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Book Review:- Private India

When I saw a book; a thriller nonetheless, co authored by Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson in the pre-order section of Flipkart, I was excited. Then when I saw that the same book was up for review under BlogAdda’s Book Review Program, I jumped at the chance and signed up for it. I got selected for the first time to review a book under BlogAdda’s Book Review Program!!! Yayy!! Though I read the book within the stipulated time, the review got delayed due to my hectic work life. Sigh!! That deserves a post in itself. Anyway so here goes the review.

 Book Details :-
Author: Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson

ISBN: 9781780891736

Publisher: Random House

Price: Rs. 350 (Rs 193 On Amazon)

Genre: Crime and Thriller

The Book Blurb:-

In Mumbai seemingly unconnected people are dying, strangled in a chilling ritual and with strange objects carefully arranged with the corpses. For Santosh Wagh, head of Private India, the Mumbai branch of the world’s finest investigation agency, it’s a race against time to stop the killer striking again. In a city of over thirteen million, hed have his work cut out at the best of times but this case has him battling Mumbai’s biggest ganglord and a godman who isn’t all he seems and then he discovers there may be an even greater danger facing Private India. Hidden in the shadows is someone who could destroy the whole organisation along with thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens.

19186402I have never read any work of either Ashwin Sanghi or James Patterson and hence I am unfamiliar with their individual writing styles. Also I am unaware of the “Private” series set in other countries. So my review is, you can say, my first impression.

My review:-

The serial killings begin with the murder of a lady doctor from Thailand. She had been strangled using a yellow scarf and small, strange and seemingly unrelated objects had been placed around the body. There is a flower on one hand, and a fork on the other. There is also a small, Viking toy helmet tied to one of her toes. After that, many such killings follow and the Mumbai Police seeks the assistance from the Indian branch of the world’s finest detective agency. Mr. Santosh Wagh and his team from “Private India” join the investigation and the chase to catch the killer begins.

The protagonist, Santosh Wagh, reminded me of Dr. House of the famous series House M.D. because of the cane and drinking habit portrayal of the character. He has a troubled past that haunts him. But I think this “troubled past-addict-brilliant-sharp-fighting inner demon protagonist” characterization has been done to death and readers need a change.

All the characters have been given their respective background stories and are well developed, making the reader relate to their present behaviour. The description of the killer’s own haunting past is good. The story takes the reader all around Mumbai’s famous places from Dharavi to Haji Ali. I guess that is for the benefit of International readers. Again for their knowledge of India (and then we complain about Hollywood movies stereotyping India), I assume, there is Indian history, mythology, Mumbai underworld (gangsters), poverty, godmen, corruption, religion, child abuse, sex, prostitution, transgender sexuality, human trafficking, politics, beggars, begging racket, Bollywood, Mumbai local trains, terrorists, Pakistan’s ISI, match fixing, status of forensic labs in India and of course crime!!! Did the author miss mentioning the famous dabbawallas in there somewhere? I don’t seem to remember 🙂 It seemed as if this is the last work of Ashwin Sanghi so he has tried to put everything in it. Too many subplots have spoiled the story! If you want to write a murder mystery stick to murder and if you want to write a terrorist story stick to that. Moreover,

The plot gives the reader few red herrings which after having watched so many episodes of CSI, CSI NY, Criminal Minds, Castle etc seem pretty obvious as red herrings. Apparently, Ashwin Sanghi is famous for mythological references in his writings. His famous touch is evident in Private India, where we come across insights into an ancient Indian cult “The Thuggees” (which kind of reminded me of that Indiana Jones movie), the Navratri festival and even nine form of Goddess Durga. But there is a slackening in the storyline as the investigation progresses. The final connection between the reason behind the murders and the modus operandi of the killer seems very implausible and not that impressive. The reason behind the killings, the psychology/mindset of the killer and the choices the killer made for his/her identity should have been delved into deeper and should have been better weaved together with the concept of nine forms of Durga and hatred of women. The build up of the suspense to the profile of the killer falls flat somehow near the climax. And when you think the story is over, its not. There is a second parallel plot still remaining to be completed, which makes one think “shouldn’t the side story finish before the main story”?

All the CID and Criminal Minds stuff keep coming in mind while reading the book, especially with the description of high tech gadgets and techniques. Also I wondered does a serial killer actually kill so many people within a week? If a killer is on such a killing spree, can he/she be so calm and normal in appearance and behaviour? Then there is the writing style and the language. Despite the excellent cover, the language gives the book away as not of being of international standard….as being one of common novels that keep releasing in India every month. Maybe the author wanted to keep things simple for all grades of readers. Missing punctuations, inappropriate sentence structures and grammatical mistakes (for example look instead looked in page 98) point towards the need for better proof reading. Excellent proof reading is something I find lacking in Indian paperbacks. This should not have been an issue when there are two authors!

The story is a page turner, without any doubt. But towards the end even if you skip 1-2 pages, you don’t miss much. The short chapters (112 chapters!!) and the large font size help along with the speed of reading making the book a easy breezy read.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

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

Please Encourage Me!!

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

I love going on trips and visiting places. I am more of a tourist and sightseeing kind of person so when I visit any travel website I like to get complete and practical information about xyz place..not only the places to see but also how they are really, what are the do’s and dont’s, the timings, where to eat etc. I found many travel websites and blogs lacking in that. Some just hyped up few things about a place whereas in reality it was not so cool! Some blogs would focus more on experience and photos and not real useful information! So I decided to mix my hobby of traveling with another passion – blogging! Thus the travel blog “Ghumakkar Chronicles” came into existence where I began writing my travelogues of all the places I have visited.

What is WIN 2014?

WIN 2014 is the first ever Bloggers’ conference which will see a mix of Bloggers, Industry Specialists & Influencers hosted by BlogAdda.  Write. Inspire. Network – The three core elements around which the day long event will revolve. WIN 2014 promises to have something for everyone: Sessions & workshops which will highlight the various aspects of writing for the bloggers. Icons from the blogosphere and renowned speakers who will inspire the budding author in every individual attending the conference. An evening where every blogger, writer, reader, listener, learner will get an opportunity to network with the best of speaker, bloggers & brands. We aim to provide a physical platform to bring together all the knowledge and learning about blogging followed by an evening of recognizing and honouring the best of the blogs that won the hearts of thousands of readers and the esteemed Jury of BlogAdda Blog Awards.

For the contest part of the event, Blogadda’s jury comprising of Shobhaa De, Dilip Cherian, Simi Garewal,Krishna Prasad, Mukul Deva, Ashwin Sanghi, Gayatri Iyer, Vasundhara Das, Arjun Ravi, Pranav Bhasin, Malishka, Jessie Paul, Karl Gomes, Shradha Sharma, Paroma Roy Chowdhury, Ekalavya Bhattacharya and Sabyasachi Gorai have shortlisted blogs in various categories like Arts Crafts and Design, Humor & Satire, Personal, Parenting, Food & Drinks etc

jury

And my blog “Ghumakkar Chronicles” has been shortlisted by the jury for the Blog Adda awards WIN 2014 in the travel and living category!!! Yayyyy!!!

I was utterly shocked and so happy when I received the notification email from Blogadda. My blog among so many seasoned bloggers!! 🙂 🙂  Nothing like such news to renew the blogging spirit and faith!! 🙂

Public voting is being done by liking and tweeting!

So please please please my dear readers and visitors go over and vote for me!!!! Click the Facebook like button or tweet, to vote, by clicking on the icon below or by going to the page here. You can also leave an encouraging comment on the page to make sure my blog wins!

Make My Blog WIN for BlogAdda Awards

And do share this link with your friends who may like my blog. Thank you for your time!

Voting open till 31st Jan 2014.

Note – In case you can’t see voting options in Firefox, please open the link in Chrome or Internet Explorer.

Thanks once again!!

Three Cheers!!!

Cheer #1

I was selected as one of the five “Ghumakkars of 2009” – “people have done their bit of traveling in 2009, shared their experiences with fellow community, been around for advice/suggestion and jabs , and love to be called Ghumakkars.”

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Blogging Experience So Far…

WTF!! Thats the first time I using this expression on my blog. After an hour of my posting this post, my blog hits decreased from 1,00,018 to 99,480!!!!! Old WordPress users any idea about this? This is so FAIL. 👿

And its 91,890 now..what on earth is happening??? 😦 😦

x——-x——x——ORIGINAL POST—–x——-x——-x

As some of you may know, my blog used to be at Blogger and I didn’t have many readers back then. This would give you an idea :-

blog hits cartoon

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