Saturday, 13 January 2018

Review: The Uchallambi Icons

A good thriller should keep you guessing and on the edge. Like a James Bond movie it should be international. Praveena Bhaduri keeps doing that throughout and much more is in store. She describes the locales, situations and emotions beautifully.

There are three best friends – Anushka, Pia and Deepti. And one mysterious fellow who calls him ‘MAndravad’ (actually Bikrama Singhe A Govt servant) who also deals in antiques. Three idols called the Uchallambi icons (hence the name of novel) are stolen which are priceless. But the thieves don’t know their true value and takes them to Kenya and sell them to Pia and dirt price. The three friends come back to Bombay and decide that these seem precious so each girl keeps one idol. Then begins a cat and mouse game between these girls and the goons. And meanwhile there is romance also.

The book works very well for a thriller and Praveena describes the locales and situations in vivid details. The editing and choice of words is top class (only margins near the binding were less). Pace is decent but it could have been better. The girls earlier were free birds with no romantic relationships. They were content with the friendship of each other and their respective careers.

The disaster struck and men star coming into their lives. Rehan, Amit and Sarin enter and though it adds romantic angle it slows down the pace. I would have preferred that this would have been a girl power novel but that was not to be. The expectation was partly due to the fact that they were shown as intelligent, independent & headstrong girls and partly due to the cover. The romance and vivid descriptions slowed the pace a bit but that is not a big impediment to enjoy the novel.

4/ 5 stars.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Review: The Blue Jinx

The Blue Jinx The Blue Jinx by Nisha B. Thakur
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Are ghosts real? Or for that matter gemology or astrology? Do the Ghosts try to avenge themselves if something bad happened to them? It may be psychological issue or may be real ghost (if there is such a thing).

Nikhil is a loser in the eyes of his family. He is an interior consultant and wants to make it big. He gets an opportunity to refurbish Hemant’s Bungalow, far away from Mumbai. He always claimed that he is not cut out for love and wants to focus only on career. But as happens in stories he falls head over heels for Samara, Hemant’s beautiful daughter. Bhima, the Chowkidar tells him that the Ghost of Shanipriya (Samara mother) is there, in the same room where he is staying. Then strange things start happening with him and he loses control over reality.

The story is good initially and builds the suspense and atmosphere beautifully. It is fast paced book and can be finished in one or two sitting. But later on it becomes clich├ęd and defied logic. Say for instance why Hemant disposed of Shanipriya body without trying to find out her killer. The explanation given is most flimsy. If he loved her so much he should have avenged her. The identity of killer is totally fabricated as there is no mention of him till fag end and the climax is very insipid. The behaviour of supporting characters is erratic. Editing and choice of words could have been better.

Keeping in view the pros and cons I give the book 3/ 5 stars.

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