Nothing Ventured – Book Review

Author – Jeffery Archer

Genre – Thriller

Publisher – Pan Macmillan India

Year – 2019

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐🌟/5

Synopsis –

William Warwick always wanted to be a detective and much to his fathers disagreement, who wants William to be a barrister just like him, he embarks on a journey from few months on the beat to being a detective in the Scotland Yard’s art and antique department. His first high profile case is theft of a priceless Rembrandt painting from the Fitzmolean Museum. During the investigation he meets Beth, the research assistant of the same gallery, with whom he hopelessly fall in love.

The prime suspect of the theft is suave art collector Miles Faulkner. He will leave no stone unturned to prove his innocence and his lawyer Booth Watson QC is the master of bending law.

Review –

I have read only one Jeffery Archer book before ‘The Fourth Estate’ and it was truly a masterpiece. I still remember the story premises of that book. So when I picked this up I had really high expectations from this book. And it saddens me to say it didn’t match upto the expectations.

I like the overall story premises of the book. The writing is flawless and it makes you want to read more. The character of William Warwick is sharp, intelligent but at the same time it has a certain kind of innocence. So I am really excited to see how author will develop his character in future books.

The pace of the book is quite slow. It takes a lot of time to come to the main plot and then also there is no twist & turns or ups and downs in the book. It runs on a flat line.

There are tons and tons of character in the book. I personally gets confused when there are so many characters and that too not in the forefront just in the sideline.

The small cute love story is adorable. At first I thought the characters had no chemistry but the way it develops later in the story is endearing.

Though I didn’t like some parts of the book but I am really curious to know what happens next. So being an ardent Jeffery Archer fan I am looking forward to the series.

Bhoot, Bhavish, Bartaman – Book Review

Author – Mehool Parekh

Genre – Thriller/Suspense

Publisher – Leadstart Publishing

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐🌟/5

Synopsis

Major Bartaman Bhowmick, Southern Command of the Indian Army enjoys solving some special and interesting cases with the help of Robin who is a is a city crime reporter and her skills are the perfect match for the duo. Major Bartaman has a cousin an ACP in Pune who gives him permission and aides him in his investigation.

A beautiful woman found brutally murdered in her house while she was asleep. Police has arrested her house help with the money he stolen from the house. A simple robbery turned murder an open and shut case. Easy and simple. But is this case is so simple? Robin founds something is suspicious and thus Bartaman and Robin starts to solve this case from its roots. And there is some shocking revelations waiting for them.

Review

This book is really very captivating. The plot and the language being a debut book by the author is really impressive.

The book gets shifted from present to past and I really like that because it gives an insight into the life of the victim too. And it ensures that you are really invested in this book.

It is really unputdownable. All the twists & turns really grips you and makes you want to finish this book in one sitting.

Characters are definitely interesting and a little bit cliche too but it doesn’t makes you cringe so its acceptable. My only problem was that Robin was not given enough importance and rather she was just there without adding any huge contribution.

The one thing which didn’t seem enough convinceable was that despite being in Army Bartaman was give permission to solve this case just because his cousin is an ACP. I don’t think this seems plausible enough in real life.

But overall this book is really a gem if you like murder mystery. Interesting characters, an Army man and his sidekick crime reporter, a roller coaster past of a victim with too many people having the motive to murder her, a shocking death and an unique way of murder.

Menoka Has Hanged Herself – Book Review

Author – Sharmistha Gooptu

Genre – Suspense/Fiction

Publisher – Simon and Schuster India

Year – 2019

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis

On the New Year Eve of 1937 Menoka the heroine of Bharat Talkies has hanged herself in the studio. Ramola the star of the Bharat Talkies does not feel good about this news but she can’t help it because all this matters are handled by her husband and the owner of Bharat Talkies, Shankar.

Ramola comes from a highly respected and educated family. She well maybe the first educated women in this industry. Raju comes from the family where you are only loyal to your survival.

Both women from different parts of the world are thrown into Bharat Talkies together. Whether they will support each other despite of their indifferences or will one of them even sacrifice her life for this unforgivable industry?

Review

I really like the setup and the era which this book create. It is setup in 1937 and you can feel the essence of those days in the writing. I love the portrayal of Bioscope pictures in this book.

Bioscope pictures which is the central theme of the book and how just the death of one person in this industry affects all others is really fascinating to read. How the industry works in those days, the status of women in those pictures, what society thinks of the people working in that industry is really fascinating to read.

The book is very descriptive in nature. I think it was necessary to make you feel those vintage years in the writing but at the same time it lengthens the book. This make the whole book very very slow paced.

There is no chapter break in the book. It just continuously flows from one POV to another. I think maybe breaking it into chapter wise would be much better.

There is no suspense or surprise element in the book. It just continues on the same graph with no twist or turns whatsoever. Even there is no explanation of why sudden things are happening in the book especially at the end.

Language is slightly complicated being English mixing with Bengali and even some terms of those times which I could not understand. There are some very creepy and bone chilling scenes in the book so if you are a sensitive reader heads up for that.

If you like slow pace and very descriptive books you can definitely give this a try. But I guess for me some parts just didn’t work at all.

Thank you Simon and Schuster India for the review copy.

I Will Miss You Tomorrow – Book Review

Author – Heine Bakkeid

Genre – Psychological Thriller/Horror

Publisher – Bloomsbury Publishing

Year – 2019

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis –

Thorkild Aske has just released from the prison. He is an ex-policeman who used to work as an investigator for Internal Affairs. He killed a young girl Frei under the influence of alcohol. Thorkild loved Frei and still loves her. Frei’s cousin Rasmus goes missing off the Norwegian coast. Arne, Rasmus’s father contacted Thorkild to find him because Aske owe them this much.

But something is haunted in that island. And everything is not that simple as it seems and everyone is not what they pretend to be.

Review-

IT IS PERFECT FOR A COSY HORROR READ!

Paranormal activity and cold weather along the islands is a real part of this book. This book sets a cold creepy theme and as you read further you can’t differentiate between the hallucination and the reality.

The plot of the book is somewhat predictable if you are thriller fanatic and like to guess who is the culprit. But the writing is so good and so engrossing that you actually forget the whole whodunit thing. You are just paralyzed with the shock at the end.

There are many unnecessary description or scenes which just makes the book lengthy and doesn’t even contribute in the whole value of the book. And at times they actually put you off from completing it.

The protagonist is not perfect. He is under the influence of medicines half of the time, he is a shitty brother so he is definitely not the shining armor types. And I love this because it somewhat makes it real and you connect more.

I love love love how the whole book has been executed with the twists & turns, paranormal scenes, drugged hero, cold weather and a lonely island. The combination is very unique and it stays with you for the long time.

You are definitely left with a question ‘What was real and what was not?’

I am looking forward to the second part of the series.

Thank you so much Bloomsbury India for the proof copy.

Badoga – Book Review

Author – Pankaj Saini

Genre – Fantasy

Publisher – Notion Press

Year – 2019

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis –

Sartaj an amateur boxer and a spoil brat doesn’t know what to do with his life. He is living just as the days get by but he doesn’t have a strong purpose or ambition. His life is filled with money, sex, liquor and nightmares. But does those nightmares mean anything?

And then he starts hearing voice in his head. And this voice commands him to deliver justice and fight for the weak. Sartaj gets an opportunity to be a superhero. But is all this real? Or his vanity is getting the better of him? And even if its real who is this voice?

Review-

I really like the concept of the Indian superhero but the execution was very disappointing.

Half of the story and scenes has no importance in the overall book. I felt the back story of Sartaj was just dragged on with no purpose at all.

The writing is good and enjoyable. I really like the language used before the introduction of every new phase. Kudos to the author for writing such an unique plot and trying something different.

The story could be possible without being sexist. There were unnecessary sexist comments just to show the hero is too macho.

Sartaj character could be improved. I felt he was shown as too much of a rowdy and a spoil brat and then suddenly helping people in need which doesn’t get well with the whole scene.

I just hope author gives a better character arc and an improved execution of the whole plot in the sequel because the storyline definitely has potential.

A Heart So Fierce And Broken – Book Review

Author – Brigid Kemmerer

Genre – Fantasy

Publisher – Bloomsbury India

Year – 2020

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐🌟/5

Synopsis

Curse is finally broken. But Rhen has more problems than before, with the rumor of one more heir there is a change of loyalty in Emberfall. People and Rhen’s advisories are doubting whether Rhen is the true heir or not?
To make matters worse Karis Luran declares war if Rhen does not agree with her conditions. The only person who knows about the heir is Grey. But where is Grey? Is he dead? Or is he hiding? And why hiding?

Review

I generally don’t like series because of the cliffhanger but I completed this whole series in 2019 only to realize there is going to be a third part also. But I am not complaining at all. Because for the first time in my life I love love love the cliffhanger at the end.

Grey just shines throughout the book. His dilemma, kindness, magic, pain, love and his loyalty will just melt your heart. I was already his fan from ACSDL and this book does whole justice to Grey’s character. It also proves why we actually need this sequel!!!

Second the love story OH MY GOD!!!! I am already freaking and gushing about Lia Mara and Grey. I totally ship them. Lia Mara is timid with no self confidence, a firm believer in peace, and always doubting herself. But she is so much more than she actually think of herself. And only Grey makes her realises her true potential.

I can’t help but compare the two main characters of ACSDL and AHSFB. Both Harper and Lia Mara. In first part you have brave and courageous Harper who despite having no knowledge or experience whatsoever in ruling a kingdom, does a great job in being a queen. Whereas Lia Mara being born and brought up as a princess, have no confidence to be a queen. It is going to be damn interesting when they come face to face in third part.

I am already a fan of Brigid Kemmer’s writing because both the books have so different characters and setup, but her writing is always engaging and gripping. Though I felt this book has more fillers than necessary. It was slightly slow pace because of it. But I like the fact that the author has defined every character’s action and nature to understand why they are, the way they are. This book kind of lays the foundation to understand the characters more deeply for the upcoming third part.

The ending was just shook me to the core. The whole story just turned upside down in one single page. I actually had to read it twice to believe it. Now I just can’t wait for the third part. I am so sure it will have more drama, more magic, more love and finally Rhen and Grey will face each other.

Thank you Bloomsbury India for the ARC in exchange of honest review.

Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society – Book Review

Author – Mary Ann Shaffer/Annie Barrows

Genre – Literary Fiction

Publisher – Bloomsbury India

Year – 2018

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis

One of the most oddly satisfying book I have ever read!

In the early 1946, Juliet Ashton a British writer and a former war journalist is going through the writer’s block. Suddenly she gets a letter from Dawsey Adams who got her address from a second hand book. He informs Juliet about the Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society and asks her for some books as there are not enough books in Guernsey. Guernsey is the only British Island which was captured by Nazis for five years.

They exchange letters and Juliet asks about the origin of the Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society. Soon all the members of the society are writing to her and sharing the details of the horrifying war and what it did to them. To write a book in this society Juliet decides to go to Guernsey and thus changing her life forever.

Review

The plot of the story is as cheesy and as cliche it gets. But the way the novel is written is just adorable. It is an epistolary novel (one told entirely through letters and telegrams).In this generation of texting it was a pure delight to read a book in the form of letters or telegram that it overpowers the cliche plot of the story.

Am I the only one who thought Juliet Ashton was too good to be true? She is witty, funny, focused, brave, compassionate, a good friend, good with kids and loved by everyone. I couldn’t find a single flaw in her character which doesn’t sit good with me because perfection is not real.

The details of the war is horrifying and unflinching. And I really like that it showed there are good people and bad people on both sides of the war. Sometimes you don’t get to choose which side to be on. But at the end humanity makes you immortal than your victory.

I am in love with Guernsey. I love how author has described the place, its serenity, peace, calm and most important the people of Guernsey. They are simple yet interesting.

Even the love story is too cute to resist. I personally like the character of Dawsy Adams the one who doesn’t speak much but all are irresistibly dependent on him. He is the one who connects Juliet Ashton and Guernsey and is a side hero who doesn’t get much appreciation.

The plot is cliche and the protagonist is too perfect but the format of the book is really heart warming and plus it is a book about books what more you want?! I know my review contains some of negative pointers from logical point of view. But the truth is I adored this book even through all of its flaws because it has a certain charming effect to it. And one of the rare books I am going to reread!

The Girl Who Lived Twice – Book Review

Author – David Lagercrantz

Genre – Thriller/Suspense/Fiction

Publisher – Hachette India

Year – 2019

Ratings – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🌟/5

Synopsis

Lisbeth Salander’s past still haunts her. After loosing her protector Holmer Palmgren she has one final score to settle. But will it be easy to end that part of her life?
Mikael Blomkvist is worried about Lisbeth and is struggling with life and career after she vanishes completely. But with a death of a beggar from Stockholm, Mikael will find himself in the middle of a big controversy which has its roots from Everest to Russia.
Will Mikael solve it on his own? Will Lisbeth come back not for her enemy but for her friend?

Review

This is the sixth installment in the Millennium series. There are references and connection to the past series but still you can read it as a standalone. For character understanding their reference is given in the starting of the book.

Why I didn’t read this series before? Why I didn’t know about it before? For a thriller and mystery fan like me it was a pure treat. Plus a kickass female character is what I live for.

A murder mystery which has a long past and a connection to the Russia’s underworld crime and alongside Lisbeth is trying to avenge her enemies. I love how intricately the plot was planned. The characters are layered which makes it not so predictable. Every twist & turns just makes you want for more. My only complain is I need more of Lisbeth.

It is definitely a fast paced book so you have to be committed to it. There are many characters and many revelations which makes it more complex and intriguing. This is the prefect cosy book with a cup of coffee and get immense inn the world of Lisbeth.

You Beneath Your Skin – Book Review

Author – Damyanti Biswas

Genre – Thriller/Fiction

Publisher – Simon and Schuster India

Ratings – 🌟🌟🌟🌟⭐️/5

Synopsis

Indian American single mother Anjali Morgan has a lot on her plate an acoustic son, her clinic, an illicit affair with an ambitious police commissioner Jatin Bhatt and social service at slum areas. Jatin comes across a serial killer who rapes women from slum areas, then kill them by throwing acid on their faces and bodies. Jatin has to crack this case because it can help him in his promotion.

But the case is not as simple as it seems and Anjali is at the centre of all. To solve this case he has to risk everything he has gained till yet. But in the end what will Jatin choose his falling marriage, his notorious son, his only love Anjali or his job for which he sacrificed so many things?

Review-

Ordinary characters but an extra ordinary story. All the events, places and characters feels very real which gives it almost a non fiction vibe. Even the main theme of the story which is about acid attack sadly it is also not uncommon this days. We hear so many cases on TV and news about acid being thrown on women or girls faces just to seek revenge.

In the starting I feel the pace of the story was quite slow but as it gradually proceeds it picks up the pace and you realize the importance the small details in the beginning.

There are many major aspects to the story. Corruption and management in police department, acoustic child, post acid attack treatment, poverty and survival in slum areas. All these were minutely detailed and thoroughly researched. Author has left no stone unturned in presenting this story as real as it could be.

This will definitely hit home to many readers especially to Indians who are seeing this crime happening in their daily lives. The story and characters will remain with you for a long time.

Thank you Simon and Schuster India for the review copy.