On one hand we have a young banker, found dead a day after she ousts a large-scale financial fraud. On the other hand we have a respected and prominen...more On one hand we have a young banker, found dead a day after she ousts a large-scale financial fraud. On the other hand we have a respected and prominent corporate man fall to his death from his flat. Then there is the issue of hacking of the servers of a multinational accounting firm. Fraudster brings together the elements of greed, corruption, scams and murder in one past paced book.
The plot of the novel is genuinely interesting and takes a grip on you from the very beginning. For those of you mystery lovers, who like to play the who-dunnit game, you will have ample opportunity to do so. The author hides all the clues to the perpetrator right out in the open and it is for the readers to pick up the hints. In itself, the plot is a very straightforward one, but as a reader we come to the conclusion only at the end when everything is finally revealed. But the author takes us for a ride throughout the book right till the climax. The characters are well fleshed out and very distinctive from each other. Each character has something to add to the story and so do not underestimate any of them.
The author narrates the story with a certain flair that compliments the plot and helps build the grit of the story. Crisp language and straightforward approach of storytelling again adds to the overall book. A very gritty and interesting mystery that is a must read for all mystery lovers. (less)
Christine Dadey and her family moved to Houston so that she could have her chance at the Rousseau Academy of Dance. Two years down the line, her she is struggling with her dance and her father had moved to Norway claiming work requirement. But neither her family life is going on well as she suspects her parents are planning to get divorced, nor is her dance career on the track. Only bright spot in her life is her friend from the academy and Raoul. Then she meets Erik, a boy with a shadowy past and a disfigured face, who helps her with her dance moves. But soon her life is caught in between Erik’s obsession and plan for revenge.
I love Phantom of the Opera, both the book and the movie. I also love any form of dance. So when this retelling of the story landed on my radar, I knew I had to give it a try. The author, for most part, has kept the essence of the story intact and I sure liked that fact. The plot is predictable if you have read or watched the Phantom of the Opera, yet it makes you want to know more about how Lesa Howard has handles everything, creating a gripping effect on the reader. Christine is committed to her dance and the only bane in her career is her performance anxiety. She comes off as a little naïve at times, but that is part of her charm. Raoul on the other hand is handsome and loveable. He is also very gallant, maybe a bit too much for modern times. Erik on the other hand could do with little more work. They narration of the story is easy to get into and follow. The author has kept her language simple. I could probably do with a little more description of the main settings – like the dance academy and the theatre.
My only problem was that the author never really explained how Christine overcomes her performance anxiety as the ending seemed a bit rushed. A person doesn’t simply wake up one morning and overcome their problems. I would have rated this book a four star if the author had shown Christine working to overcome her particular problem. Overall, this book made a fun read. (less)
This instalment takes us back to Raine’s point of view. Within the span of one year, Raine Cooper’s life has changed a hell lot. From being a normal g...more This instalment takes us back to Raine’s point of view. Within the span of one year, Raine Cooper’s life has changed a hell lot. From being a normal girl whose life revolved around school, swim Practice, family, friends and a crush, she has now become anything but an average next door girl. She has discovered that she is an immortal with the power to see the future. Also, her relationship with Torin is going great. But then she starts to get visions. Not so clear at the beginning, she is sure that her visions involve Torin somehow. Yet she is unable to share it with Torin because of the nature of her visions. Something sinister is out there and it is coming after Raine… and soon!
With Cora being back in their lives and bringing Echo along with her, this book is all about friendships and teamwork. Ingrid once again continues to confuse me with the sudden nature of her behavior. Andris and Torin take on a new level of protectiveness around Raine. It was interesting to see Raine grow into her role of a Seeress and also take up a strong stance when it came to Torin’s over protectiveness. The plot thickens and finally gives us the complete picture of what is really happening. There’s a lot of action in this novel. I loved the part Eirik had to play in this novel. I so do wish that Ms.Walters would write us a story telling us things about Eirik and his life for a change.
It was a suitable conclusion to Raine’s story and one that I had fun reading.
I had the chance to attend the book launch of ‘Kingdom Come’ at Bangalore. The author is a vivacious young lady who is very bubbly and articulate. She...moreI had the chance to attend the book launch of ‘Kingdom Come’ at Bangalore. The author is a vivacious young lady who is very bubbly and articulate. She and her guests did a reading from the book there and it was enough to catch my attention. I knew then that if she writes half as well as she speaks, I would enjoy the book.
Kingdom Come is a unique title that hardly gives away what the story is about. It tells us the story of Krivi Iyer and Ziya Maarten set in the backdrop of beautiful sceneries of Kashmir and Tibet. Krivi Iyer is a former spy and bomb defusal expert whose only regret in life is that he could not capture the mentally unstable Woodpecker, a master bomber. It was personal to him since the Woodpecker was responsible for the demise of his partner’s family. So when he receives intel that Ziya Maarten is Woodpecker’s sister and may know about his whereabouts, he goes all out to finish what the Woodpecker had started. Yet he was not prepared for Ziya. She is strong, kind and loving. When an incident tears apart Ziya’s life and threatens to bring down her world, Krivi can only lend his strength to protect the beautiful Ziya.
I am not a sexist, but I hardly ever had the reason to expect the kind of story that Aarti presents to us from a woman. Yes, the love and sensuality infused in the story is precious and the complexities of a relationship captured and expressed in a way only a woman can. However, talking about IEDs and bomb disposal squads with such familiarity is scarce from a woman. I would like to applaud the author for narrating it so convincingly.
The characters in the story all have different shades to them and the author has developed them in a expert manner. I particularly enjoyed the chemistry between Krivi and Ziya and how Noor and Sam added something special to the story. Vivid descriptions and beautiful settings only compliment the story.
An interesting combination of thrills and romance makes it a good option for the book lovers of both the genres.
For as long as Kyra remembers, she has been on her own and out on the streets making ends meet. With help of a couple of friends, she has survived the...moreFor as long as Kyra remembers, she has been on her own and out on the streets making ends meet. With help of a couple of friends, she has survived the worst part of her life. She may be a mere thief, but no one in the kingdom can climb walls like her. So when a mysterious and sexy James enters her life, offering her a job for the guild, she takes it even if it is to provide her friends a better life and to avoid the soldiers. But soon she realizes that she has bit off more than she can chew. Just about when she is looking for a way out, she gets captured by Tristam. Tristam offers her a chance of redemption… But could she trust him?
Kyra is a smart and stubborn girl, full of spirit. She is a survivor – she had to be to live on the streets since she could remember. She also has a big heart and a conscience. Despite everything, she could be naïve at times. For instance, she did fall for James’s scheme. However she manages to get herself out of it and eventuall her revenge too. Then there is Tristam, an honorable knight who always tries to do the right thing by everyone and really cares for his friends and people. When their paths cross, there is bound to be some fireworks. James on the other hand is a character I didn’t trust from the beginning.
Slow build up of the plot almost puts the reader on the edge as they realize that something big is about to happen. The author’s narration style is easy to get into and has just enough details about the setting and the background. Though, I have to say, the amount of action is rather disappointing in the story, especially since the blurb talks about an Assassins Guild that instantaneously puts some expectations in a reader’s mind.
Overall an entertaining fantasy book that I am looking forward to finishing the series.
Elora Walker is a special girl. With her father absent from her life, and a very strict and demanding mother trying to keep her in a protective cocoon, Aaron has been a life saver and a best friend. After finishing school, Elora can hardly wait to start her Vanguard training with Aaron. Though it is hard work and promises very little free time, Elora looks forward to the freedom that it would bring. As her mother joins the teaching rank, Elora’s only consolation is that Aaron is with he and she even makes two new friends Tessa and Matthew. Though they are a mismatched bunch, they feel like they have been meant to be together. Then Zak enters the picture. The blue eyed senior who melts Elora’s heart. But there are secrets surrounding Elora that are bursting to get out and somebody is planning an attack on the Vanguards. Can Elora find the answers that she needs in time to save the day?
Elora Walker is a character you bond with immediately. As a reader it is easy to connect with this teenager who does her best to live up to her mother’s expectation and at the same time live a little. Aaron is a sweet guy and the kind of friend that everyone should have in their lives. Tessa and Matthew fall secondary to Elora, and thus heir background is given in a gist to us. I wish I could get to know these two characters a bit better as it is clear that they are always going to be an important influence on Elora. The build up of the plot was paced just right. The author gives us hints from the very beginning that there are some secrets that need to be faced and she unravels them at her own pace. I was able to guess most of it as the story progressed. The author narrates the story with an air of authority and familiarity. Being a first person narration we got to know our protagonist real well. However I do wish that there was a bit more action in the end.
Overall an interesting fantasy read. I sure hope there’s more coming in the series.(less)
Another mythological retelling – you might think, but this one is different from the others in the sense that this time round the tale is being told f...moreAnother mythological retelling – you might think, but this one is different from the others in the sense that this time round the tale is being told from a person who had a minor role to play when Ramayana is told from Ram’s point of view. Do you remember Angad from Ramayana? Yes well, it is time for us to see things from his point of view.
Anged or Angadan, as he is referred to in this novel, has been an onlooker all his life. When Sugrivan declares the death of Vali, he takes over the thrown for himself only for Vali to return and humiliate him. Still not deterred, Sugrivan approaches Raman to help him win the thrown back resulting in Vali’s death and his final ascension to the throne. Angadan, is used to his family’s way of twisting dharma to suit their own needs and purpose, watches by as the drama unfolds. He wants revenge from the wrong-doer and how does he go about it?
By now we all know that Ramayana is a one sided story, told from the winner’s point of view painting Raman as the ‘hero’ and that a lot of the stories were twisted to show him in the light while at times hiding what is right and true. Not everyone Raman came up against and defeated were villains and nor did Raman always follow the right path. What is astonishing about this book is Angadan’s feelings that perpetually highlights this fact. His observations and conclusions bring forth another point of view to see the same characters and paint them in another light. His sense of right and wrong is highly developed and he sees the injustices done towards the women in the story.
Wonderfully written and translated, this book is a gem that needs to be read by all, especially women.
‘Beyond School’ is the story of a twelfth grade boy with a secret. Shail studies in an Indian school in Muscat and is due for his board exams. However...more‘Beyond School’ is the story of a twelfth grade boy with a secret. Shail studies in an Indian school in Muscat and is due for his board exams. However, instead of studying, Shail spends time by sleeping, watching TV, and texting on his phone. His parents are at their wits end trying to get their son to study. Little do they know that Shail plans not to appear for his boards exams and pursue with his interest in football. Finally, as a last try, Shail’s parents contact Gladys, a counselor at Shail’s school regarding their son. Gladys comes into the picture and changes everything with her patience, experience and wits.
This is a coming of age book that has been handled in a very different manner from the usual potboilers. The plot is simple and almost predictable with a heartwarming quality to it. There are certain sub-plots that keep in rhythm with the main plot and add to the story. However the pace could have been faster. Shail is a typical boy of the modern generation who loves football so much so that he plans to give up his education in order to pursue his dreams. He is impatient and snarky, yet loveable. Gladys, on the other hand, is the kind of woman who can change lives for the better and students are lucky to have her around. I loved her practical and no nonsense approach.
The writing style of the author is simple and inviting. She has managed to intricately weave in the many issues of the society today and the many facets of modern youth into the story quite expertly. This is a book that is fun and educating at the same time.
Dead lawyers may not tell any tales, but I found the title of the book quite telling.
While what seems to be open and shut case, lawyers associated wit...moreDead lawyers may not tell any tales, but I found the title of the book quite telling.
While what seems to be open and shut case, lawyers associated with it are dropping dead like flies. And amidst it all is our protagonist, Landon, a lawyer with a not so clean record and with an unusual mentor. With a prison record, an upcoming reporter for a wife and a baby girl, Landon has more to lose than anyone. After losing his mentor to the case, Landon is more determined to solve this case before not only he loses in the courtroom and his marriage. But is his skill and determination enough or will he be the next on the list of dead lawyers?
The story starts with a surprise and holds on to that element till the very end. A gripping tale told gracefully, this is certainly a page turner. While I was able to guess a few of the aspects, but the author had more shockers in store. The fast pace and the intriguing quality of the plot are enough to keep a hold on any reader. To top that off was the character of our protagonist, Landon. I really enjoyed reading about him. What with his seedy past, people would really underestimate the guy. The imperfect shades of his character make him all too more real to the readers, because really, who in real life is perfect? Also, when his wife Kerri is thrown into the mix, things get more interesting as Landon is not only pitted against another in the court but also at home since Kerri is an reporter who needs the scoop.
Overall, an interesting read where the pages just fly by.
On one hand we have Professor Kumari and his young protégée trying to sell an algorithm, but the dealgoes sideways and soon Professor Kumari is on the...moreOn one hand we have Professor Kumari and his young protégée trying to sell an algorithm, but the dealgoes sideways and soon Professor Kumari is on the run. Enter Clark Shealy, a professional bail bondsman, whose wife has been kidnapped and has 48 hours to locate Professor Kumari or his wife suffers the consequences. Then we have Attorney Jamie Brock and a man named David Hoffman to account for in the same plot. Deceit, betrayal, murder and lots of action packed into one novel – False Witness.
This is my first time reading a Randy Singer novel and frankly it reminded me of a James Patterson Novel. Short chapters, fast pace and action from the very beginning… However, Randy Singer stands on his own and holds the fort quite well. The characters in this book come from varied backgrounds with different colours and they are all interesting. I particularly liked Jessica’s, Clark Shealy’s wife, spirit. I wish there was more of a scope for her. I also liked the three law students and hope they will return in some other book as I would love to get to know them better. Each character had different shades in them. Good guys were not overly good and the bad guys weren’t completely bad and this particular aspect is what I liked the most in Randy Singer’s characterization.
There is action, drama and suspense – a full fledged thriller that has you turning the pages right till the end.
Julia Berwick is a professional to the core. Years of hard work finally pays off when she gets an offer she cannot refuse. However it means associatin...moreJulia Berwick is a professional to the core. Years of hard work finally pays off when she gets an offer she cannot refuse. However it means associating with Michael Dunhill who has a reputation. Unable to resist, she takes the offer, hoping she would be able to avoid any scandals. But Michael Dunhill is not an easy man to handle – especially when there is lust involved. Their rivalry and quick banter has the potential to turn more, but are either of them interested?
The first thing about this book that one notices is its size. It is enormous and even to a book addict like me, it offered a certain challenge. I was at first afraid to pick it up because of its size and weight and the nagging in my mind said that I may not like it enough to lug the book around with me. However, I had accepted a review copy in exchange for my honest review and so I started with it.
The author’s narration style catches up on you immediately. Detailed and yet simple, the author narrates the story with such confidence and authority that it immediately warms you up to the story. Then comes the characters, slowly building up as the story progresses. Julia Berwick is a character I enjoyed reading about. There is a certain strength in her personality, that I imagine everybody would notice her when she entered a crowded room. Michael Dunhill on the other hand has many shades. The supporting characters add flair to the story and each has something to contribute. My only issue was the pace which could have been a bit faster.
Overall this made for an interesting and fun read.
The story begins with a small girl and her family being chased out of their homes by Praetor’s menas they attempt at cleansing the land of all magic....moreThe story begins with a small girl and her family being chased out of their homes by Praetor’s menas they attempt at cleansing the land of all magic. Having lost both her parents in one night, the child survives with the help of a neighbor who then sends her off to the another land to be with other magicians, who can help her wield her own power. But as fate would have it, she lands up among a band of thieves and is adopted by Brig – a soft hearted one. As she grows up among the band, she has to keep her magic a secret. She is soon joined by Terrac, a wannabe priest. Things get stirred up and soon Ilan is looking for revenge… Will she be able to avenge Brig’s death. What is in store for her next?
Ilan is a character that I had a love-hate connection with throughout. Though she is the only girl among the band of thieves, I think we should cut her some slack. But still, I could not understand her outbursts against Brig and Terrac and neither could I understand her fascination towards Rideon or the Red Hand. Terrac is a comparatively straightforward character that I liked. But I liked Brig the most. The plot read more like a prequel to the actual story. It reminded me of the prequel novellas to the Throne of glass series. I am guessing that the actual story of Ilan going up against or along with Praetor is the actual storyline that we are going to see in the coming instalments. The narration style of the author is however, simple and easy to get into.
Overall this makes for an interesting fast and easy read. (less)
Charlotte has many nicknames and she hates most of them. While Charles and Chuck are still bearable, its ‘The Husbandmaker’ tag that she hates the mos...more Charlotte has many nicknames and she hates most of them. While Charles and Chuck are still bearable, its ‘The Husbandmaker’ tag that she hates the most. Smart, beautiful, witty and sporting, Charlotte has all the qualities that a man could ask for in a girl, yet something always gets in the way for Charlotte. When Kyle Aldsworth enters the scene, Charlottes gives it another chance. Will she walk down the aisle finally?
Charlotte is a girl that I would want to be like. She has all the good qualities that one can hope for. Kyle is a strong, caring and sporting person himself. While they make a good couple, it is just not enough. With Kyle’s political aspirations and by association Charlotte’s time in the limelight may not be what Charlotte wants for life. Usually, I would consider this as a spoiler, that they do not end up together, but the ending left me flabbergasted. Though I can guess who Kyle goes on to marry, I was disappointed that Charlotte didn’t really find the fairy tale ending – yet again. The ending of this installment left me unsatisfied and wanting more – ensuring that I would pick up the next installment in the series. But it also made me not so happy with this installment. The courting and dating period seemed fun but ultimately the individual aspirations came in between them. But I swear if she ends up with Angus at the end, it would be most disappointing.
Overall, this book made for a fun and light read with its not so predictable (well you would expect the protagonists to end up together in a predictable storyline) plot and good and strong narration.
Welcome to Arya’s life. Arya, who dreams of becoming an Art Historian but is an investment banker instead. She is successfully juggling her family, he...moreWelcome to Arya’s life. Arya, who dreams of becoming an Art Historian but is an investment banker instead. She is successfully juggling her family, her career and her long distant boyfriend. While her family wants her to get married off with her boyfriend, and both the families decide to meet, Arya takes off on a short trip to Tuscany to buy a wineyard for a star client. It was supposed to be a short hassle free trip that turned into something more. Dodgy dealings and a playboy interested to taste more than just wine is thrown into the mix. So, will Arya’s life ever settle down and will she find happiness in it?
Italy is the top thing on my bucket list. I want to visit that country so bad! So I pick up any chance to know more about it – whether through a book or through a movie and that was the main reason I decided to pick this one up. After, Rome, Venice and Milan, Tuscany is also a place I would dearly love to visit for its beautiful landscape and awesome vineyards. Set in the backdrop of Tuscany, the author gives us a tour of the city through her work.
Arya is a typical modern day girl. Smart, intelligent, ambitious and secret desires, she is living the life of her to its fullest irrespective of all the compromises she had to make. She is like majority of the people, both men and women included, when it comes to her career. She is obviously stuck in one underpaid job while her heart wants something else on the whole. Ishaan adds colour and flavor to her life. Both hating each other from the beginning, their bantering is entertaining. I also loved Arya’s friend and family who provide a certain amount of stability to her life.
While the plot is obviously predictable, the author captures the readers’ attention with her narration style, simple language and a deep look at Tuscany and its numerous vineyards. Definitely entertaining read!
After the success of the Luna Landry case, Cormoran Strike has no shortage of clients. So when novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife turns up at...moreAfter the success of the Luna Landry case, Cormoran Strike has no shortage of clients. So when novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife turns up at his office uninterested in involving the police. Owen is known to take off on his own for days at a time and his wife thinks that he is holed up in some writers’ retreat. But there is more to Owen’s disappearance this time. It becomes crystal clear when his body is discovered by Cormoran Strike. The novelist’s latest manuscript features caricatures of a lot of big names and a lot of them could go long way to stop it from being published. But did they go as far as murdering the novelist? Cormoran Strike has to find out before time runs out or the ruthless killer catches up to him!
J.K> Rowling is master at creating worlds for her characters and Harry Potter series is proof of that. Cormoran Strike belongs to a different world on the whole. The retired military personnel takes on a wide range of cases… So it is no surprise when a simple missing person’s case turns into a murder case. Rowling has also created a new world within a world with Owen’s characters and world of writing. It was a pleasure to read about Cormoran Strike’s second case. And while Cuckoo’s Calling was an interesting read, Rowling has raised the stakes even higher with her second book. Also, on the side we learn more about Cormoran and Julia’s personal life that keep developing along with the individual and independent case of Owen’s murder.
The unique thing about this book is its pace. Usually I prefer fast pace when it comes to Thrillers and Mysteries but The Silkworm sets up its own pace which is much slower than one expects yet it doesn’t irritate you, such is the caliber of the narration.
Overall, an interesting case of whodunit where the pages fly by and the plot keeps a tight grip on you.
Three young and dynamic Mumbaikars end up together in New York. Neel is a hedge fund guy, with a weakness for scotch and women. Shanks is a techie who...more Three young and dynamic Mumbaikars end up together in New York. Neel is a hedge fund guy, with a weakness for scotch and women. Shanks is a techie who falls for the wrong girl. Shri is a banker with a secret he means to take to his grave. Together they form the ‘Ganpat Gang’ – a name after their favourite song. Amidst their fast paced life, scotch, girls and affairs, their friendship remains rock solid and Manhattan Mango is the story of the Ganpat Gang!
As the story follows these three Mumbaikars, are all set for one hell of a roller coaster journey as their lives reach the highest of the high or falls real low. They meet and share their lives with each other. Their characters are well thought out and well painted through the pages. These are guys that each of us know in our real lives too and easy to connect to and empathize with. And soon we are introduced to various other side characters who enter the scene just in time to add a new flavor to the story. There are certain superficial instances that you roll your eyes at but go along with. Well written and well narrated, Madhuri Iyer has an easy style of telling a story that is thoroughly inviting.
With a predictable ending, this book provided for a couple of hours of undiluted fun!
The first thing that catches your eye is the cover - a figure of Buddha with blood and bullet holes on the side. They are so contradictory that the cover immediately intrigues you enough to pick it up. Buddha is the ultimate figure of peace… what can be the connection between him and blood and bullets?
A Political Activist, a Maoist and an encounter specialist come together to give this novel its form. Neema, the political activist, unwittingly puts her family into danger. Buddha, an encounter specialist and a self proclaimed patriot, is tempted to do a false encounter involving a terrorist couple. And Sambhu’s criminal past is fast catching up with him. Now all that covered in a plot couldn’t possibly be boring and it isn’t.
The characters are well fleshed out and we see different sides of each of them at different stages, making it colourful. He plot itself is nothing short of an international thriller. Thankfully though, the author has kept both the plot and its characters very Indian. Some authors try to make a novel more interesting by giving it international shades, not Doctor Kesi though. He has kept everything simple, well as much as the plot would allow, and the situations and characters truly Indian which actually makes it more interesting for a reader like me. The narration style and the language of the author are simply flawless. The only thing I did not like as much is the title which is appropriate but not as interesting as rest of the package.
Overall this book made for an awesome page turner. (less)
Michael Schneider owns a management consulting firm that is just another company that is undergoing the pressure of the downtime of the economy. Keeping his business afloat in the current market situation is becoming tough and tougher. Just then Michael is approached by Stephen Woody, a mafia boss who has inherited various family businesses, needing Michael’s expertise in the matter of business. Initially averse to the idea, Michael soon takes on Stephen as a client and sets on to work to earn the high returns promised by Stephen. This book captures the journey of Michael working for Stephen.
The various characters in this book are well developed and characterized wonderfully. From the street smart Michael to formidable Stephen to the vivacious Angie, they all play their parts well to give this story a well rounded feeling. The plot is unique in the sense that I am yet to read a book that captures the management consulting and the workings of a mafia in such a complete manner. Both the aspects, while widely different from each other, are intriguing to a reader like me. I enjoyed how well the author has managed to capture both the worlds. The best part about the book however was the author’s fun filled narrative style, the crisp language and the brusque pace.
For a work from a debut author, it sure felt like a complete package. This is a full-fledged fun filled piece of fiction that would be a good investment of your time an interest. (less)