Monday, October 17, 2011

The All Bengali Crime Detectives

Rating: 3/5

Title: The All Bengali Crime Detectives
Author: Suparna Chatterjee
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Detective
Pages: 180
Publisher: Rupa & Company
ISBN-13: 9788129117823

I saw the cover of this book, read the summary and found it interesting enough to invest in it. I am truly happy that I did. This is the author’s first book and the story goes like this.

A theft takes place in a neighborhood in Calcutta. Four retired people, including an ex-high court judge, investigate the crime. How the crime is solved makes the rest of the story. But is also has loads of description about the neighborhood and the people of the city. Giving readers glimpses of the Bengali way of life, the book breezes through the story. The author being born and brought up in Calcutta succeeds in portraying an appealing and interesting picture about the spirit of the city. The crime takes place during “Durga Pujo” which gives the author the opportunity to explain the traditional way in which the festivities go about with a little bit of historical significance thrown in. A pretty and light story beautifully adorned by the backdrop of the exotic Calcutta city.

A good pick for a quick read. Frankly, I found the narrative and goings on of the city more interesting than the crime itself! But, not disappointing at all! This book was nostalgic too as it reminded me of ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’! Ah, fun times!

Definitely recommended.

The Rozabel Line

Rating: 3.5/5

Title: The Rozabel Line
Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Genre: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 346
Publisher: Westland

This is Ashwin Sanghi’s first book. It was first published in 2007 under the pseudonym Shawn Haigins which is in fact an anagram of the author’s name itself. Due to its bestseller status for a long time, it was revised and published under the author’s original name in 2008 and 2010.

The story is about the Rozabel Line or rather the expedition of finding it. It exists in Kashmir, India and is supposedly Jesus’ tomb. A line in the summary behind the book says, “Spanning between centuries and continents” and is quite true to its meaning. I’m not getting down to details on purpose for this book because I believe the pleasure lies in digging them out on your own!

The story begins in London where a professor’s severed head is found in a box inside a library. As a result, the journey begins to find not only the killer but also the astonishing truth the professor was in process of revealing. The book talks about the conspiracy that Jesus survived the crucifixion, travelled and settled down in India before his death and that he was buried in Kashmir. The story also revolves around Lashkar-e-Talatashar, a terrorist group which triggers a mass destruction throughout the world on doomsday.

An exciting and gripping book, you find yourself spiraling down history. From London to the Middle-East, from Europe and all the way down to India, it is packed with thrilling theories. The story has its final showdown in Vaishno Devi after travelling from Kerala to Goa to Kashmir. I love historical conspiracies and have read a few of them but this book is the mother of all! What I liked about the narration was that it was to-the-point. Literally. Short paragraphs are blended together to make a fantastic story. I cannot say it is similar to The Da Vinci Code but in fact, more complex. Good enough for us readers to want to believe in it! At the end of it all, you do wonder if all faiths are perhaps adapted and then packaged with half myth half facts to be marketed as one religion.

A thorough and massive amount of research done by the author, I must say, all thanks to his historical passion. I can just imagine how long it might have taken to get all information and facts together. Interesting narration style and accurately pieced. Highly recommended.

A book everyone should possess.

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