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Monday, September 22, 2014

Book review:Private India

Front Cover

Title: Private India

Author: Ashwin Sanghi & James Patterson

Price: 350 INR

Pages: 450

ISBN: 978-0099586395

My rating: 3/5

It has my first time reviewing a thriller. And thank you Blogadda for giving me the opportunity to do that. I enjoyed being in this train of thriller and here is what I discovered.

At first you would dismiss it being some run and catch thriller but when you start it you would know you picked up something different. The cover of the book takes inspiration from the James Patterson’s ‘Private’ series . Two  masters in their own art Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson have collaborated for the first time to bring Patterson's popular 'Private' series to India. The story is true to its highlight “It’s the season for murder in Mumbai”.

In Private India, Sanghi's taste for mythology comes through with its cults, the Navratri festival and even Goddess Durga becomes an important part of the plot whereas Patterson's love for high drama and suspense mixed equally well with it. The starting of the book is with a murder-of a Thai doctor in a Mumbai hotel. She has a yellow scarf around her neck and her hands are tied with strings. 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. Eight such killings take place in Mumbai.The first murder is followed by many others. Afternoon Mirror reporter Bhavna Choksi being the second victim,then Elima Xavier, a school headmistress, Anjana Lal, the Chief Justice of Mumbai High Court, Ragini Sharma, a politician and so on the list continues. Every victim has a yellow scarf, with trinkets placed around them.

Private India is headed by Santosh Wagh an Ex-policeman and he is picked by Jack Morgan, a former CIA agent who heads Private Inc. The 51-year-old investigative genius is traumatized by his painful past where he has to live with the guilt of killing his own family, which he tries to drink with regular whiskey shots. Wagh and his peers drink a lot but apart from that he has a sharp mind and superb power of reasoning. The case of the serial killings is handed over to Wagh and Co by Mumbai Police. The serial killings have a pattern and the killer makes sure to leave a clue each time. Wagh connects the clues which lead to a discovery of the truth which is pretty scary. If you have never been to Mumbai, it is sure to take you some of the places such as Taj Hotel to Colaba and Haji Ali, to suburbs like Bandra, Andheri and Thane to the Tower of Silence and its vultures, Arthur Road Jail, Chowpatty Beach, Cooper Hospital etc.

The central characters are portrayed well, but others are also defined equally. There is a vile godman, an underworld bhai and a powerful lawmaker with his love for gambling. It has a detailed story and you would not know exactly where the mystery points to.

It is a fast paced thriller but has details about the not so central characters as well. You would think that you got the mystery but wait till you spiral down another twist. Though there are editing and grammar mistakes at some places but nevertheless one should give this book a try, when you pick it up, you can’t put it down.

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