Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review: The Colours of Passion



TITLE: The Colours of Passion: Unravelling dark secrets behind the limelight
AUTHOR: Sourabh Mukherjee
PUBLISHER: Readomania
GENRE: Fiction ( Crime Thriller)
ISBN: 9789385854453



Within days of her fairy-tale wedding with Manav Chauhan, Hiya Sen, the reigning queen of Tollywood, is brutally raped and murdered. As ACP Agni Mitra investigates into the high-profile murder, he meets Neha Awasthi, with whom Manav broke his engagement to marry Hiya, Neha’s father Deepak Awasthi, who was eyeing business benefits through the alliance, Mayank Kapoor, an alcoholic model and Rituja Bose, the diva who had reigned over Tollywood over the past decade. When two more murders connected with the case make headlines, it’s time for Agni to find answers to perplexing questions and unveil shocking truths.

The Colours of Passion breezes through Kolkata’s glamorous world of industrialists, movie stars, models and fashion designers laced with drug addiction and illicit liaisons, with a heart-wrenching tragedy at its core.


Plot/ Story-line: Guess, guess, guess….. only to realize in the end that all your calculations were wrong and the master plotter and his/ her motive was something you had not foreseen. Cleverly crafted, ‘The Colours of Passion’ is a murder mystery thriller that engulfs you making it literally impossible for you to put it down till you read the last line. The murder, the motive, the suspects, efforts to unravel the mystery and the final truth make for an engrossing read.

The twists and turns coupled with the sleuthing activities of ACP Agni and Inspector Arya take one through a maze of activity, activity that sets one’s brain working to fit pieces of the puzzle in the right slot to complete it. In short, the story challenges the sleuth in the reader.

While I loved the twists and turns and the plot and sub-plots what turned out to be the icing on the cake was the climax. Never in my wildest dream would I have thought that the story would take such an unpredictable turn and that I believe sums up the success of the book.

Characterization: The characters are well developed and come across as normal human beings packed with the good and the bad i.e. they are easily relatable. While ACP Agni is level headed and mature as should be a distinguished cop, actress Rituja is an attention seeker, a woman jealous of her competitor, and why not, after all it is the lure of the silver screen that has enticed her. The very thought of someone taking her place can make her insane. The other characters too help take the story forward smoothly either as suspects or as persons in the know-how of secrets dark and disturbing.

Language: Simple, crisp and lucid. The author has been able use imagery to create an air of suspense. Words flow smoothly and emotions find expression thus making the book a veritable treat.

Pace: The pace is perfect, neither slow nor too fast. It is steady and smooth.


The editing wowed me and I was not surprised.

Know why?

I could not have expected anything else from ‘The House of Readomania.’ They truly are one of the best in the Industry. Book after book that leaves their desk speak volumes of their sense of perfection and mastery in the field of editing. This exactly is the reason why I have no two thoughts while picking up their books provided the genre is to my liking and the blurb appeals to my senses.


A nail-biting thriller with a twist that will leave you shaking your head in disbelief ( not because it’s unrealistic but because you’d have hardly ever thought on those lines), I’ll give this a 5 on a scale of 5.


  ‘I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

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Sourabh Mukherjee

Want to know more about Sourabh? Visit his profile @ Goodreads


Book Review: Behind the Scenes



TITLE: Behind the Scenes – A Vikram Rana Mystery
AUTHOR: Sharmishtha Shenoy
GENRE: Fiction ( Thriller mystery)


Fading superstar of the Bengali film industry Ryan Gomez is poisoned to death while shooting for a film in the pretty hill town of Darjeeling. Sheila Dhar, the film’s beautiful female lead with whom Ryan had recently broken his engagement is the chief suspect. Sheila attempts suicide and is shifted to a hospital in Kolkata for treatment. The CID, Kolkata, takes over the investigation and the film crew is allowed to move back to the “City of Joy”.

Though revenge for the broken engagement seems the obvious motive for the murder, there are several others who had reason to wish Ryan dead. Powerful film producer Rustom, the love of whose life ended up becoming Ryan’s first wife. Screenplay writer Allan, who was in danger of being fired from the production house thanks to a public tiff with Ryan. Acclaimed film director Paddy, who was in love with Sheila. Sheila’s mother, Jaya, who was strongly opposed to her marrying Ryan. The family of Ryan’s first wife, who bear a deep grudge against him.

There are suspects galore, but the murderer has not reckoned with the tenacity of Vikram Rana.


‘Behind the Scenes’ marks the coming of age of Author Sharmishtha Shenoy in the world of crime thrillers.The author has I must admit come a long way from her first book in the Vikram Rana Series both in terms of plot and style.

An engrossing thriller with the potential to keep one glued to the pages till the end, ‘Behind the Scenes’ takes one through a maze of emotions like love, lust, empathy, jealousy, suspicion and anger. It also brings forth the murky side of the film industry where money moulds souls, entraps the gullible and has the potential to ruin lives.

An array of suspects and two confused investigators a cop and an ex-cop, test the reader’s analytical skill till the very end. The twists and turns only add to the confusion. But ultimately when all the pieces of the puzzle fall in place one cannot not help but empathize with culprit. Yes, a crime is one that cannot be condoned but then sometimes circumstances drive a person to the point of insanity which in turn acts as the trigger. Pent up emotions, love and possessiveness can often turn out to be lethal, lethal to the point of causing irreparable damage and this aspect in a relationship has been brought out well in ‘Behind the Scenes.’

Language is simple, crisp and lucid making for a smooth read. Yes there are a few typos here and there that need to be corrected.


A nice thriller that nudges the detective in you to try your hand to solve the mystery, I’ll give this one a 4 on a scale of 5.


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Sharmishtha Shenoy

You can get to know more about her here @ Goodreads

Book Review: The Money Lender



TITLE: The Money Lender: Tales from a small town in South India
AUTHOR: Manju Nambiar
GENRE: Fiction
ISBN13: 9781521423868



“I am a money lender by profession and belong to a small town in the Southern State of Kerala in India. I help people financially in their times of need, and demand exorbitant interest rates in return. I love money. I think the world revolves around money. Money is one thing that can bring happiness, peace, tranquility to my life. As I spent all my life dealing with money and people who yearn for it, I get to hear several interesting tales about the fascinating people around me. So I compiled few of such amusing stories for my readers. These stories reflect our town, our way of living, our thoughts and priorities and our deepest innermost fears.”

The book is a collection of short stories, narrated through the eye of a small town money lender. As the story unfolds, we see how the money lender gets involved in the town’s problems and provide solutions in the most humorous and practical manner.


59 pages of truly engrossing read, ‘The Money Lender’ had me smiling all the way.

Want to know why?

Well, generally the very term ‘Money Lender’ evokes images of an ugly ruffian, selfish and hard-hearted who is devoid of empathy and just knows how to mint money and entrap the gullible. But here I came face to face with a soul who though out to mint some fast money feels for his fellow beings. Warm, intelligent and shrewd he is the heart of Gulf Town, ever ready to lend an ear to the woes of his simple town folk, part with some sane advice and even connives to bring frustrated souls together and soothe frayed spirits. His attempts bear fruit at times but there are times when his well-intentioned plans fail leading to some hilarious situations and a few heart burns.

The characters are well developed and one can’t help but visualize each and every one of them in flesh and blood as one progresses with the stories. They are live and living.

Language is simple, crisp, lucid and free of jargon making it easy to live the life of the small town and its people; their daily life, woes, worries and aspirations.


Only four stories! Not enough to satiate my hunger given that I truly relished the fare spread out by the author. It was like you get invited for a sumptuous feast of mouth- watering dishes only to find that the host has run out of them when you are just half-way through. But wait……on second thoughts is it the author’s way of bringing forth the true colour of the Money Lender i.e. his penchant for releasing money in installments and keeping his client on tenterhooks 🙂

Looking forward to a sequel of the book I’ll give it a 4 on a scale of 5.


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Manju Nambiar

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Book Review: Breathing Two Worlds



TITLE: Breathing Two Worlds
AUTHOR: Ruchira Khanna
GENRE: Fiction


Neena Arya, a Delhi-born goes abroad for further studies and decides to settle down there. Determined to be a ‘somebody’ from a ‘nobody’ she blends with the Americans via the accent and their mannerisms while having a live-in relationship with her European boyfriend, Adan Somoza.

When illness hits home, Neena rushes to meet her ailing dad. Tragedy strikes and amidst the mingling with relatives and friends, she finds herself suffocated with the two different cultures that she has been breathing since she moved to the United States. How will she strike a balance between both the cultures as she continues to support her widowed mother? Will she be able to do justice to her personal and professional life after the loss?

Amidst the adjusting she bonds with an ally and learns about ties beyond blood. On what grounds will she be able to form an invisible thread that she has longed for since childhood?

Breathing Two Worlds ventures into cultures and ethnicity allowing Neena to ponder upon her foundation and priorities.
Storyline- Plot: Interesting! An uncomplicated and simple read, ‘Breathing Two Worlds’ is the story of a confused soul one which is sandwiched between two extremely different tastes, cultures and mannerisms. The adjustments, the frustration, the suffocation’, the dilemma that the soul i.e. the protagonist experiences are brought out beautifully in the story. While one world is always pricking her back with its prying eyes, the other is least concerned with what she does, how she behaves in public, etc., etc.

The book is also about making choices, bonding, caring for others sentiments and coming to terms with grief. It also reflects the dilemma of those millions who migrate from their roots to lands distant and alien, lands where they have to struggle to make a niche for themselves, lands which have an entirely different set of rules, cultures, traditions and habits. There are philosophical moments and emotional moments.But the thing that stands out is the resilience of the human mind and its ability to adjust to changing situations.

No twists, no turns yet exciting and engrossing that’s ‘Breathing Two Worlds.’

CHARACTERIZATION: The characters especially that of the protagonist Neena, are well developed. The sub characters add to the story and reflect the myriad shades of human nature well.

LANGUAGE: Simple. Yet there were places where the flow was found wanting. The book could do with a fresh round of editing to smoothen out the flaws. Though not many they still have the ability to act as irritants at times.

PACE: Initially slow, but once it picks up there is no looking back.


A simple yet interesting and engaging read, one that you can pick up on a lazy afternoon to beat the heat or soothe frayed nerves; I’ll give it a 4 on a scale of 5.


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Ruchira Khanna

Get a glimpse into her world and books at Goodreads

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Book Review: Karna’s Celestial Armor



TITLE: Karna’s Celestial Armor
AUTHOR: Surendra Nath
GENRE: Fiction

We all know that in MAHABHARATA, Karna had, on his body, his Kavach-Kundal (set of armor and earrings) which rendered him invincible in battle against any foe. [Those not familiar with the Indian epic, MAHABHARATA: Karna and Arjuna were legendary warriors fighting on opposite sides. Their rivalry is akin to that of Achilles and Hector. Karna (son of Sun God) was born with a set of armor and earrings permanently attached to his body, due to which he could never be killed. God Indra, the father of Arjuna, tricked Karna and took away the divine set. So, in the final battle Arjuna killed Karna.]

That’s the back-story. After that, what did Indra do with the all-powerful Kavach-Kundal? Did he hide it somewhere? What if someone can find it today? That’s what this novel is about. Vasu, from the present time, sets off to find the set. The spirit of Karna guides him through the search.

Indra always knew someone would come looking for it. So he used all his ingenuity to hide it in the most impossible of places. That makes Vasu’s task so much more challenging. And he is not the only one who is interested in this quest. There are others trailing him.

Join Vasu in this thrilling adventure through mysterious locations in India to know why the armor was all that potent, and if it still is.


Plot/ Story-line: A thrilling, suspense- laden journey across India with the potential to keep one on the edge till the very end, ‘Karna’s Celestial Armor’ has at its core an armor and a set of earrings that find mention in the Mahabharata. So is it a re-telling of the Mahabharata or a part of it involving Karna or is it a re-interpretation of the epic of part of it? No, ‘Karna’s Celestial Armor’ is something entirely different. It is a story set in modern times but with the Kavach- Kundal at its core. It is a quest for retrieving the armor and earrings both endowed with special powers that are cleverly hidden by Indra and the one ordained to retrieve them is Vasu an ordinary yet strong-willed native of Bengaluru. The quest is tedious given the fact that Vasu has to find the entire set on his own and to make matters worse he has to reckon with forces out to defeat him/ eager to lay their hands on the celestial armor. Where does Vasu start, how does he try to trace the kavach- kundal, what’s so special about them and finally does success wrap him or failure choke him? To know these one must join Vasu on his quest via a reading of the book.

There are twists and turns, action and reactions, domestic tiffs and official camaraderie, meetings with Chiranjeevis and encounters with ordinary mortals, spiritual handshakes and short moments of emotional turmoil. A lot of spiritual ground is covered and interesting historical data unearthed. In fact ‘Karna’s Celestial Armor’ is not just a quest for the elusive kavach- kundal but is also a philosophical treatise of sorts at places. Here mind reading, telepathic communication, mind implant, meditation and principles of physics are seamlessly interwoven into the fabric of the story by the author like a master craftsman.

Characterization: The characters are well developed, balanced and come across as normal human beings. One can easily relate to them. Even Karna, Indira and the Chiranjeevis that Vasu comes across display human traits like suspicion, deception, nosiness, etc.

Language: Simple, crisp and lucid devoid of jargon, long-winding sentences and grammatical errors that act as irritants/ leave a bad taste, the language is apt for a piece of fiction like this one. The author’s mastery over the language and his ability to play with words is evident from the imagery he presents. One is smoothly transported to the scene of action. The rugged Kanchenjunga, the sandy beaches of Rameshwaram, the Sunken City off the Gulf of Cambay and the ruins of Konark come live before one’s eyes.

Pace: Fast when it comes to action- packed parts. Elsewhere it is neither too fast nor too slow.

Editing: A few typographical errors here and there need to be rectified.


A fresh and exhilarating read with a touch of philosophy at places, a glimpse of the spiritual at times, ‘Karna’s Celestial Armor’ is a must pick. I’ll give it four on a scale of five.


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Author Surendra Nath

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Book Review: Kansa by Kevin Prassant



TITLE: Kansa (Book #1 of the Killer Trilogy)
AUTHOR: Kevin Prassant
PUBLISHER: Inked Company
GENRE: Fiction (Crime Thriller)
ISBN: 978-8193240526






Maher was found unconscious in the middle of the highway and later, in the hospital, she revealed that she had escaped from a killer’s house. All the details and patterns matched the serial killer ‘Kansa,’ who had disappeared five years ago after murdering forty pregnant women.

ACP Saargi Desai was assigned to the case. She appealed to her department to bring back Professor Black to help her catch the killer. The Professor, who had a haunting past that had kept him away from the world of crime and investigation for several years, was not willing to take on this case. But the ACP managed to convince him to get on board just for this one last time.

Soon after agreeing to help, the Professor realized that for the first time in his life, he had met his match. As he dug deeper into the case, everything got dirtier, the stakes went higher, and nothing was what it seemed.

Plot/ Story-line: Intense, haunting, fast paced and packed with some nail-biting moments, Kevin Prassant’s ‘Kansa’ is the story of a modern day Kansa who abducts pregnant women and kills them after child birth. What happens to the babies? No one knows. Why the cruelty? All are clueless. How come that the law is not able to apprehend the killer even after conducting more than forty abductions? To get the answers one must read this book the first in a three book series.

There are umpteen hide and seek moments between the killer and those out to apprehend him giving the reader ample opportunity to play detective. The twists and turns are unpredictable and help in maintaining the suspense till the very end. This in itself speaks volumes of the writing skill of the author and the research that has gone into the creation of this story.

Characterization: The characters are well articulated. The hunter and the hunted come across as highly professional which itself is a plus point when it comes to a crime thriller because it helps take the story forward smoothly without affecting the pace nor fabric. Professor Black is a dark and mysterious character who is a law unto himself. But you can’t help but empathize with him considering the circumstances that molded him thus.

The best part is that even the supporting characters are well- developed and merge smoothly into the story. They are not idle spectators. Instead they contribute actively to taking the story forward.

Language: Simple, crisp and lucid. Devoid of jargon and mind boggling technical terms.

Pace: Fast paced, no slack moments, able to hold the reader till the end without giving room for an urge to take a break.

Editing: A few typos here and there that need to be set right before the next edition is released.


A veritable treat for the thriller buff, one you need not hesitate to pick up. It’s short yet filling. I’ll give this one a 4 on a scale of 5.




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Book Review: The Story of My Second Marriage



TITLE: The Story of My Second Marriage
AUTHOR: Mahesh Sowani
GENRE: Fiction
PUBLISHER: Blue Flower Books


Marriage, does it really make a person happy? Or is it all about adjustments? Intense, haunting and evocative, The Story of My Second Marriage is a delightful rumination on marriage, adjustments and human nature.
STORYLINE/ PLOT: Interesting and different. Narrated in first person by the protagonist Manju aka Manjunath, the story is about his second marriage. But is it as simple as that or is it just about his second marriage? No. A simpleton, Manju is prone to comparing his second wife i.e. Yamini with his first wife Chitralekha. However though he finds her less overbearing and more hospitable when compared to Chitralekha, he is at his wits end when he finds out that she is a compulsive liar. The ugly demon of suspicion raises its head within him giving him sleepless nights and making him irritable. Does he succeed in making peace with his situation? Does he forgive Yamini? What turn does his life take? To know this and much more of Manju’s second marriage one will have to read the book.

There are some unforeseen twists and there are some turns but the story is basically about Manju’s equations with his second wife.
CHARACTERIZATION: The character of Manju is well developed. He comes across as the village simpleton who in spite of acquiring a good education and landing a good job is hesitant to open his mouth, take firm decisions and use his authority when needed. He lacks in self-confidence and is a confused man. His frustration and lack of self-confidence is clearly reflected in the way he views his life and his handling of situations. On the other hand his sister Jaya comes across as a strong character.

Yamini left me confused I must admit. I could not understand her character in the beginning, neither on finishing the halfway mark nor by the end of the story. I wish there was more clarity as far as her character was concerned. It would have definitely made her feel more realistic and relatable.
LANGUAGE: Simple. Neither jargon nor long,winding sentences.

There are a lot of holes in the story that need to be darned seamlessly to make it truly enjoyable. A few cuts here and there will do no harm. In fact they will not only make the story slim and healthy but will be able to hold the reader’s interest till the end without making him/ her release a yawn.

In its present form the story comes across as a raw manuscript with umpteen grammatical errors as well as typos. The touch of a professional can work wonders for the story. Hope the author goes in for fresh editing soon.


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TITLE: You Never Know – Sometimes Love Can Drag You Through Hell…
AUTHOR: Akash Verma
PUBLISHER: Penguin Metro Reads
GENRE: Romance
ISBN: 978-0-143-44109-0



There will be times when you feel you have the best relationship, ever . . .
There will be times when it will be the worst that has happened to you
There will be times when you know you are getting into something
horrible, something that will not stop till it destroys you,

And yet . . .

You are pulled so inextricably, unstoppably . . .

She was my true love, I knew that. So despite being married and having children, I still went ahead with our affair. I hid it from my wife and colleagues. I told lies so I could be with her-it was that amazing! But I couldn’t hide from the dark truth she was keeping. It pulled me into a vortex of danger so deep that I lost all I had. It happened to me and if you think it won’t happen to you-think again.


Plot/ Story-line : Interesting yet nothing new. It is the story of many who inspite of a blissful married life somewhere down the years fall for the charms of another. Their confusion, their mental turmoil and the consequences of their misdemeanor are put across well in the book. Is it newfound love or is it an attraction wrongly interpreted as love that has the protagonist Dhruv in its clutches? Well for Dhruv it may have been love but for me it certainly turned out to be just a mere attraction one that would have waned off with time, if only he were more strong-willed. As for Anuradha again was it love or just a way of satisfying her hurt ego? Was she trying to heal the wounds inflicted by her ex-lover or was she trying to take out her revenge on the male species unwittingly?

The story according to me is open to various interpretations regarding Dhruv’s feelings for Anuradha and vice versa. This is what makes it interesting. Apart from that I’d say the conclusion was pretty clear from the start. By that I mean the turn their relationship will take and the upheavals it will create in their life. However, I must admit that there is an element of suspense and surprise in the story which I’d rather not reveal since it will be an injustice to the author and his readers/ prospective clients. To know what I mean, do read the book.

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Characterization: The characters especially that of Dhruv and Anuradha are well developed. You can easily relate to most of their actions, reactions and inner turmoil. However I would have loved to get to know Dhruv’s wife Shalini a little more. I feel she has not been given enough space and importance.
Language: Easy and free flowing. Devoid of jargon, the book is a smooth read.
Pace: Steady and perfect. There are neither lull moments nor racy ones.
Style: I liked it. It suits the plot.



A simple and easy read, one that you can pick up on a lazy afternoon. I’ll give the book a 3 on a scale of 5.

‘I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

Book Review: Snowbound by Oliver Lafont


TITLE: Snowbound
AUTHOR: Oliver Lafont
GENRE: Fantasy
FORMAT: Kindle Edition



Christmas is dying.

The last Santa Claus had triplets who each inherited a portion of his father’s power, and that split is now tearing apart the soul of Christmas.

Niccolo Vecchio, the eldest, has fortified the North Pole into a citadel of ice and metal.

Santini, the middle brother, is in hiding somewhere in the Mediterranean.

The youngest brother, Niccolo Piccolo, is raising legions to reclaim his inheritance.

Two of the triplets will have to renounce their claim in the next forty-eight hours, or this Christmas will be the last one ever.

And it’s up to Adam, underachieving teenager sub-ordinaire, and his brand new jock bully Zach to make that happen…
Plot/ Story-line: Ah! Refreshing. Never thought that a story involving Santa Claus and Christmas could be so thrilling that it would make me glued late into the night just to know the end. Slow at first, the story did pickup after the initial few chapters and then it was akin to riding a sledge pulled by Santa’s reindeer fast and thrilling.

The story has all the elements of a thriller combined with fantasy. There is magic, greed, treachery and in the midst of all these a subtle hint of love or should I say a liking, blooming. Fear gives way to friendship and might falls prey to solidarity.

The twists and turns are well- timed. However the only thing that left me dissatisfied is the lack of a glossary/ footnotes at the end of each page where some French/ Italian/ Ukrainian words/ phrases were used. An insight into these would have made the reading more enjoyable.

Characterization: The characters are well- developed and one can actually visualize them while reading about them. The only character that left me a bit confused was that of La Signora. I would have loved to know more about her.

Language: Crisp and lucid. The only stumbling blocks were those snatches of conversation in French/ Italian/ Ukrainian dialect that appeared Greek on account of lack of footnotes explaining what they meant.
Editing: Needs to be tightened at places.
Overall a fantastic fantasy packed with action and tinged with suspicion and suspense. I’ll give the book a 4 on a scale of 5.



Olivier Lafont is a French author, screenplay writer, and actor living in Paris.

His novel ‘Warrior’ was published by Penguin Random House, and was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize. His other works are ‘Sweet Revenge’ a contemporary romance novel and ‘Purgatory: The Gun of God’ which is a fantasy novelette published in South Africa.

Lafont has written a number of feature film scripts before. The first film he wrote opened at the Toronto Film Festival and went on to win seven awards at film festivals worldwide.

As an actor Lafont has acted in Hollywood and Indian films, in TV serials, and in over 80 television commercials.

Lafont graduated with two degrees in acting and writing from Colgate University, USA, with academic distinction.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

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Book Review: The Queens of Hastinapur