Author: Kapil Raj
Published by: Write India Publishers
Number of pages: 216 pages
My Rating: 4/5
MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
The story is certainly different from anything that I have read so far. It deals with the pertinent question of rape.
Palak is a beautiful young woman studying in college. She is leading a fun life of drinking, partying and even drugs with her group of friends. While stoic Rohin in her group of friends appears to be attracted to her, Palak herself is interested in another friend Jahan.
Palak’s life takes a turn for the worse when she attends a rave party with her friends. She wakes up the next morning with no recollection of the previous night. But the battered condition of her body tells her that something serious and unpleasant has happened to her. She faces further humiliation when there is a sex video of her and Rohin doing the rounds.
Rohin takes Palak to his home town in order to get away from the gossip and speculation. Palak goes through a tremendous ordeal as she struggles to come to terms with what has happened to her.
Will Rohin be able to find out what actually transpired on the night of the party? Will Palak be able to heal? The author has beautifully depicted Palak’s thoughts, feelings and emotions in the story.
I recommend this book to readers as value for money.
Book: A Friend Like Karna
Author: Madhav Thapar
Genre: Thriller, Fiction
Published by: Notion Press
Number of pages: 161 pages
My Rating: 5/5
MY REVIEW: I was kindly provided with a copy of this book by the author Madhav Thapar.
The story is set in modern times but readers familiar with the Indian epic The Mahabharata can certainly draw the analogy between the epic and this thriller.
The story is about two of India’s elite families, the Desais and the Sahnis. Veer Singhi, the central character works for Pranav Desai, a media baron and his spoiled son Jay. Veer considers Pranav Desai to be his godfather and benefactor and is extremely loyal to him and Jay.
On the other side, the Sahni family comprises of Pran Sahni, his widowed daughter Aditi, her three sons Mridul, Vidit and Varun as well as Aditi’s maternal uncle Vidur.
The Sahnis decide to take out a contract on Pranav Desai which is partially successful. Veer on behalf of the Desais, decides to retaliate.
The story has all the ingredients of a potboiler with suspense, passion and betrayal all being part of the story. The lovely Nisha Kapoor adds to the glamour of the plot and plays an important role as she is engaged to Vidit and in love with Veer.
The story races to a climax with Veer’s parentage being part of the mystery. I just wish that the ending was different!
A Friend Like Karna is an extremely enjoyable suspense thriller and I recommend it to readers.
Book: Lost Without Her
Author: Pournima Navani
Genre: Crime Thriller, Fiction
Published by: Srishti Publishers
Number of pages: 224 pages
My Rating: 5/5
MY REVIEW: I have received a review copy of “Lost Without Her” by Pournima Navani in exchange for an honest review.
First of all, I would like to commend the author for having the courage to tackle such a difficult subject. We read about such horrific incidents involving young children almost on a daily basis.
The story is set in the sleepy town of Marsti in the state of Tamil Nadu. One quiet afternoon, Samantha George, the six-year old daughter of Inspector Anthony George, is abducted. Though there is an extensive search for her, only her body is found, that too showing evidence of a violent assault.
Inspector Tony, who recently lost his wife, now struggles to come to terms with his daughter’s violent death. However, he is determined that her death should not go unpunished. He launches an investigation into her abduction and death. Even though he is suspended from the police for his unstable behaviour, he continues with his hunt for Samantha’s rapist and killer assisted by some loyal friends and colleagues.
Tony discovers that the town of Marsti contains a lot of dirty secrets which come out as Tony digs deeper to uncover the truth. Tony also finds a connection to a similar crime committed many years ago. This leads him to suspect that there is a serial killer on the loose and takes him across Chennai, Bangalore and Tiruchirappalli. Will Tony be able to catch the killer on time before another young child becomes a victim?
The tension in the story is built up wonderfully. I recommend this book to readers as it is an engrossing, interesting and taut thriller that will keep you guessing till the end.
Book: The Sum of all my Parts
Author: Andaleeb Wajid
Published by: Amaryllis
Number of pages: 287 pages
My Rating: 5/5
MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The story is about Mariam, an elderly lady living in Vellore, who is teaching four young women how to crochet.
Though Mariam is extremely critical at times about the crochet work of her four pupils, at the same time, she develops a fondness for each one of them.
The four young women are: Nimra, who is bullied constantly by her stepmother, Arifa, whose husband is away in Dubai, Amreen who is unable to get pregnant and Shaista who is going through an unwanted pregnancy.
In and around the design of each crochet pattern, each young woman’s story, along with her emotions and frustrations are depicted. Mariam, also has her own fascinating love story that she shares with her four pupils.
Mariam’s love story is told in an extremely interesting manner in the form of flashbacks.
All the women try to find a solution to their individual problems while creating an elaborate crochet pattern on a bedspread for Mariam’s granddaughter Faiza.
The author has woven a compelling tale and has beautifully depicted each character and her emotions.
I highly recommend “The Sum of All My Parts”, as a highly enthralling and interesting tale that will touch the heart of every reader!
Book: MURKY GIRL
Author: Vrinda Singh
Genre: Thriller, Fiction, Supernatural
Published by: Paperwiff Publications
Number of pages: 163 pages
My Rating: 3/5
MY REVIEW: The author Vrinda Singh graciously provided me with a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.
The story is about a female who is abandoned as a baby by her parents because of her gender. By a series of fortunate incidents, she survives and ends up in a brothel where she is raised like a daughter by one of the women living and working there. She is named Avant by the women of the brothel.
When Avant is five, misfortune strikes again when Deepali, the woman who has taken care of her like her mother, dies in an accident. This results in Avant discovering her own supernatural powers. Strangely, this incident causes Avant to grow up overnight from the age of five to the age of twenty!
Avant’s misfortune continues when the entire brothel is destroyed and Avant is forced to go out in the world. She continues to embark on strange adventures and comes to know more about her birth mother and her powers.
Fans of the supernatural will probably be interested in this book.
Book: Kaikeyi-The Mother of a God
Author: Suresh Kala
Genre: Mythological Fiction
Published by: Inven Tech
Number of pages: 353 pages
My Rating: 4/5
MY REVIEW: The author Mr. Suresh Kala provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I was happy to read and review this book as I enjoy reading mythology, especially Hindu mythology. Also, it made a refreshing change from the recent novels that I have read.
The story is about Kaikeyi, the queen of King Dashrath and the stepmother of Lord Rama. Kaikeyi has always been depicted as an evil figure in Hindu mythology as it was at her behest that Lord Rama was sent into exile for fourteen years.
The story is told from Kaikeyi’s perspective and brings a whole new twist to the story of Lord Rama. We read about Kaikeyi’s childhood and upbringing, the circumstances that led to her marriage to King Dashrath and the thought process and reasoning that led Kaikeyi to ask her husband to send Lord Rama into exile.
Kaikeyi has been portrayed as a warrior princess and then a queen who was an extremely clever war strategist. Though she was not Lord Rama’s birth mother, she played an active role in his upbringing and grooming to be the future king of Ayodhya.
I loved the author’s portrayal of Kaikeyi as a feminist and a strong, independent woman. The story skilfully builds up the suspense and leads to Kaikeyi’s revelation of her motives behind her actions.
Do read the book if you enjoy reading mythology. I recommend it to readers as enjoyable, interesting and informative.
Book: A Cage of Desires
Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra
Genre: Romance Fiction
Published by: Penguin Books
Number of pages: 216 pages
My Rating: 4/5
MY REVIEW: The author Shuchi Singh Kalra generously provided me with a copy of her book.
The story is realistic in the sense that it reflects the plight of most Indian women today. They are expected to put aside their own thoughts and feelings and follow the wishes of their husbands and in-laws.
Renu is such a woman, a housewife who toils from morning to night taking care of her two children and cranky father-in-law. Her husband Dev, who lives in another city for work purposes, is distant and withdrawn from her.
However, Renu has a secret: she is the bestselling author of erotic novels written under the pen name Maya! Though she has earned a lot of fame and wealth through her novels, she dare not reveal her identity to the world out of fear of offending her husband and father-in-law.
The family takes on a new tenant, a single man named Arjun. Renu finds herself drawn to him and slowly enters into a relationship with him as she is extremely unhappy and lonely.
A lot of changes take place in Renu’s life and in her relationship with both the men, i.e. Arjun and Dev. It transpires that both the men are concealing things from her.
Will Renu finally take on the identity of Maya before the world? Does she find the peace and happiness that she craves?
I recommend “A Cage of Desires” to readers as a modern story that beautifully depicts a woman’s struggle to find her true self.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shuchi Singh Kalra is a freelance writer and is also the author of two previous novels. She can be followed on Twitter on her handle @shuchikalra