Category Archives: Thriller

Book Review: The Billionaire’s Funeral by Elijah Brahms




Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9353570115
ISBN-13: 978-9353570118


A nameless and faceless stalker out to get at you can spell more trouble than a foe you know. While you know the motive of the known one, and can plan your strategy to take on the same, you find yourself helpless before the nameless/ faceless one. Identifying him/ her and understanding the motive is like searching in murky waters. Billionaire investor Chad Cohen our protagonist, suddenly one day finds himself confronted with one such foe. With all except one credit card being declined, his personal stocks being sold without his knowledge, and the Company he painstakingly built suddenly take a thorough thrashing at the stock markets, Chad who has always complimented himself for being in control of any situation, finds himself at his wits end. Added to this he suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of the law without any reason or rhyme. More shock awaits him in the form of a red corner Interpol look out notice and the realization that his passport is forged. His sanity and reputation at stake, Chad turns to the one man who can salvage him from the mess, his friend and business partner Michael Cole. But then is Mike trustworthy? Doesn’t he have a motive to drive Chad out of business? Well to know more about this, and the trials and tribulations that Chad faces in a matter of around a week, you will have to pick up this intense, racy thriller by Elijah Brahms.

Gripping to the core, The Billionaire’s Funeral is a warning of sorts to all out there of the dangers lurking in the dark corners of the digital world. With the world swiftly moving over to a paperless regime and plastic money replacing more and more transactions, just a click by the one out to destroy you, can make you sweat as never before. More than losing your money what else can worry you-an identity crisis, right? Well that’s what The Billionaire’s Funeral is all about. Just one genius is needed to ‘wipe’ you off the face of the earth and make life hell for you.

Laced with some insights into Chad Cohen’s early life in the form of short chapters interspersed here and there, The Billionaire’s Funeral also sees a transformation of sorts taking place, it sees how life’s vagaries can bring upon self- realization, open eyes knowingly kept closed/ diverted and bring the prodigal son home to reality.

Wonderfully narrated and with characters deeply etched giving no room for complaint, The Billionaire’s Funeral is a thriller-par-excellence that did not allow me to put it off even for a second, till the last word was read.

The book definitely scores a perfect five.


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Received a copy of the book from WritersMelon as part of their Book Review Programme, in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed here are therefore, my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner.


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: 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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TITLE: Vikram Rana Investigates (Tales of Murder & Detection in Hyderabad)
AUTHOR: Sharmishtha Shenoy
GENRE: Fiction ( Crime, Suspense, Thriller)



Vikram Rana Murder Mysteries
set in Hyderabad……

The Mysterious Affair of the Lohia Mansion

When the glamourous socialite Richa Lohia is poisoned in her mansion in Jubilee Hills, her brother-in-law hires his mate, ex-cop Vikram Rana, to solve this murder. This is Vikram’s first case and he, along with Inspector Gopi Reddy, must solve the case even if they face opposition from the richest and powerful family in Hyderabad, who would stop at nothing to defend themselves.

The Sonia Sinha Case

When property developer Krishna Dhavala is stabbed to death in Necklace Road, everyone suspects Mrs. Dhavala to be the murderer of her alcoholic and abusive husband. But is that really the case? Vikram Rana and Inspector Reddy have a tough time uncovering the murderer and Vikram himself almost dies trying to solve this case. Experience the mystery along with the duo as they fight their way through the maze of lies, deceit and greed.



PLOT: Interesting, intriguing and definitely ones that make the detective in you sit upright and try to solve the mystery. The needle of doubt points at many but each time the detective feels he has cracked the case something new comes to light making him once again take a fresh look at the same.

Now the question is was I able to identify the culprits even before they were revealed? Well to be frank in the first case i.e. ‘The Mysterious Affair of the Lohia Mansion’ case somewhere all along,I had an inkling of what to expect. In the second case i.e. ‘The Sonia Sinha Case’ too I deduced correctly but then here it was just a few pages before the end. Overall I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the two stories.

My personal favourite of the two? “The Sonia Sinha Case.’ It was more gripping and more complex.

LANGUAGE: Simple, easy to understand and of course crisp. In short no hard nuts I mean in terms of usages.

PACE: Perfect.


EDITING: Was wanting at some places. I also felt that there was no need to introduce Detective Vikram Rana once again in the second story. It somehow turned to be a stumbling block in an otherwise interesting and gripping story.


An enjoyable read I’ll give the book 3 on a scale of 5.





Sharmishtha Shenoy loves writing murder mysteries, the kind of books that she herself likes to read. Her favorite authors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. She also likes the work of Satyajit Ray – especially the Feluda Series. She was born in Calcutta and has done her post-graduation from University of Reading, Great Britain. She lives in Hyderabad.



This is not a paid review. I was provided a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review. My views about the book are my unbiased opinion formed after carefully reading it and are in no way influenced by the author or the publisher.

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BOOK REVIEW: Operation India One


TITLE: Operation India One
AUTHOR: Shiv Kumar
PUBLISHER: Om Books International
GENRE: Fiction (Mystery- Adventure- Thriller)



The cover design with a man in battle fatigues holding a gun and the title i.e. ‘Operation India One’ depicted in the tricolor is enough to make one realize that this one has got something to do with the Nation’s security. It fits the story-line.


Operation India One

Dedicated police officer, ACP Gautam Dhaliwal, takes it upon himself to root out the MAF, a major Naxal organization based in the remote village of Bhagatpur, Bihar, as part of the central government backed, ‘Operation India One’. As his investigations on the ground progress, however, he uncovers behind the official facade of development that he had set out to defend, an ugly nexus of unscrupulous politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen feeding off the oppression of the underprivileged. Torn between his commitment to the Indian State and the sympathy he begins to feel for the miserable plight of the people of the area and the supposed terrorists fighting for them, an agonized ACP Dhaliwal is forced to rethink his earlier views on the meaning of one’s responsibility towards one’s fellow countrymen.



Plot: Wonderful and realistic. Deals with a socio-economic topic and the Naxalite menace. One can easily relate with the emotions of the displaced those whose land is acquired for developmental purposes, their agony and anger on not being given adequate compensation or being rehabilitated properly, the apathy of the State towards these poor beings and how muscle-power often forces simpletons to take up arms. ‘Operation India One’ also gives us an insight into the dirty politics played by politicians just to feed their ego, at the expense of the safety of the common man, the security forces and the Nation.

Language: Language is simple, crisp and lucid.


Story: Inspite of having a wonderful plot I felt there was something missing in the book or should I say it felt incomplete. That feeling of satisfaction that one feels after having read a fast paced action- packed thriller or a mind- boggling mystery was missing.

Characterization: A little under- developed. A story especially a thriller, is complete only when the characters are able to connect with the reader. Here that was sadly missing. I also felt that the Swamiji could have been given a bigger role in the story to make it more interesting.


Overall a simple read which one can finish in just one sitting I give this 3 on a scale of 5.



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A commercial tax officer in Government of Bihar(India), Shiv Kumar was previously an engineer in BHEL(A government of India Undertaking). A voracious reader and passionate writer, Mr. Shiv Kumar is interested in subjects that provide an insight into issues concerning contemporary Indian Society. He is also fond of travelogues, thrillers and crime fiction.

To make contact with him just mail to –



This is not a paid review. I was provided a copy of the book by the The Readers Cosmos under their Book Reviewing Programme, in return for an honest review.


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