BOOK REVIEW: THE TIMES WE LIVE IN

Book: The Times We Live In

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Author: Madhav Thapar

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Notion Press

Number of pages: 195 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was kindly provided with a copy of this book by the author Madhav Thapar.

The story has characters from the author’s previous book, A Friend Like Karna, playing a role in the story. However, for this story, the author has weaved an elaborate plot with characters based in the United States, England, India and Pakistan. The story also goes back and forth in time, from 1947 up to the present day. Moreover, there are numerous sub-plots in the story. I will endeavour to review the book without giving away any of the suspense of the story!

Girdhari Lal Mehta’s family attempts to cross the border from Pakistan into India at the time of Partition, with the assistance of his close friend Sarfaraz Khan, the Inspector General of Police. However, Girdhari Lal’s family is killed en route with the exception of his two children Sushma and Jai Prakash.

The main characters in the story are the progeny of Sarfaraz Khan and Girdhari Lal. The RAW officer Shashank Puri also plays a pivotal role in the story. Morever, there is a deadly assassin codenamed Cobra whose identity is unknown.

The thriller is action packed and taut with various twists and turns. The identity of Cobra is not revealed until the very end and comes as a major surprise.

A fast paced thriller that is definitely worth reading!

BOOK REVIEW: A FRIEND LIKE KARNA

Book: A Friend Like Karna

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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 REVIEW: SCARS DO HEAL

Book: Scars Do Heal

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Author: Shilpa Menon

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Notion Press

Number of pages: 328 pages

My Rating: 3/5

MY REVIEW: I received a review copy of “Scars Do Heal” by Shilpa Menon in exchange for an honest review.

The main character in the story is Sonal Kapoor, who lives in London with her aged mother and runs a florist shop. Sonal moved from India to England several years ago, in order to escape from a traumatic incident. This incident has left her very disturbed and she is unable to trust a man.

A chance encounter with a handsome stranger in the grocery store leads her to dropping her belongings. The handsome stranger cares to track her down and return them to her. He is Dr. Ryan Percy, a cardiovascular surgeon.

Ryan is drawn to her and wants to get to know her better. Sonal tries to push him away but Ryan proves to be too charming to resist. He courts her in an extremely romantic fairy tale fashion until she too reciprocates his feelings.

It turns out that Ryan is also recovering from past wounds. Sonal opens up to him about her past as well. However, just when everything seems to be going on well, a ghost from Sonal’s past returns to haunt her.

All the characters in the story are portrayed very well and the reader will keep turning the pages to find out if Sonal and Ryan’s love story has a happy ending.

BOOK REVIEW: SIN IS THE NEW LOVE

Book: Sin is the New Love

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Author: Abir Mukherjee

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Srishti Publishers

Number of pages: 210 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was kindly provided with a copy of this book by the author Abir Mukherjee.

Ahi Chatterjee is a lovely young woman whose father is the Director General of the Kolkata Police. Ahi has started her own publishing house Ankur along with her best friend Samim.

Ahi is thrilled to receive a manuscript from her favourite author Devang Awasthi. The difficulty is that Devang Awasthi passed away two months before Ahi received the manuscript.

Once Ahi delves into the manuscript, she realises that it is an account of the writer’s life, right from his abusive childhood up to his adulthood and old age. Various crimes committed by Devang Awasthi are narrated in the manuscript.

Ahi realises that the contents of the manuscript are extremely explosive. Determined to publish it, Ahi heads to Delhi in order to get written permission from one of Devang Awasthi’s family members for publication.

In Delhi, Ahi encounters Maya, Devang’s second wife, Dhruv, his spoilt son and Hari, his faithful servant. However, she is soon seeped into a quicksand of crime and intrigue.

Ahi meets and falls in love with ACP Abhimanyu Rathore and also learns some horrific secrets about her own past. Will Ahi be able to find out who is sending her mysterious messages? Was Devang Awasthi’s death a murder or a suicide? The reader will have to read the story to find out.

Sin is the New Love is an extremely enjoyable suspense thriller and I recommend it to readers.

BOOK REVIEW: THE FULL CIRCLE

Book: The Full Circle

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Author: Namrata Gupta

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Srishti Publishers

Number of pages: 122 pages

My Rating: 3.5/5

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

The story is about Aditya, an avid traveller who is unable to stay in one place for long. However, he meets Zinnia, when he visits Darjeeling and finds himself drawn to her.

Zinnia has an extremely unhappy home life and Aditya initially feels sorry for her. However, they later become friends and end up falling in love.

However, there is a secret about Zinnia’s parents and her past and Aditya is determined to uncover it. Will he be able to uncover the secret before it is too late?

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy reading romance fiction especially those who like some suspense thrown into the story.

BOOK REVIEW: THE DAUGHTER

Book: The Daughter tempImageForSave

Author: Sara Onnebo

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Brown Dog Books

Number of pages: 296 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: The author Sara Onnebo kindly provided me with a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review. I was especially touched to see the author’s handwritten note in the book, hoping that I would enjoy my vist to Tulisaari.

The story begins with the death of Emilia Bjorklund’s mother. Emilia’s mother had raised her as a single parent and Emilia has never known her father’s identity.

Emilia sinks into a deep depression after her mother’s accidental death. She attempts to overcome this by looking into her mother’s mysterious past. While doing so, she learns that she has inherited a house in Finland and that her uncle is probably still living there.

Emilia decides to go to Tulisaari in Finland to find out more about her mother. She starts living in the house that belonged to her maternal grandmother and now belongs to her. She makes the acquaintance of her maternal uncle Jussi. She also strikes up a growing friendship with Hampus, a young man who also lives in Tulisaari.

It appears that Emilia’s mother was connected to the murder of a woman that took place many years ago. The suspense keeps building as Emilia tries to find clues about her mother’s past and the identity of her father.

Strange events keep happening to Emilia which lead her to think that someone intends her harm. It also appears that there is someone who visits her grandmother’s house secretly but does not reveal himself to Emilia.

The story is told in an extremely interesting manner in the form of a diary that Emilia is writing to her dead mother. The story is also partly told in flashbacks from her mother Annika’s point of view. The author has brought the story to an end in an extremely nail-biting finish!

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

BOOK REVIEW: AGNIPUTR

Book: AgniputrtempImageForSave

Author: Vadhan

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Bloomsbury

Number of pages: 354 pages

My Rating: 5/5

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

It was extremely difficult to review the book without giving away the story!

The beginning of the story itself is extremely interesting with a necromancer conducting a black magic ritual. There is a mysterious energy in the castle in Gudem, a village in Andhra Pradesh.

This energy and its source is of extreme interest to crooked politicians and government agencies which then involuntarily involves Raghuram Surya, the descendent of the Surya family who owns the castle.

There is a Parch that attacks at night and a benefactor called P. Eshwar who shows up to help Raghu whenever needed. There are a lot of explanations involving quantum physics about the source of the dark energy.

There is a heart-warming romance between Raghu and Sheila Pitambar, the upright scientist who is trying to find answers to the mystery.

The story just races along until there is a confrontation between good and evil. Who or what is the “Agniputr” is one of the many plot twists in the book.

The end of the story, is extremely unexpected and was surely nothing that I anticipated!

I highly recommend “Agniputr”, as an engrossing and intriguing thriller! I am eagerly awaiting the sequel to this story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vadhan is a lawyer by training. He also aspires to be a politician and a reformist one day.