Compass Box Killer- A true homage to Bollywood…..A thrilling Page-turner!!!!!


Compass Box Killer is a fitting follow up to Pyiush Jha’s last smash hit…-Mumbaistan.. That book had 3 stories which had Mumbai as the protagonist. One of the stories called Injectionwala in that book, had a character called Inspector Virkar who plays the proverbial hero of the story. Piyush decided to give Virkar a book of his own and thus we have Compass Box Killer, Inspector Virkar’s quest to unravel a murder mystery.

This one is a cat and mouse chase thriller where the killer leaves behind a compass box and a the name of his next victim after every murder, challenging Virkar to nab him before he executes his next modus operandi. The story although sounds cliche on paper, but the way Piyush treats the characters and the plot, makes for a riveting read. I was left floored especially with the amount of detailing he goes into to establish the motive behind every character. He certainly takes giant steps and proves his first book Mumbaistan was definitely not a flash in the pan.

An entertaining and a racy thriller was what I was expecting and I can safely say I got double my money’s worth. If you are thirsting for a typical masala read where there is murder, double crossing, shady characters, theatrics and above all, maad thaad then Compass Box Killer will definitely quench your thirst.

Rating-4/5

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Baramulla Bomber- A heady concoction of Science and Mythology!!!!!


Thrillers excite me. Add a dash of terrorism to it and it sounds like a perfect recipe for a week long read. So, when I picked up a copy of Baramulla Bomber, I realized right in the beginning that this is going to be a rollercoaster ride much in the vein of the Bourne series. But would it be as entertaining as Bourne? Well, partly yes. Its USP is the story which is narrated in real time and that was one of the major reasons for me to stay gripped to the story right till the end.

Coming to the plot, Baramulla Bomber follows the destiny of a young man, Mansur Haider from Kashmir who turns from an aspiring cricketer to the Baramulla Bomber. Something mysterious occurs in Shaksgam valley. Someone has tested a weapon that has the ability to work with the ancient technology from Vedas and Bible. Intelligence agencies throughout the world are trying to find the truth and everyone’s search seems to end in finding Mansur. Indian government and Home Minister Agastya Rathore are facing a dual threat from two neighboring nations and the only way out is to solve the Kashmir issue. What happens next is the crux of the story.
First time writer Clark Prasad manages to pack in enough juice in his story and that is what majorly succeeds in keeping the reader guessing. A thriller which boasts of liberal doses of technical jargon, it manages to strike a perfect balance with its tick tock way of storytelling where you can feel the drama the way the writer wanted you to imagine it.
To sum it up, it’s a great first attempt from a writer who clearly understands the ingredients of a perfect thriller and the preview to his next book only leaves us asking for more….

The Book Trailer- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqrRUPJqae8

Rating- 3.5/5

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JAcob HillS – An Insight into the Dark side of Armykind……


The defense has always fascinated me. My grandfather was a part of Indian AirForce and my mother is a teacher at Army School. These are the only links I have to the world of defense. So, my major source of information has always been the countless films and books we have on this subject. And every time I come across one, I lap it up in the hope of getting more insights to the world which has always fascinated us civilians.

The Indian Army website greets you with this quote- ” To be born free is an accident. To live free is a privilege. To die free is a responsibility”. Impressive I must say, quite impressive. The ones associated with the world of defense do wear their badge of honor with utmost pride. And why not, they are the ones to be thanked for having a country where corruption and not war is an issue to be worried about. Which brings me to a book which I stumbled upon. Titled Jacob Hills, this is a tale which uses Indian Army as a backdrop to narrate a riveting saga which is thrilling, funny and interesting at the same time.

The plot takes you to a bygone era ( 1980’s to be specific) and focuses on a group of army gentlemen, their wives and the world around them. The expanse is limited which I believe is intentional and it manages to suck the reader to that make believe world of Jacob Hills where all that you have heard about the Indian Army being a group of gentlemen out to protect the motherland will go out of the window.Lets face it, the Army men are humans and Indians after all and they have as much right to be corrupt and inhuman as any other civilian. The dark murky world of Jacob Hills is full of tales of corruption, deceit, bigamy, pedophilia and lots more which will make you do a quick rethink about the world around you.

The world created by the writer Ismita Tandon Dhankher is edgy, sinister and very disturbing. It connects you to incidents which you hear about in the news but haven’t really come face to face with. The story all of a sudden changes gears and develops into a thriller and that as a matter of fact takes the anticipation level a touch higher. And as the story ends, you sit back for a moment and piece the puzzle together. And in that moment, my admiration for the author grew further as she very easily could have gone wrong. After all writing a whodunit is not an easy task and takes exceptional skills.

But like no piece of art is perfect, similarly Jacob Hills has its share of flaws. The characters remain a bit underdeveloped, as the story tries to focus on too many characters. In fact doing away with some characters wouldn’t really have hurt the story much. The build up to the suspense and the ultimate revelation could have been handled in a better manner. Yes, as a reader you are surprised but that punch is missing which is such a vital ingredient of a murder mystery.

Then again, this is Ismita’s second book and with time, she will only attain greater heights. Her style of writing is quite rare and is very believable. She keeps it simple and that in turn helps the reader participate a lot more in the story than he would usually. The illustrations for every character have been done brilliantly and help you identify that much more with every character.

I guess here is an author who is all set to create a mark for herself in the world of fiction….For her next offering,,,, The world shall wait…with Bated breadth!!!!!

Rating-3.5/5

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