Fatal Fallout by Sharmishtha Shenoy

417ZPzlFB9L.jpgI received the book Fatal Fallout by Sharmishtha Shenoy as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same. This is Detective Vikram Rana’s fourth case and I must say, it is an unputdownable page turner. The book can be also read as a standalone. The author has given an introduction to the private investigator at the beginning of the book so even if the book is being read as a standalone, there is no confusion.

The blurb:

Beautiful model and aspiring actress Gauri is found dead on the highway from a gunshot wound. The jewelry she had been wearing and other valuables are missing. Is it a case of a robbery gone wrong? Or is it premeditated murder?

Gauri’s friends and family hold her boyfriend Akash responsible for the death. Gauri had recently broken up with him because of his abusive behavior. Did the fallout of the breakup turn fatal for her? Did Akash decide that if he couldn’t have her, nobody else would either?

Moreover, why did the film director Madhav hire detective Vikram Rana to investigate her death? Is it because he loved her, or because he wanted to point the needle of suspicion away from himself?

Adding to the puzzle, is the corrupt police inspector Phani Kuma sabotaging the case for his devious motives?

The media, meanwhile, is sensationalizing the case, and pressure is mounting on ACP Gopi Reddy to resolve the case at the earliest.

Ace detective Vikram Rana swings into action to untangle a complex web of abuse, lies, and murder to get to the truth.

The story:

Gauri Kamalakar, the only daughter of a well to do businessman, was a student of BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus when she met Akash Akula, her senior and the son of a local politician. And they fell in love. Now, an upcoming actress, she is working on her first film which is being directed by her school friend, Madhav. And Akas does not like her irregular hours and they are constantly having fights so much so that she wants to break up with him.

One night, Gauri is on her way back home from Hyderabad airport, after a modelling assignment in Mumbai, when she is feels that she is being followed. She is accosted, raped, robbed and murdered. And when her body is found, there is an investigation by the police.

And Madhav approaches Vikram Rana, private investigator as he feels that Akash did it. Once a star criminal interrogator with Hyderabad police, Vikram left police service and started private investigative agency. His is good friends with ACP Gopi Reddy, with whom he had solved many cases, and who is also a big time foody like him.

Who could have done it? Akash, because she had walked out on him, but he has an alibi. Madhav, because he loved her. Her producer cum co-star, because she had avoided him. Or somebody else.

As the case moves, there are unexpected turns and the police want to solve the case as soon as they can.

My take:

Set in Hyderabad and Dubai, this murder mystery is unputdownable. The prologue sets the tone of the story. A fast paced story, it kept me up till three in the night because I wanted to know who had done it. As soon as I would feel, now it is done, something in the form of an alibi or another suspect would come up and I would be left wondering again.

The characters are well developed and Vikram Rana’s introduction at the beginning makes him familiar to the first time reader. I loved the friendship between Vikram and Gopi and also Vikram’s wife, Veena. The city of Hyderabad has been precisely described, which shows the author’s familiarity with the city.

The language is simple and can be understood easily. The book has been edited well and the twists and turns ensured that I was not bored. It is definitely a must read.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

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The Secret tie: The king and the spy by Summerita Rhayne

41RvwdaQAQLThe Secret tie: The king and the spy by Summerita Rhayne is the third book of the historical fiction series. I received this book as a prize in the secret giveaway organised by the author on facebook.

The blurb:

Yashita has chosen to lead the life of a spy. But after years of serving the ruler well, she has now a request. She wants to get married and settle down. To her utmost relief, King Hitaksha agrees to set her free. But he has a condition. She must fulfil one more mission before he will allow her to leave his service.

Through the dangers of ancient politics and twisted monarchy, Yashita faces threats and perils to the mission. Battling through unknown kingdoms, she must play a dangerous game to save her life and the King’s. But there’s far tougher trial she must live through constantly. The forbidden attraction the King holds for her…

A Secret Tie is third book in a historical fiction series. Also read Against The Tide and A Twist of Fate.

The story:

Yashita, a Ganika, tells King Hitaksha that she wants to stay in Asmataka and be a spy under him and he agrees. And all is well until five years later, when Yashita, who wants a family of her own and is ready to marry the court jester, and Hitaksha tells her to accompany him on one last adventure.

Yashita is already attracted to him. What will she do?

My take:

This is the third book in the series. I enjoyed the earlier books in the series and was looking forward to this one. I picked up this book prepared to read the ancient language and detailed descriptions of the places and people. Even the costumes and the jewellery has been described in detail. The characters are well developed and their conversations flow. And the author has described their feelings. The secondary characters have been given a lot of importance in the story. Though, there are references to the previous two books off and on, this book can also be read as a standalone.

The cover is beautiful.  The language is simple and the story just flows. There is not just one but two adventures in the story.

Looking forward to more books by the author.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

How to Weave a Theme into your Story (TBC Writer’s Toolkit Series Book 9) by Ruchira Khanna

51gbjbhteFL.jpgI received the book How to Weave a Theme into your Story (TBC Writer’s Toolkit Series Book 9) by Ruchira Khanna as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same. This book is a part of the TBC Writer’s Toolkit Series.

The blurb:

A Theme is considered the heart or the ‘big idea’ of the story. It expresses the meaning through a plot and the character’s journey in every novel, play, short story.

This book will give you tips on how to go about creating a motif for your fictional story — step by step. The questions asked here will help you weave your plot around your theme. So, that next time, when someone asks you, “What is your book about?” You can respond in just a sentence rather than giving a mini-plot synopsis.

My take:

The author has explained the importance of having a theme and how it helps in projecting our work to our readers. She explains how she does it in all her books.

The language is simple and easy to understand and the author’s way of explaining things by giving examples from her book makes it easier for the reader to follow.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

Who Killed the Murderer? by Moitrayee Bhaduri

51NeUamv8bL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received the book  Who Killed the Murderer? by Moitrayee Bhaduri as a review copy from the author and I am thankful to her for the same

The blurb:

When TV actress Shagun Seth mysteriously dies in a beauty parlour in Mumbai, her mother slams murder charges on Shagun’s banker husband Chetan Seth. Chetan’s family suspects that he is being framed and requests private detective Mili Ray to investigate. As Mili and her lawyer-associate Gatha start work, Chetan is released on bail. Soon after, Shagun’s mother is killed! Is Chetan responsible for these murders? Mili probes deeper and unravels shocking secrets buried beneath Shagun’s world of glitz that leave her baffled. An insecure boyfriend, an estranged husband, an opportunist colleague, a cunning TV producer – Shagun was surrounded by Haters. Even her twelve-year-old son didn’t want to see her alive. Why did everyone hate Shagun? While meandering through dysfunctional family upheavals and dark showbiz sagas, ex-super cop Mili Ray also struggles to tame her own internal demons. Will she be able to solve her second case as private detective or succumb to pressure and hang up her boots? “Who killed the murderer?” is a gripping psychological thriller that will hook you right from the first page.

The story:

The story begins with in 1994, when eleven year old Shagun Mehra is bullied by some boys of her class and she takes revenge on her own and her mother keeps quiet, rather protects her. And then the story fast forwards to 2018, when Shagun, a TV actress, is celebrating her daughter’s ninth birthday. Then she treats her son badly. And then the next day, she is found dead in the beauty parlour. Shagun’s mother says that Shagun’s husband, Chetan Seth, killed her and he becomes the prime suspect. He says that he has not done it.

Detective Mili Ray, ex-cop turned detective, who had dumped her thriving police career at the peak and started her own detective agency, Kwest, with Advocate Gatha Trivedi and Capt (Retd) Anubhav Datye, and is obsessed with solving criminal cases, is approached by Chetan’s brother to solve the case. Mili has panic attacks and does not take cases, having solved only one case in the last one year, and so is sceptical.

Mili takes the case on and the list of suspects keeps increasing every day and also murders. Shagun’s sister, Pooja Mehra, has a lot to gain. Chetan’s brother, Sameer Seth, does not like Shagun, nor does his mother Mrs Seth, who feels that Shagun used to mistreat the kids. Rohit, Shagun’s son, was mistreated by her, so did he do it? And then, there is Neel Khaitan, her producer, who gave her undue favours and Rik Sharma, the actor Shagun was planning to marry after divorcing Chetan.

My take:

The story has been divided into five parts and has been written in simple, easy to understand language.

The characters are realistic. At the beginning I felt sorry for little Shagun, but three pages later my perception changed. The back story of Shagun as given by the author made me realise why she did what she did.

The story has been plotted well and it was difficult to know who did it till almost the end of the book. The story has been portrayed in such a way that every time the suspect list increased, I used to feel that this person did it.

This book is the first that I read by the author and I must say, it is a page turner. It is fast paced and I was unable to put it down till I reached the end. Loved it and am looking forward to read more from her.

 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

Untethered and other Stories by Sunanda Chatterjee

41siAAfBhJL.jpgI picked up the book, Untethered and other Stories by Sunanda Chatterjee as I loved her previous works. This book is a collection of fourteen short stories of different genres.

The blurb:

Humans are social animals, with a primal, elemental desire to connect.

Maya yearns for flowers from her boyfriend, Amy wants to run a successful business, Robyn needs a place she can call home, and Lila just wants to survive.

In this cross-genre series of short stories, characters bond and fall apart, some seek retribution, and others deal with loss in unique, unpredictable ways.

My take:

I loved reading these fourteen short stories of different genres. Some made me smile and some made me cry. There were some which left a smile on my face and some made me sad. Some ended leaving me wanting for more, some I felt could be turned into full fledged novels and some were as short as a page. Some were in first person and some were in third person. There is a story about a girl who wants her boyfriend to give her romantic gifts, about a little girl who unknowingly teaches her mother and older brother something that would help them always, there is a story of a foster mother, a mother who wants her children to be safe, a daughter who works hard to make her father proud and about a girl who values affection more than a blood bond.

The language is simple and the stories have been edited beautifully. They are crisp but what the author wants to convey has been depicted in those few words.

The Magic in the lost temple by Nishant Joshi

51WpncoAY6L._SX260_.jpgI received the book, The Magic in the lost temple by Nishant Joshi as a review copy from the author and am thankful to him for the same.

The blurb:

Ayesha and Stuti are two ordinary girls leading an ordinary life. But one day, they find out the real purpose of their existence. On their sneaky visit to a remote fire temple, Jwalana and Krishnavartama, the subjects of Lord Agni, take control of their bodies.

How will this union of demigods and humans play out?

How will they use their new-found superpowers?

Will they be able to achieve their purpose?

The story:

Ayesha Tiwari is scared of her father and tries to do well in school, but to no avail. She is bullied by her classmates and then she meets Stuti Sharma and she improves both in studies and behaviour. The ten year olds, though opposites, become best friends. Stuti, an extrovert coaxes Ayesha, an introvert to go on an adventure- the adventure to find the lost temple.

And then…….

My take:

I loved the way the story has been written. The author has developed the characters well and then brought the mystery in. the language is simple and the story stops at a point where the reader is left wanting for more.

A beautiful book which will keep the adults and children equally enthralled.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

Nobody’s child by Kanchana Banerjee

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-30 at 16.30.14 (1).jpegI received the book Nobody’s child by Kanchana Banerjee as a review copy from Writer’s melon and am thankful to them for the same. This is the author’s second book and having loved her first one, I really was waiting for this one to come out. And I must tell you, I was not disappointed with her work. I love romance but I read this thriller because of the author.

The blurb:

A young woman is found on the streets of Mumbai, dazed and covered in wounds. Her mind is clearly addled by drugs. She tells a TV journalist that she is the famous singer Asavri Bhattacharya, the winner of the 2016 reality TV show Indian Koel. But as far as the world knows, Asavri died in a car accident soon after her win. Her body was cremated; her death mourned by the whole nation. As news spreads like wildfire, the press and public begin clamouring for answers. How can Asavri be alive? And if this is indeed the real Asavri, then who was cremated three years ago? And who is behind what happened to her? Is it Tanya, the first runner-up who wore the victor’s crown after Asavri was declared dead, or Rudra, Asavri’s ex-husband? Or is it Kamini Devi – the glamorous MP with a sinister plan? Or Avniel, the film journalist who shot to fame by writing Asavri’s biography soon after her death? And why does Asavri keep muttering the name Monty? Who is he? Nobody’s Child Is An Exhilarating And Chilling Story About The Dark Side Of Fame.

The story:

This story is set in Mumbai in 2018, Asavari Bhattacharya, the winner of the Indian Koel , a reality singing contest, thought to have died in a brutal car accident in 2016, is found lying on a footpath in a battered condition, abused and drugged, assumed to be a beggar till she revealed her identity. And that becomes the breaking news.

And now everyone is running.

Avniel, who was once her best friend, a journalist and who became a bestselling author because he had written her story, I’m Nobody’s Child, a bestseller.

Tanya Pratap Singh, who was the runner up in the same singing competition, but had to take Asavari’s role. But Tanya is happy to give up. Her rich mother, Kamini Pratap Singh, an MLA, a party member of Aam Janta Party.

The cops, who had established her identity when she had died, cremated her.

And all the time in the hospital floating between consciousness and unconsciousness, in a state of delirium, she takes the name of one person, Monty. Who is he???

But who did and why? Rudra Chatterjee, her ex-husband because she had spilled the beans on him? Kamini Pratap Singh, who wanted her daughter, Tanya, to win, and not Asavari? Avniel, who wrote a book based on Asavri’s life?

This book is about Asavari, a twenty three year old orphan from Shantipur in West Bengal, who had come to Mumbai in 2016 to participate in a singing contest and what happens next.

My take:

The way the story starts, keeps the reader hooked as to what would happen next. The story moves back and forth between the past and the present and has been told in first person from the point of different characters, Avniel, Kamini, Monty and Asavari. The years have been mentioned and it has beautifully been mentioned as then and now.

The characters have been developed gradually and by the time we are through half of the book, the back stories of most of the characters have already evolved. I wanted to know a little bit more about Avniel and Monty and how they were what they were. The fast paced plot is gripping and the story revolves around reality shows, media, politics, personal motives, revenge, drugs, sexual abuse and much more.  The story has been narrated beautifully and scenes could be visualised easily. The language is simple. But there is violence and some parts are difficult to handle.

The layers are removed one after the other and as the layers come off, the reader gets more and more involved, so much so, that I just could not keep the book down, because I really wanted to find as to who was the person behind all this. And I felt I was on a roller coaster with all the twists and turns in the story.

The Epilogue of the book left me wanting for a little bit more.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from WRITER’S MELON in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.