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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Book Review- Salvation of a Saint- Keigo Higashino

  
Author- Keigo Higashino
ISBN- 978-0-3491-3934-0
Price- MRP Rs 350/-
Publisher- Hachette India www.hachetteindia.com

I had the privilege to review "The Devotion Of Suspect X" here all thanks to Blogadda and now I am reviewing the sequel. The last one by Keigo Higashino had me hooked all night and I couldn't sleep before finishing it. Well, comparison is natural and I am glad to say that this one is better than the last one. While the last one was a tug-of-war between an intelligent murderer and an experienced detective, this one is more of a Whodunnit and also a Howdunnit ie how the killer actually committed the murder. 

About the author
 Keigo Higashino is an engineer and that attention to detail attitude is visible in his work. There are no lose threads. He is also a Japanese author and these books are translations. Thankfully very little is lost in translation and the thrill and pace of the plot is intact. His "The Devotion of Suspect X" was nominated for Edgar award 2012 and Barry award 2012.

About the plot
Detective Kusanagi and junior detective Kishitani are back with new female recruit Utsumi and department head Mamiya. They have their hands on this new case which spins their heads right off their head. A business-man Yoshitaka is found dead and the two prime suspects are his girlfriend and his wife. Next comes an intricate plot of alibis, doubts and revelations. The book cannot be simply put down once you pick it up for reading. Detective Kusanagi is well on his way to become a cult character with a fan following. New character Utsumi keeps impressing with her keen observation and attention to detail. The way she joins the threads, you are left craving for more such novels with her in the center.

About the cover
The cover is simple with white and black theme and a face looking downwards as if laden with guilt. The red back-cover introduces you to the plot and features accolades for the previous and the current novel. The styling is neat with no frills. I personally am likely to pick such books from the rack.

About the language, style and pages.
Hachette India lives up to its name. The pages are crisp and good quality, there are no printing mistakes, misprints or problems with paper. The language has been kept simple, sentences are short and lucid. First time readers will like it very much. Fonts are big and there will be no difficulty reading or understanding the text. The author has used italics to highlight the sentences which are either muttered under the breath or not spoken at all. Sometimes, it may seem abrupt but you'll get used to it.
The characters are well-defined. We already have been introduced to the detectives so no time has been wasted introducing them again. For the first timers, it's enough to know that they are really smart people with great observation skills. The characters of the two prime suspects- Hiromi (the girlfriend) and Ayane (the wife) are well-drawn and there is an air of sympathy created around both of them. It is interesting to see the air change as the plot progresses.

So, all in all, I recommend the book and suggest that you finish it in one or two sittings to maintain the continuity and excitement. A great companion for long train journeys, but careful, you might miss your station!

Happy reading.
This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Book Review- Tantra By Adi

Here is the official trailer of the book. That's right folks! This one comes with a trailer. I am talking about the latest offering from Blogadda.com - The book called- "Tantra" By Adi.

Publisher- Apeejay Stya Publishing
MRP- 195/-
Website- www.tantrabyadi.com
Twitter- @dearadi
Facebook- fb.com/DearAdiPage
ISBN- 978-81-908636-2-9

This one brings back the memories of the golden era of thriller fiction novels like Devki Nandan Khatri's Chandrakanta. It took me back to days when children used to hide under the covers and read Indrajaal, tulsi or Raj comics pretending to be asleep. It has a racy plot, larger than life characters and thrilling turn of events. I enjoyed reading it and once I picked it up, it was very difficult to put down. 

The protagonist is a vampire slayer who isn't modest to say the least. She is Anu Aggarwal. She is a guardian and wears her attitude on her sleeve. As you can see on the cover, she stands on the top of a building taking guard with a dagger in her hand and gaze fixed on the cityscape. The city here is New Delhi which has been shown in a very nice way through the descriptions by the first time author Adi. Adi, the author, comes across to me as one of those comic book enthusiasts who loved reading about mystical creatures and imagined himself to be the hero killing the bad guys. The boyish charm of the author is evident on the pages of the book as he plays with his characters and has a lot of fun in the process.

Anu comes from New York to New Delhi on a mission to destroy a crime link and soon realizes that she has opened a huge can of worms. She seeks help from several gurus and tantriks as she fights the evil. There is a certain haunting character about the novel as evil always lurks in the background and is one step ahead of the good.

The novel also has a bollywood-like hilarious side-plot where Anu's aunt is trying to set her up with a suitable boy. The novel has been made with the intention of creating a reader base who can get to acquaint themselves with and start liking the characters. I foresee it to be the first novel in a long successful series.

The language has been kept lucid, the sentences are short and easy to understand so that the novel can percolate deep into the Indian readership. There is also enough sexuality in the pages for the, umm.. how do I put this delicately, low-minded audience. I mean it's entertainment, nothing wrong with it but, I expect a little less of it and more of action in the sequels.

A word about the author- The author confesses that he has been a fictions books' buff and has loved the characters from Indian mythology. That explains the theme of the novel and his grip on the subject. He also has degrees from Stanford and Harward and that explains the intelligent weaving on the plot and use of suitable language. His acknowledgements are heartfelt and were fun to read. I think he should stick around and write many more such novels. India does need to revive its story-telling culture.

So, all in all, it's a good, nail-biting, edge of the seat thriller with enough masala to shame a South Indian masala flick. I'd like to suggest that this book is meant for those who can handle this kind of fiction and have grown with the mysteries of vampires, zombies, fairies and angels; and can enjoy the romance behind it all.

Happy reading.