Move Over Bymakesh Bakshi

Move Over Bymakesh Bakshi

Byomakesh  Bakshi .. Move over the 10th Unknown is here.

Book Review The tenth Unknown debut Novel of author Jvalant Nalin Sampat. Genre is Historic thriller, ISBN978-81-89738-97-6 publishers Niyogi books

A soothing book set in the terminal stage of the British Raj. The world war is on; Hitler has laid his hands on an ancient Indian text and utilized this. The book is the first of the nine books of knowledge left behind by Emperor Asoka asking the nine unknown men to protect it.

The Germans and British are both after it. While the nine guardians are too old to protect it they nominate Prithvi Rathode to do the dirty job for them, each time Prithvi reaches the spot, he loses the book to the British agent Youdale. And the repercussions of the book manifest as the Hiroshima disaster and other major disasters of the post world war World. He also has references to the lesser known freedom fighting movements like the Ghadhar party.

The book made me realize the issues of the subcontinent has remained the same, misplaced loyalty like the officer Pandey, compliancy like the nine unknowns who became an old coffee club of senior citizens instead of guardians of a secret. There is also the pattern of not letting or hanging on, somewhere we Indians seemed to have forgotten vanaprastha.

Author holds the knowledge of nine books as the key of world disasters, and the inability of the nine defenders to defend it.  Of course the

The 9 unknowns are supposed to have supported Akbar, Shivaji, Marathas then Tippu; it was quite interesting especially when the author claims Tippu was secular when evidences are that he was pseudo-secular. The Qutub Minar is cited as the evidence of the book of alchemy.

The author has woven real people into  fiction like Robert Oppenheimer, Subhas Chandra Bose, princess Noor the granddaughter of Tippu Sultan and of course JRD Tata.

Though the author could have taken a little more care about the language I

Liked the focus pace and lack of unnecessary frills including a sickening romance.

A must read for all history buffs.

About the author—Jvalant nalin Sampat, currently distributes high end auto and home leather products, through Karlsson Leather   and owns CrossPollinate a Mumbai based CSR consultancy.  He has a major IT and a liberal arts concentration in English, from Rochester Institute of technology NY and MBA from Copenhagen business school Copenhagen

Other books on the 9 unknowns…


But Where are You Ashwin Sanghi

But Where are You Ashwin Sanghi

Finally last evening it reached my hands. Private India by Ashwin Sanghi, I then find out with this being the narrative of the India operations of Private Inc. The cover appeared very tourist Bombay-ish unlike the usual, vibrant mysterious covers of Ashwin Sanghi’s book.

Title Private India

Authors Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson.

ISBN 978-0-099-58639-5

Publisher Random House India.

The story opens with the death of a Thai Surgeon, and is followed by nine seemingly unrelated murders. The onus of solving this rests on Private India’s chief Santosh Wagh a man whose loyalty oscillates between Jack Morgan the boss of Private international and Johnnie Walker.

Santosh Wagh’s team is made up of Hari Padhi a cyber forensic expert, Muben Yusuf a medical forensic man, and Nisha an ex-cop and on field investigating personal.

One interesting take was that the musing of the murderer is in first person. Ashwin Sanghi does make a faint presence felt with the underlying theme of the Navadurga—not the standard form but the Tantric version. Though an incomplete reference to the Thugee cult is used as a red herring.

Somewhere in the 13th chapter is a blatant clue, and in the 20th chapter a blatant red herring. The killer leaving behind clues that tie up to the navaratri navadurga is very shallow and not really convincing.

The plot and characters are pretty predictable. The shady politician manifests as Nalin D’Souza. The cop and underworld nexus, the busy husband whose wife has an affair with his best friend. The said wife toys with the wedding ring, though a more authentic presentation would be toying with the mangalsutra since many Indian women find rings a bother and tend ot do away with them. Of course a Don who is patriotic.

There is also a very insipid attempt to look into the psyche of the killer, abandoned child, abused childhood and revenge motif that is not very convincing either.

There were some interesting quotes like “one woman’s hobby could be another woman’s hubby.” And “there are always second chances—both for metal and men”

The book lacks the usual depth of Ashwin Sanghi’s knowledge of Indian history and rituals or the raciness of his writing or even the rawness of his language. The climax was bit of a letdown and too many loose ends were left unattended to.

The book is too slow-paced to be an James Patterson Private series. Too uninformed to be Ashwin Sanghi, yet it is a good read, for a long journey.

I have just one question… Where Are You Ashwin Sanghi? I Don’t Feel Your Presence In The Book! This is not just my question… As I walked into Crosswords I heard two other readers discussing that they felt let down, They wanted more of the Thughee and Navadurga.

About The Authors.

Ashwin Sanghi is a Mumbai based entrepreneur by profession but writes historical fiction in the thriller genre. He has had his education in Mumbai and holds a master’s degree from Yale. He is currently working on his PhD. Website.

James Patterson–

This book was a complimentary copy sent for reviewing by

Darkness and Light Within-

Darkness and Light Within-

minette waltersBook review.

The dark room

When my mother wanted to say that we did something foolish, or she felt foolish, she used a term, “upper storey to let” somehow the book took me through the journey

Finally the throne of my idol Dame Agatha Christie is threatened.

The Debut Novel of author Minnette Walters, The Dark Room had me absolutely hooked. Published by Pan Boooks, the ISBN number is 0330343742

The story of three unsolved murders spanned over 10 yrs opens with a prologue which feels totally irrelevant when the actual story moves on.  The relevance pops only towards the end.

It is so difficult to talk about this whodunit without placing the spoilers.

Set in contemporary England, the Story line is quite simple three unsolved murders, one attempted suicide the suicide victim is the suspect at the murder, so is her father,   the plot is very simple what makes the book unique is the treatment, Walters focuses on relationship, and the subaltern thought process. She does not bother to vindicate her characters behaviour moral or amoral.

Though the book is about relationship and one of the dead being sexually overtly liberal there are no sex scenes to distract, she actually rejects an obvious buzz issue child abuse to keep the focus.

Stories in Indian context even western contest are either plot driven or Prakarna as Sanskrit literature calls it, that is events dominate the narrative, while the other is Purana or the character dominated ones. each character is crafted quite convincingly that one does excuse couple of misses here and there.

The young man who comes up from the ranks the hard way, him marrying a woman from the elite society of England, him idolizing her and the daughter that is born to them. when she dies he marries someone from his own environment, the jealousy  the apparently dysfunctional family juxtaposition with apparently well knit traditional families the story pans out very interestingly. Though being a seasoned whodunit reader, I did het a whiff of who the murder might be  I realized the temptation to jump the plat was not there.

Hope I have not put a spoiler for anyone,

about the author


The Calling Card that fails to scare

The Calling Card that fails to scare

image courtesy google images.This review is a part of the biggest <a 



The writing on the card

Khel the writing author Vishal Goswami, Published by Leadstartcorp, ISBN 978-93-52013-22-7.  Genre is attempted Horror.

When BlogAdda invited me to review the book they had sent a small synopsis. That was intriguing. So was the review by few others I thought why not.

When the book did arrive it was a slim book of 150 pages with a cover that looked like the screenshot of Aahat. The sub title was “Jo Likha hai wohi hoga” it was kind of put off.

The story is quite simple, a widow, alcoholic crime reporter Sanya Sharma is trying to recover from the loss of her daughter Samira in a burn accident. Her boss decides to give her one last chance to return to normalcy.

She goes to cover the horrible death of four college going kids at a Haveli in a remote village near Mumbai (if such a thing is possible). When she is looking over the crime scene she finds a deck of cards that follow her back to Mumbai these cards have messages that forces the receiver to obey.

The book has a very Mahesh Bhatt like characters a police officer Kabir who also forms the lust angle for Sanya, an undead zombie Mrs.Gomes, a Tarot reader Rose, a jean clad, cigarette puffing innkeeper Rita who interestingly is in the forties.

The plot revolves round a haunted house where the last owner a Nawab’s daughter was ill-treated by her family; she avenges herself by orchestering the death of her siblings, parents, and randomly through the cards. She wants to be released from the place of her entrapment so that she can continue to play havoc. Since Sanya has lost a daughter the spirit decides to use her.

When the Nawab’s daughter was alive, by the way her same is Samira too, she would be let out only when the kids finished their card game, so she eggs Sanya to finish the card game.

The book traverses through a very Mahesh Bhatt journey there is an attempt at erotica between Kabir and Sanya of course it is not Sanya but the shape lifting spirit that does it.  There is a westernized Tarot reader in a remote village again quite unlikely if at all there is a predictive healer in rural India they would people who read the rice grains or kowari’s they are more akinned to astrologers. Again it is very unlikely in remote rural India you will find a jean clad cigarette smoking woman who walks her dogs. Dogs in rural India as just let out.

The book however has its moments like a moment when Sanya makes eye contact with another patient as she is leaving the psychiatrists office. It reminded me of the woman with grey eyes in Agatha Christie’s books.

Over all the book fails to deliver what it promises, yet it is not a bad read. Good book to carry on a metro ride it short and not verbose. If Chetan Bhagat has been intimidating you then this is a good author to begin your foray into fiction.

About the author:  Mr.Vishal Goswami is an MBA from Boston, and is passionate about reading and writing. He is a twitterati with the twitter handle  WriteNow@WritetoFite. Where he tweets about more contemporary topics and new movie analysis and rating.

This review is a part of the biggest <a href=”” target=”_blank”> Book Review Program </a> for <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Indian Bloggers.</a>

The Mughal Muse.

The Mughal Muse.


Image courtesy Internet
Image courtesy Internet

Book review –The Princess in Black.

Authors: upendra dharmadhikari and changali anand

Publishers: srishti publications

ISBN: 978-93-82665-212

Genre historic fiction.

Jahanara the daughter of Shahjahan is the will-o-wisp of the era, she has become the muse of many a writers it is quite interesting to read to various takes on her. The princess still resides in the shadow. In this particular story the princess has to make her presence felt through the layers of contemporary thrillers and the forgotten diamonds.

The book begins with the missing relic of Moghal the relic 27  and somewhere it get linked to an terror attack that links the TajMahal and visiting American diplomats very arbitrarily.

The authors here are blending the trail of the Moghal myth of the Noor-diamond the more elusive partner of the Kohinoor.  The book does present some interesting references like “attention long enough to cook instant noodles.” Another observation of strong dynasties had strong presence of women. The fact that Moghal ruled with the duality of savagery and subtlety

the author has very interestingly linked protagonists, his title and the nebulous presence of the princess Jahanara in the Moghal history through inanimate objects like the black bag carried by the Saima the designer who is on the quest with Narayana, the black shoes of Major Rathore is the focus before skimming over the dark shadows that he is dealing with.

Yet the book has jarring notes like the characters of the protagonist Narayan Shashtri styled on Indiana Jones, his father and grandfather given very north Indian persona while trying to pass them off of as south Indians. Akbar was illiterate so his writing was done by a scribe and not by him personally.

Flashbacks and the ISI linking are rather random and abrupt, the introduction of Salim Khan, and his architect sister Safi, who is very obviously Saima the thought process of a typical Hindi movie emerges. There is also a hint of Salim and Safi being of the Moghal lineage though it is left to the reader to conclude. Of course on and off Saima becomes a surrogate for Jahanara.

The book comes across as a high school project of two very good storytellers. It lacks the research depth and drama factor.

Image courtesy internet
Image courtesy internet

About the authors–

Upendra Dharmadhikary —

Changali Ananad —

The Techie path to Nirvana

exit point

“I link so I am.”

The eternal war between Intelligence and Emotions.

Right from Kapila Rishi’s Kapila Samhitha is the mind and emotions. Here it forms the fabric for a whodunit.

Exit point authored by Anil Goel, is a IT thriller published by Leadstartcorp and ISBN 978-93-84226-26-8

The story opens in 2004 with an Australian intelligence officer observing strange phenomenon occurring along the Australian coast. The story then turns futuristic to 2015, now that seems a little amusing considering we are on the brink 2015.

Australia- United Kingdom-America creates x-net an advanced internet program. It is one of the most popular programs for people living more in the virtual world than the real world. To the extent there is a death switch which can be activated to record your last moments.

Meg a thirteen year old x-net addict is found dead in mysterious situation. Alok a 25yr.old recluse Indian geek reaches out to Shane the investigating officer. The quest to solve the mysterious death, leads the team to Hong-Kong, London, Mumbai and back.  Then there is Mark a suspect who is such recluse that despite of being the whiz of the internet enterprise world is a ghost who walks for he lives a double life as a scavenger on the streets of Mumbai.

There is Wealthy Desai who is brought up in Silicon Valley and he draws a parallel between being brought up in a Himalayan valley where the farmer is constantly worried that the big cat would eat up the livestock.

Despite of the virtual world residents are still mundane; the author equates the residents of the virtual world to Delhites since everyone is judged by their status. To me the protagonist Alok and his chat with is soul mate in the x-net is like very animal like, like a peacock spreading its tail for the pea-hen

Intelligence gets personified into an energy that communicates, and conversation that it holds with on x-net is quite Sufi like in its presentation though not in philosophy.

There were some very interesting concepts like

— Al Qaeda being an organization that took on a life of its own to render its creators redundant.

–Being over qualified means you are dumb and stupid and develop skills that nobody wants.

— Hydrogen atoms being gregarious, not wanting to be alone, so they communicate with each other and find stability as Helium.

the book is quite interesting though tends to drag at times, once the mystery is solved there and all the main characters receive their trophy the reality of and the reality of exit point is revealed, the books takes a deep unreadable plunge into the vague murky waters that is the geeky version of hippie culture. Mind you it covers the span of good 50 pages which I found unreadable.

Good read for people who are into social media, whodunits, and technology.

I wonder if the author realize how much of traditional Indian philosophy he has used, and that he has stuck to the Sherlock, Watson format.

leadstartAbout The Author—Anil Goel is a Mumbai raised, IT personal who wrote 2.0 the first IT thriller of India. To him the computer is the panacea for all challenges and he uses it as the fabric to tailor his tales. He has earned the moniker of Prophet Of Doom by Deccan Herald and can be reached at

The book was a complimentary copy from Lead Start Publication for reviewing.