jaiswal and Thapar hire a mysterious person called the Fixer who operates through his assistant Manek Vir. Their ulterior motive is to bring down Rishi Uttur.

We are introduced to yet another character in the story, a social activist called Nandita Sahay. Trouble brews when Nandita decides to stand for elections as an independent candidate. Reeva, Nihaal and Shalini join Nandita in her struggle to save Navdeep Complex, a building inhabited by poor families that is scheduled to be taken down.

Arunabh Roy, a fiery journalist is another character in this story. He is manipulated by Jaiswal and Thapar to report negatively against Rishi Uttur and his party.

Events progress in the book at a rapid pace and the suspense keeps building. Who is the Fixer? Will Reeva and Kunaal’s relationship succeed? Will Nandita succeed in her election campaign? These are some of the questions that build up in the reader’s mind while reading the book.

I recommend this book to readers as it is an engrossing, interesting and taut story that will keep you guessing till the end.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ankita Verma Datta spent more than a decade in the advertising industry before starting her own communications consultancy. This is her debut novel. She can be reached on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ankitavermadatta/ and on Twiter at @ankita_reflects