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A Love Life so Painful
Once Upon the Tracks of Mumbai
Those enchanted four and half years
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Love You Forever : Only In That Way
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The Mistress of Spices
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I Too Had A Love Story..
Ladies Coupé
The Krishna Key
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Of Tattoos and Taboos!
Left from Dhakeshwari
I loved a Street woman
Chanakya's Chant
Dreams in Prussian Blue


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Thursday, September 27, 2018

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Title: Snippers Eye

Author: Mainak Dhar


Category:Fiction (Thriller)
Publisher: TARA Press
Price: INR 299
Pages: 183

Thrillers are one of the most common genres there are; this makes the creation of a riveting and unique plot exceptionally hard to achieve. You may find many spin-offs, or many stories that are along a similar theme; but it is hard to actually find a plot that is unique, which is why one tends to hold a special place for those books that have a unique flair, style – but more so for a book that has a unique story theme, very different from the beaten themes we are used to. This is where the current book under review – Snipers’ Eye – scores very high marks. A unique storyline indeed, making for a fun read.



THE BOOK

This is the story of a former Para-Commando, and a man with a past who has made his life and career in the corporate world. Few people – including his lover, are aware of his secret ace commando days, or that he is a man of pure action. He is witness to a sniper shooting in a mall – and by force of habit, goes after the shooter and the shooters’ team in order to save innocents, killing one. This does two things – first, he and his hidden story come to light.
And two, and far more importantly, it brings him centerstage in this whole sordid affair – which is, incidentally, not ending anytime soon, and certainly not with only one killing. This audacious killing is but the first in a series of daring daylight sniper killings of retired former top law-keepers and armed forces officers, setting the stage for a confrontation. The former commando is drawn into the case, first by the police who seek his help, and then by other unknowns… which leads one to wonder, why is a mere coincidental presence of an ex-Army Officer causing so much distress to the other side?


THE ANALYSIS
You normally go into a new author with a slight trepidation, unsure of what you may get. My approach was also quite similar – I need not have worried. It was a treat to read this excellent thriller, riveting from the first page, quite literally, as the plot explodes into action from the start. You are pulled into the unique concept, and then you are kept in the story by its sheer pace. The story and the plot is a rapid, fast-paced, action filled book right from the start.

There are issues; no one is perfect. The plot slightly wavers, the tightness slightly, ever so slightly, waver and weakens in the middle portion; but picks up pretty soon, ensuring that you want for little or nothing.  That small aspect apart, there is no weak point that I could spot. The fast-paced nature of the story means that even the smallest slackening of pace becomes rapidly noticeable. Does this impact the overall effect, the enjoyment? To some extent – yes.

This is an action oriented book – and relatively fast paced at that. It is not meant to be an involved thriller at all. This leaves little scope of character development; and neither is this missed. That is to say, this is adequate given the confines of the plot and the overall story. The language is simple, straight and easy – this is a big plus. Also, the biggest plus – no vulgarity or rough words for the most part that I can recall, which is a big, big plus.
In conclusion, this is an excellent, fast paced thriller – filled with action, twists and plot turns that keep you glued to the book for the most part, and enthralled plus engaged in the book. This is not a book that involves you into the characters and the plot; it isnt intense in any way. This is just a straightforward action story. That is the basic aspect – and keeps to this theme with remarkable clarity of focus – leaving you impressed with a good book as you turn the last page.

This is perfect for a fast journey read, can be concluded in that time! In fact, properly touched up – this can make for a fantastic action movie script; it has all the right ingredients… simplicity, clarity, outright action, fast paced, not too intense etc. The scenes move fast, and the story flows effortlessly. What more could you want in an action movie?

Rating: 4/5


Friday, September 14, 2018

A Secret Deal by Antara Das


Title: A Secret Deal
Author: Antara Das
Category: Fiction
Publisher: 24by7 Publishing
Price: INR 190/-
Pages: 183

Snapshot:
This is a love story which begins in an innocent manner on campus. However, life has its own twists and turns which spiral the love between the protagonists Akash and Anya into a very different plane. This story is also a love triangle, but with a difference.  

Detailed Review:
Antara Das’s debut novel, A Secret Deal is a love story that begins on a college campus. Akash Kashyap, the versatile young drummer of the college band is understandably the college heartthrob. Rich, handsome, an only child, politically connected, passionate...he is the ideal dream guy. Anya Dutta is alluring, independent and beautiful. She joins Akash in his band as the lead singer. 

Well, it is natural that sparks fly when they meet. But, all love stories have a twist and this one is no different. As the innocent college romance flourishes into something more potent, life intervenes. Will they have a happy ending together? Or will the fate of their love be sealed with a secret deal? With Akash and Anya at the centre of the story the book takes a peek into the lives of youth and what love really means to them. 

Through varied characters the explores different kinds of love - friendships, parental love, companionship and romantic love. Akash’s relationship with his parents also forms an integral part of the narrative, where the author explores a sub-theme of love amongst spouses, and how love changes with changing circumstances in life. However, it is the relationship between Anya and her childhood friend Sarthak that explores the notion of unconditional love. The friends of the protagonists also play a key role in the story, reflecting the increasingly important role played by friends in the lives of the youth today.

The pace of the book is fast, and livens up a bit more after the first half. The story is told from alternating points of view between Akash and Anya. This technique of telling the story, coupled with a short crisp conversational tone kind of paces the novel. There is a twist to the tale as well. It starts off as a predictable love story but a couple of plot diversions adds an element of interest. 

Well, the book does have quite a few expletives (though nothing you will not hear in a group of regular youngsters having a regular conversation!) which for me, seems unnecessary. The book reflects the campus life of today in a realistic manner.

The love triangle is a familiar theme. There is a twist in the end but in my opinion that is also a theme that is overdone.  However, there are some elements of idealism in the love story. The notion of ‘ideal pure love’ seems almost too good to be true.

The book will primarily appeal to college going young adults since they will be able to readily identify with the themes, emotions and events described. 

A romantic read.

RC Rating: 3 /5

About the Author:
Dhanishta Shah is a Mumbai-based freelance writer. In her work over the past ten years, she has explored and devoured a range of genres such as education, architecture, lifestyle, fashion, art, literature, people-profiling, parenting, health, travel, specialist areas such as watches, trade publications and so on.