#review Murder in a Minute

Author: Shouvik Bhattacharya

Publisher: Bloomsbury India

Publication date: 10 Dec 2017

Language: English

Book length: 204 pages

Genre: Fiction/ Crime Thriller

Synopsis:

When a young woman is found lifeless in a pool of her own blood, everyone is convinced that it is her college sweetheart who murdered her. The victim’s step-brothers, Rishabh and Arya,embark on a journey to unearth the truth, a journey riddled with fallacies and conspiracies, planted intentionally. What connection is there between a missing blue envelope, a misplaced sweater and stray footprints in a room. Could those people they thought they knew so well be hiding dark secrets about their past? Or did their dead sister have more to hide than they imagined?

Rating: 4/5

Review :

I am thankful to the publishers for sending me this book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.

Okay! let me gather my thoughts. I don’t even know where to begin. I ain’t sure if I can express even half of what I experienced throughout the book in my attempt to write the review. Do I sound extremely dramatic? Well, can’t really help it. Am being really honest here. Before I go further into blabbering about my take on the book let me describe the story-line a bit.

The story revolves around the death of a young, hard working woman, adopted, unwelcomed child of the family, who through her extreme dedication to work had won her father’s confidence in taking over their company, Arora Cements instead of his ambitious son, Pranav. Esha was the eldest of 5 children, adopted after four years of Vishal Arora’s childless marriage with first wife, the renowned actress Archana Gulati. Within a year of adoption, they were blessed with twins – Pranav and Rashmi. But the marriage didn’t work well and after three years of their birthday, the lady eloped with a retired Major. He had then married Sunanda Rai and within a year Rishabh was born; four years later she died at childbirth, Arya arrived. Keeping this characters aside, we come to the character Anubhav deeply and unrequitedly in love with Esha who gave up his well off job to work in and support her company. With every character present in the house and no sign of outsider during the time of Esha’s murder, the inspector and sub inspector are stressed out to find out the truth. No sooner had they come to a conclusion that Rishabh informed them of a missing blue envelope from Esha’s room and the housemate believes to have heard her talking to someone before the day of murder in her room about eloping!

Who killed Esha? Was there really no outsider but was someone inside the family? What was the motive? What was in the blue envelope? Who took it? Who was she planning to elope with and why?

If only these questions weren’t enough to deal with, the author interestingly brings in the topic of lesbians and I very much appreciate this initiative. In the times when we readers must even through stories, under the condition of current society, this very book is a genuine example. It points out how India is yet to come to an understanding with homosexuality and how all the people, though have the right to love anyone and everyone, has to hid this. The fear of shame and disgust they suffer then they believe that what they feel is unacceptable in the society because it is unnatural and sin. They crush their on feeling in the name of disease and insanity.

Murder in a Minute is a fast paced, gripping and intelligent story, filled with conspiracy, suffering, betrayal, power and insanity which I enjoyed thoroughly. The choice of words and concepts are well thought out. What absolutely intrigued me was the rawness of the reality. How till date orphan and homosexuality is unacceptable, both by families and society. Every human deserves a family and the right to love anyone they choose to. Also I must praise the author’s talent of storytelling – cleanly detailed and quite informative. If I hadn’t already known I wouldn’t have believed if anyone said this book is a debut novel. I am utterly impressed and look forward to reading more works of him in coming future.

Anyone who loves crime thrillers, I recommend you to give this book a try at once.

About the Author:

Shouvik is a management graduate from S.P Jain, Mumbai and is currently working for General Electric. During the day, he designs high-end analytical software which makes aircrafts fly, and during the night he plots devious murder mysteries. He had brief stints studying in Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University and European School of Business. He is a die-hard fan of Manchester United and you might spot him reading, in a café or a bookstore in Bangalore.

You can follow him @StoryTellerShouvik on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

#review The Tree with a Thousand Apples

Author: Sanchit Gupta

Publisher: Niyogi Books

Publication date: 15 Nov, 2016

Book length: 284 pages

Language: English

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis:

Inspired by true events, this riveting narrative traces the lives of Safeena Malik, Deewan Bhat and Bilal Ahanagar, three childhood friends who grow up in an atmosphere of peace and amity in Srinagar, Kashmir, until the night of 20 January 1990 changes it all.

While Deewan is forced to flee from his home, Safeena’s mother becomes ‘collateral damage’ and Bilal has to embrace a wretched life of poverty and fear. The place they called paradise becomes a battleground and their friendship struggles when fate forces them to choose sides against their will.

Twenty years later destiny brings them to a crossroads again, when they no longer know what is right and what is wrong. While both compassion and injustice have the power to transform lives, will the three friends now choose to become sinful criminals or pacifist saints?The Tree with a Thousand Apples is a universal story of cultures, belongingness, revenge and atonement. The stylized layered format, fast-paced narration and suspenseful storytelling makes for a powerful, gripping read.

Rating: 4/5

Review:

I received this book from VInfluencers in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.

As a child I had always heard stories about the beauty of Kashmir, a piece of heaven on Earth. I have had always dreamt of visiting it but till date haven’t had the chance. With passing time and gaining more knowledge about reality, I came to realise, even Heaven has it’s part of chaos and Kashmir is no exception. Being the borderline of Pakistan and India, though an essential part of India is often debated by the Pakistanis to be their region. Kashmir has for many years been facing torture and torment, the people are exposed to disturbing situations and suffer to the extreme. It is quite normal to see any article on Kashmir’s condition on paper almost everyday. While we sit with the paper in our hand, thinking of the hardship of those people, there’s not really many scopes of finding a solution.

Authors throughout India have tried quite a no.of times to compose stories based on this condition of Kashmir but not many have such an expressive impact on readers like me than this book “The Tree with a Thousand Apples” has. It may be because of the three protagonists and their lives.

The story begins with two people, Safeena and Bilal rescuing Deewan from a police minibus. And with a jolt we are brought many years back into the childhood of the three where we see two happy families, Muslim and Hindu, eating, smiling, enjoying life together. But life is not always happy-go-lucky. For the struggles of Kashmir reaches the three children soon enough. To a point where they had to struggle between deciding whether to be sinners or tainted saints.

‘Stand for your rights’,

You tell me,

And when I do

You beat me down

Break my bones

And crush my soul?

I nay raise my voice

Close my fist, and demand;

Or seek and desire

With polite words and a patient heart

So that you and I can live in peace

Forever, I wish;

You should pray

I choose the latter.

This little poem got me goosebumps. Such an intense, bold and challenging one. Generally when I read a storybook, if any poems in between, to me they do not seem to be much of importance. But this very poem had my blood boiling and you might thing I am exaggerating but if you read through the story, you will be saying the same thing like me.

The author has done an outstanding job in presenting a well formed story, based on true events and incidents that at some point even I could relate to. The book was impossible for me to put down ti the very end (and I have exams so…). The whole journey of the three protagonists from their childhood to maturity with time and experience has been portrayed beautifully. Though a big no.of characters within a story can sometimes confuse a reader, the accuracy and individuality of each character was written down so distinctively that I never had problem understanding.

Overall, the story is unnerving (in a good day), bold, extremely realistic, heroic and makes one question the boundaries between sin and sane. The book is like a carnival of emotions from the first page till the end. With the cover presented the richest fruit of Kashmir, the very first look of the book is the accurate representation of the thousands of lives woven into the roots of the land.

I would absolutelyrecommend everyone to read it.

About the Author:

Born and brought up in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, Sanchit Gupta began his career as a part-time copywriter with an advertising agency in Mumbai. He went on to co-found his own theatre group, worked as a freelance film screenwriter and as executive producer–fiction for a leading television network. His short stories have been published in several esteemed publications and literary journals and have won acclaim in leading literary festivals and online forums. One of his film scripts (fiction) has been long-listed in a globally reputed screenwriters’ lab. He has worked with All India Radio as a talk show host and regularly features in poetry recitals at Prithvi Café, Mumbai. This is his debut novel.

Apart from being a writer, he is a brand management professional with a wide range of brand building and communication development experience across FMCG, automobile and media industries. His works explore his fascination for global cultures, societal structures, vagaries of the world and the human mind. He welcomes interaction @sanchit421. Find out more about the author and his work at http://www.sanchitgupta.in

#review Wheels of Wish – (Book 1 – Wish Trilogy) : The crime planned 800 years

Author: Bidhu Datta Rout

Publisher: StoryMirror Infotect Pvt. Ltd.

Publication date: 1 Jan, 2017

Book length: 212 pages

Language: English

Genre: Fiction/ Thriller

Synopsis:

Imprisonment of a couple in the Dwapar Yug and the creation of magnetism at Sun temple in Konark has a great deal of linkage to a missing boy in the 13th century carrying the mightiest power of the universe that transcends in time across generations leading to an alleged rape and murder accusation to the story’s protagonist, an investment banker Shashank Chaudhary in 2008 who flies from New York to Odisha to find himself trapped in an 800 years old enigma. A biological allegory that unfolds a historical and mythological mystery that counts back in time as far as the epic Mahabharata. One that surpasses time and the material world with its mathematical calculations within physical elements. Unexplainable evidences, puzzling data, conspiracy theories and unheard secrets intermingle with one another to create plots in the history of time that have been startling scientists and mythologists to date. It’s now in the court room that he must face his worst fears and probably the world’s greatest held secret, a rare phenomenon of a chromosomal defect, from an unexpected guest.

Rating: 3/5

Review:

I would first and foremost like to thank Brandedgupshup.com for sending me this book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.

I would like to start my review with explaining how absolutely fascinating I believe the whole idea of the book is. The story in divided into four parts in three different periods starting with March 18, 2008 when a woman reaches out Sidharth, a dropout engineer and qualified lawyer with the case a renowned NRI investment banker Shashank Choudhury, who has been arrested for Rape and double Murder.

Then the next chapter shifts to another period line of the story – 1120 AD. Here we are introduced to the Kalinga king Indradyumna and the history behind the construction of the Fourth dham of Lord Vishnu in Puri. The story of him meeting Lord Vishnu in his dream which lead to the search of the blue mountain.

Then we see another shift in the story as we travel to another timeframe – 1976 where we meet a classroom full of children engrossed in listening to their replacement teacher, Pariniti Mam, narrating the story of The Sun Temple. A little of mother-daughter love is seen with Pariniti pampering her little “genius” as she calls her child, Roohani.

Through Pariniti’s story we are taken back to 1250 AD, the history of talent and sacrifice of 1200 men for 12 years in building the magnificent Sun temple under the rule of King Narasingha Dev.

These completely different stories involving numerous people along a timeline of 800 years comes together through Shashank’s court case. The story unravels how the accused is Siddharth’s college friend and the rape victim, Roohani’s (yes!!the daughter of Pariniti) childhood sweetheart. She demands that the two of them were forcefully drugged and Shashank is not guilty of any charge. No one seems to believe her. How then will the innocent be freed from the jail? Why is Siddharth so willing to defeat his opposition lawyer? Just for his friend’s justice or do they share a long dark history?

Now as I have described before, the whole concept of the book is pretty interesting and informative. However, what I didn’t like was the author’s choice of words in writing. Not only the words but the writing pattern itself seems to be missing the punch of a strong thriller. Even though the writing was tolerable at first with the beginning of the 1250 AD episode it made me cringe. It cannot be classified even as erotism. It was plainly disturbing to read and nasty. After reading the storyline I had high hopes for the book but after reading a few pages disappointed arrived quite fast. Also the ending of the book was a bit disapproving with the finale of the court case appearing to be utterly stupid. The author has made a futile effort to bring together a huge amount of excessive and unreasonable information into one case and that did not fit well. What I had believe to be well researched and informative at first turned out to be just fruitless mumbling and disturbing storytelling. I gave 3/5 just for the effort the writer has put on the book and his inexpressible but vast imagination. The storyline had the potential to become an iconic part of literature but the elements within and everything else was not worthy enough to be properly called a “good book”.

I look forward to betterment in the next book of the series.

About Author :

Bibhu Datta Rout is an Indian novelist and investment banking professional and now an entrepreneur. Born in Odisha, Bibhu spent his childhood in Bhubaneswar, and most of his twenties and thirties in the cities of New Delhi, Singapore, Detroit, Tokyo. He has been working as a banking professional for last 15 years. During these period he has worked for companies like UBS, Barclays, Citi and Credit Suisse. Algorithms trading, High Frequency Trade and quantitative analytics are his core skills. He is currently living in Mumbai.