Book Review: Rakshasa

Book: Raakshas

Publisher: Westland Books

Author: Piyush Jha

Genre: Crime Thriller

RaakshasMore often, it’s the crime thrillers, war-espionage-spy stories, detectives and mysteries that lure me to a book store. The affair with mystery stories and thrillers started in school with Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie and shifted to Robert Ludlum with Bourne series. Later Dan Brown became much favourite.

There have been stories by Indian authors who have tried to shape their books in Dan Brown style with Indian mythology woven in the story but for me, by end of the book those stories lost their grip.

With the delivery of ‘Raakshas’ at my door step I was expecting something similar with a promising great start and later tapering off and story getting diluted.

I delayed reading the novel by a day and decided to take it as my travelling companion for a three-day trip to Kolkata. Though the ‘soon to be a major motion picture‘ tagline on the cover did not make me rush into reading but once I began reading I was happy to find that it captured my attention. Soon I was so engrossed that I almost missed the boarding announcement for flight to Kolkata.

The story is about ‘Raakshas‘, a man so named by his own grandmother for being the cause of death of his mother during childbirth. The boy grows in a love deprived atmosphere often subjected to inhuman behaviour by his own father. A child engulfed by adverse circumstances he is shaped into a heartless, dispassionate and ruthless cold-blooded killer. He meets his nemesis in Maithili Prasad, the Additional Commissioner of Police who hunts him down and puts an end to the terror he unleashed.

That the childhood traumas and upbringing may play a great role in psychology and perceptions of a person is the underlying idea behind the story. The author has brought attention towards the various other reasons that have been researched in other countries, in the making of a serial killer.

After a long time, I have come across a good attention holding story but I am not sure whether it will make into a good movie. One, because in the movies churned out by the Bollywood even a criminal breaks into a song and dance sequence and two, he is shown to have some weird quirks like insane laughing or idiotic conversation during climax which for me spoil it. Also sometimes movies do not do justice to the book. I liked the book ‘Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown but did not like the movie.

This is one good story, tight in its composition. I liked it and stopped reading it only after the last page late at night. This story will keep its readers engaged.

Also read on :

Book Review: The Best Seller She Wrote

Book: The Best Seller She Wrote

Author: Ravi Subramaniyam

Genre: Fiction

Publishers: Westland Books


Having heard about Ravi Subramanian and his financial thrillers I never made an effort to buy his books because once years ago when  I picked up a  book by John Grisham, my young mind refused to comprehend all legal jargon and the courtroom story after first few pages. Since then I have steered clear of thrillers which deal with subject I barely understand and that implies lawyer talk and finance…..The only financial thriller that I have read is Tom Clancy’s ‘Debt of Honour’ just because it was always there on bookshelf at home.

Since this was the first book by the author that I read so I had not much clue of what to expect and yet the tagline at the book cover ‘soon to be a motion picture’ gave me a fair idea that the story might be ‘one masala mix like our movies!

And sure enough with the story revolving around a banker who also is famous author, a wannabe smooth-talking ambitious B-School graduate beautiful girl and a little detective-story-like twist almost at end, it is one crowd puller. The lead character and some events in his life have a strong resemblance to one certain popular Indian author. I couldn’t help laughing when the protagonist of story agrees to be a judge for dance reality show on TV and his wife comments:

“Don’t be so blinded by the arc-lights that you make a fool of yourself”

Now only the authors concerned would know better whether the comment was just a friendly jibe or not!

The story, basically about love, betrayal of trust between friends, between a husband and wife and coming back to senses of strayed man to reunite with wife is however very predictable; a famous much married banker turned author who falls for a sexual charms of a good-looking girl, his ardent fan and cheats on his wife. How the lead character gets into some sleuthing and resurrects his broken marriage is the little twist. Even though I could guess how the relationship would play out as soon as ‘Shreya’ the attractive fan started interacting with ‘Aditya Kapoor’ the author yet I loved reading the story with the backdrop of publishing world nuggets.

There have been many similar stories and many such movies so I did not find anything fresh except that the character was IIM graduate, banker and author. The few sexual scenes were not enticing enough and at times story dragged a bit. With all the promotions and hype surrounding the book, story is quite ordinary.

There are quite some inputs about the way publishing world functions. Using names of Anurag Kashyap and Nirav Sanghavi of BlogAdda also seems like a very into your face advertisement and again gives a glimpse of behind the scene requirements in the business of book publishing.

In all, the book was a nice package and with some sizzling song dance sequences thrown in would make one mass pleasing movie. With no heavy philosophy and no moral preaching, book is good bedtime read for young readers.

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!