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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Compass Box Killer by Piyush Jha ` Mumbaistaan Series: Review

I was sent this book by the publishers Rupa to read and review, so before I move on to the the review, here are the basic details about the book.

Details about the book:
Title: Compass Box Killer: Mumbaistaan Series
Author: Piyush Jha
No. of Pages: 232

Publishers: Rupa
Genre: Crime Fiction

Compass Box Killer by Piyush Jha is an Inspector Virkar Crime Thriller and part of the Mumbaistaan series by author Piyush Jha.

What's the story about?

A senior police officer is found murdered, and as an obvious clue, the murderer leaves behind an old compass box, with a note written inside that gives another clue as to what's gonna happen next. A young woman is killed during a pleasure-giving sexually violent act, more people are killed and clues left behind about what is obviously going to happen next.

Inspector Virkar, who is investigating the matter, is running from minute to minute, day to day, to try and figure out the clues and prevent the killings in time, but will he be successful? How many lives can he save? And how long can the killer run?

While all this is happening, the media is surely on to the story, and Raashi, the modern-age female crime reporter, who's waiting to get that big break, is hot on Virkar's toes, first slandering him in the media, then getting on his side to help him track the clues. But things aren't smooth, as Virkar soon finds out that his seniors aren't happy with his progress and ways, and he is soon pulled off the case....but will he give up?

With so much happening together and fast, will Inspector Virkar be able to get the man everyone is looking to nab, or will it lead to yet another failure on the part of the police to save the public? This is all that remains to be seen.......

My take on the book:

When I first got the book I realised it was an easy read, and a fast one at that. With barely little more than 200 pages and a big font, I finished it in a couple of hours, that too while reading leisurely. So one of the first things I would definitely say is that this is a book that anyone can read, even more so for those who aren't  really book-readers, and it's an easy book, especially when you're traveling on the local train (this being a Mumbaistaan series) :-)

The story is interesting, I have to give it that. Of course the main topics and premises have been taken from stories that are already out there and been done to death (pun?) - like asphyxiation, leaving behind clues for upcoming murders and some more - so it's not something new that you'll be reading, but nonetheless, it's an interesting read and you kind of want to know what happens next.

There are many mistakes in the story, and the language isn't anything to write about - it's of the extremely basic level - but then, the author is Piyush Jha, who isn't really a writer, but is part of the movie film/ad industry (so don't expect much on the writing front).

Also, there are quite a few obvious editing glitches in the book that are obviously a mistake on the part of the editing team of the publishers - I hope they take note of this and are more careful in later print copies.

On reading, it seems the book is written more like a manuscript that would be written to turn into a TV serial or a movie maybe, and the fact that Madhur Bhandarkar endorses the book and his comment on the book cover reads 'An edge-of-the-seat thriller. Full Jalwa' is something that emphasises this more.

For those of you who are into serious reading or literary books, this one may not appeal at all, you can still give it a shot as a one-off case though. For those who are not really into books and want something to pass their time and while away a lazy day, this 'thriller' could be something you can pick up and finish. A good time pass book while commuting, or keeping in the handbag for times when you're stuck with nothing to do and have to while away time. The good thing about The Compass Box Killer is that it's a light read that anyone can claim to finish.

Author Piyush Jha

*the book is a review copy sent by the publishers but all opinions expressed here are my own, and I haven't been paid to write this.

My Rating: 2 hearts.....an OK read

- Debolina Raja Gupta