Tag Archive | thrillers

Salvation of a Saint-Keigo Higashino: 9/52 ( Finished in a day)

The whole state is abuzz with Papanasam this week. Papanasam is a remake of Drishyam which was allegedly an unofficial lift of a book by a Japanese author. So to keep up with the theme of the season, I thought I’d read the book. But then I got confused about which book it was lifted from and started reading the wrong one. But this is a book that once started, will not allow the reader to put it down. So I felt that Devotion of Suspect X can wait and it was Salvation of a Saint Sunday for me.

Warning: Possible spoilers

Coffee. The real protagonist of the story is coffee. How did the arsenous acid get into the coffee? You know who put it in, you even know why she put it in. The mystery is how she did it. And whether she will get away with it. A wronged wife, a pregnant lover, detectives with ego issues, an eccentric scientist a dead man and a coffee cup. The formula for a thriller. There are no twists and turns here, just gentle curves that take you till the last few chapters where everything slowly falls into place. It did get a bit tedious with all those trips to the kitchen and repetitive analysis of the coffee, the water and the filters. A few kitchen trips could have been cut out of the narration. But then as the mystery unfolds, you realise why there was emphasis on some really mundane stuff throughout the book. Like the wall of mineral water bottles in the fridge and the flowers in the balcony.

I would have liked a little back story about why Kusanagi and Utsumi have ego issues. Also, the physicist seemed a bit boring. Though he was the one who finally solved the mystery, he was not a likeable character at all. To be honest, I found it a bit difficult to accept the final explanation. It did seem farfetched. I also felt that the connection between the two deaths was a bit anticlimactic. I would have loved it if Ayane was the one responsible for the other death too. But then,yes, that would have been cliched.

Going by all the other reviews, it looks like this book hasn’t lived up to the expectations created by the previous one. So it is a good thing that I read this first.

I won’t be reading The Devotion of Suspect X next. The taste of the movies may need to fade away first before I can actually enjoy the book.

Private India- Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson

This is an outsourced review

I got this book for review as as part of the Blogadda program, but since I was on holiday in my hometown, I gave them that address to deliver it to. But it reached late and I was back in Chennai by then. So I asked my mother to read it and review it for me. I’ll read when I get my hands on it next week.

Below are her reactions to this book

When she started reading it , she sent me this text message ‘ The book is light. Like Perry Mason or some Tamil detective stuff. Too early to tell yet’.

The next message said ‘ It is ok, but not all that exciting or anything‘.

It has been a week now and today she texts me this ‘ Not such a great one. Had all the sophisticated devices. A bunch of detectives. Murders. Politicians. Underworld. Policemen. Stuff. Not a non-putdownable book. I would not give it 25/100′

And another text ‘ If L or S take that book from my bookshelf and don’t return it I won’t feel sad or ask them to return it’ . L and S are serial borrowers who raid our bookshelf whenever they visit.

Ok. So she’s rated it out of 100. That’s not even 4/10. How many not stars is that out of five? Do the maths.

Maybe it is not fair on my part to post an outsourced review. So let me call it a guest blog post curated from text messages. Now that’s a new method of reviewing, right? And it gives a potential reader a basic picture of the book. And that picture is Meh.

But I’m doing this just because I promised to review it, come rain or shine. Blogadda shouldn’t give us such a strict deadline of 7 days to finish reading a book sent for review. And they even have strict wordcount rules and this review needs to be in 500 words or more.  I would like do do some shameless cheating and post what the blurb says and add the ISBN code and the Flipkart or Amazon link to this book. I actually did that, then deleted it. I’d rather increase wordcount with my own blah rather than someone else’s. So if you want to know what this book is about, do a Google search.

I haven’t read any of Ashwin Sanghi’s or James Patterson’s books before, so I have nothing to compare it with. A friend who also got the book  from the Blogadda program texted me that the book was ‘the worst’. So I’m not sure if I’m in a hurry to get my hands on it soon. To keep my conscience clean, I’ll most certainly  read this book. But not tomorrow, not this month. I want to end my 52 books challenge with  a biggie and I’m still deciding which one it will be. Also, I’m not logging all these light reads as part of the challenge. Sorry Blogadda, let me off easy this time. Please don’t stop sending me free books.

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

The Likeness- Tana French :27/52

Well, Sowcar Janaki did this 50 years ago in Pudhiya Paravai. Anyway.

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Tana French was on that list of Books for Gone Girl Fans. But halfway through In The Woods, I made the mistake of reading a review that had a spoiler. (Spoiler: There is no spoiler). I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it after that. So I picked up the second book in the Dublin Murder Squad series. Hmmm. Not so great.

For starters, I’m not a believer in ‘exact likeness’.  The Second Lady had years of plastic surgery and acting classes. But the ‘likeness’ in this book was too far fetched to be believable. A girl is stabbed to death, a girl who not only looks exactly like Cassie Maddox, but also someone who goes by the identity of the made up undercover persona she used four years ago. *rolls eyes*

Whitethorn House, the main character, is dark. A sprawling, dilapidated house with a history, looming large over the tiny, dying Irish village.The four (five) inmates go back and forth from being sad little losers to borderline creepy. But then they also make you believe in human relationships that go beyond immediate family. And no surprise, as Cassie finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into this strange little family, the lines between Cassie the detective and Lexie the dead girl get blurred. And slowly, you too find yourself sinking comfortably into the ragged chairs and playing poker in the cold, wet living room of Whitethorn House. You’re in no hurry to find out who the killer is.

The book could have been crisper and racier. It went on quite aimlessly for several chapters even after the mystery was actually solved. The prose was beautiful, painting vivid pictures of the Irish landscape and moonlit rainy nights. But for a murder mystery, I would have preferred less of the prosey prose and a little more zing. Though this book tied up all the loose ends unlike (spoiler) the other one, the subplot was as far fetched as the exact likeness and it wasn’t something that gave it any closure.

No, I’m in no hurry to read the rest of the Tana French books.