Birds of Prey by Archana Sarat

Birds of Prey by Archana Sarat

Review by Shwetha H S

Genre: Crime Thriller, Mystery, Fiction
Imprint: Readomania
ISBN: 9789385854200

Birds of Prey is a debut novel of Archana Sarat, a chartered accountant turned writer. She is also a poetess. Her works have appeared in various magazines and anthologies.

Anton Pinto is a police officer turned tour guide in Goa. His colleague and friend, Rajesh, comes seeking his help in a case of disappearing men. Anton, who had quit his risky job for the sake of his wife and daughter, because he almost died in his last case, reluctantly agrees to help his friend and goes to Mumbai where the new case is filed. All three men, who have disappeared so far, have gone missing in the same way by following an old limping lady. Who the lady is? Nobody knows. When the dead bodies of these three men turn up in a forest area in a sack, case intensifies. At the same time another man goes missing in the same way. Anton goes looking for a common link between all these men. That’s when he comes across Swarna whose peculiar behaviour arouses his curiosity. But is Swarna the culprit or someone else? Why are men missing in the same way? What is the common link between all these men? Will Anton succeed in stopping more men from going missing? You have to read Birds of Prey by Archana Sarat to get your answers.

Apart from few editorial mistakes, Birds of Prey is an outstanding crime thriller by an Indian author. Archana Sarat couldn’t have gotten any better debut than this. The narration is superb. Superb is an understatement. Archana’s vivid narration incites such emotions that sometimes you feel nauseated and sometimes high on adrenaline. I had to go to work, so took about three days to finish this book. But my boyfriend couldn’t resist finishing the book, so took a day off and finished reading Birds of Prey in a day. This book is a definite recommendation. Don’t forget to read it as soon as possible.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Review by Chandrika

Agatha Christie is well known for her thrillers and detective works, and this one from her is the top selling mystery novel ever. A very interesting part of the story is that the plot is based on a children rhyme “10 little soldier boys”. The rhyme is contained in the novel before the story begins, and narrates how one by one everyone dies, for different reasons, and how less and less remained alive, and then finally, there were none (and thus the title).

The story is about how 13 people are lured for a holiday cum part time job for a short time to a remote island which is about a mile off coast, and how one by one they end up losing their lives in a very mysterious way. When the killings start, the remaining ones will break their head and do everything they can to figure out what’s going on. With no one to trust, since they were unknown to each other, all of them are scared and anxious of what happens next and who dies next. As the days go by, leaving them less and less in number, it makes the reader also to put some detective thoughts and think who is behind all these murders.

The story grips your attention throughout the book and it’s definitely worth a read if you are looking for a book to stick on to for a few days, because you would not want to keep it down. The only not-so-perfect thing I felt about this novel is that the mystery is revealed at the end in about just 3 pages. For all the 330+ pages of ‘what happens next’ and ‘who’s behind this’, you might not like the fact that the suspense is revealed in just few paragraphs and you will be left disappointed that it ended so soon. Anyway, I don’t even think there is any better way to do it, for that’s the way the story is woven.

The Crows of Agra by Sharath Komarraju

The Crows of Agra by Sharath Komarraju

Review by Shwetha H S

It is enough to have the Mughals to lure you to read The Crows of Agra by Sharath Komarraju. On top of this, it is a murder mystery that involves Birbal, back when he was still Mahesh Das. Of course there are other less heard of characters like Ruqaiya Begum, Shamsuddin Khan a.k.a Atgah Khan, Gulbadan Begum and Salima Sultan Begum, along with the characters made famous by the movie Jodha-Akbar like Jalaluddin Akbar himself, Bairam Khan, Adham Khan and Maham Anga, sans Jodha. This is a refreshing take on Akbar-Birbal duo. The author succeeds in staying away from the depictions that have been present in the minds of Indians since the times of Mughal-e-Azam and Jodha-Akbar movies, and also paints different ideas about how they actually were. Kudos to the author for this feat. Of course, there is that disclaimer from the author that the descriptions in the book may not be anywhere near the actual situations. So, it would be better if you keep aside your history knowledge to enjoy this fine narration of a murder, no, two murders in the imperial palace of the Mughals. To help you imagine the scenes, the author also provides you with a map. Go on, read it and have fun. This story keeps you at the edge of your seat. Remember, refrain from combining this story with historical facts.

ಚಿದಂಬರ ರಹಸ್ಯ, ಲೇಖಕ ಕೆ ಪಿ ಪೂರ್ಣಚಂದ್ರ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ (Chidambara Rahasya, by K P Poornachandra Tejaswi)

For translation of the review in English, please scroll down.

ವಿಮರ್ಶೆ ಬರೆದವರು ಶ್ರೀಹರ್ಷ ಡಿ ವಿ

ಭಾರತ ಎಂಬ ಒಂದು ಬೃಹತ್ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರದ ಜನರ ವರ್ತನೆ ಅರ್ಥವಾಗಲು ಭಾರತದ ಒಂದು ಸಣ್ಣ ಹಳ್ಳಿಗೆ ಭೇಟಿ ನೀಡಿದರು ಸಾಕೆನ್ನುವ ಅರ್ಥ ನಮ್ಮ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅವರ “ಚಿದಂಬರ ರಹಸ್ಯ” ಕಾದಂಬರಿಯನ್ನು ಓದಿದಾಗ ಅರಿವಾಗುತ್ತದೆ.
ಭಾರತದಲ್ಲಿ ಆಗಿನ ದಿನಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಮತ್ತು ಈಗಿನ ದಿನಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಣಸಿಗುವ ಜಾತಿಭೇದ, ವೈಷಮ್ಯ, ಹಿಂದೂ-ಮುಸಲ್ಮಾನ ಗಲಬೆ ಗಲಾಟೆಗಳು, ಮೂಡನಂಬಿಕೆಗಳು, ಹಾದರ, ಆಸೆಗೀಡಾದ ಮನುಷ್ಯನು ಪರಿಸರದ ಮೇಲೆಸಗಿರುವ ಹಲ್ಲೆಯ ಪರಿಣಾಮ, ದರೋಡೆ, ಸುಲಿಗೆ, ಮಾರ್ಕ್ಸ್ ವಾದದ ಅನರ್ಥಮಂಡನೆಯಿಂದಾಗುವ ಯುವಕರ ಅಹಿತಕರ ಮನಪರಿವರ್ಥನೆ ಹೀಗೆ ಹಲವಾರು ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಕಹಿಸತ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ತಿಳಿಹಾಸ್ಯದ ಮೂಲಕ ಮನವರಿಕೆ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಡುವ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅವರ ಈ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದ ಒಂದು ಬಹುಮುಖ್ಯ ಕಾದಂಬರಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದನ್ನಾಗಿ ಮಾಡಿದೆ.
ಹಾಗೆಯೆ ಹೆಸರಿನಲ್ಲಿರುವಂತೆ ಒಂದು ರಹಸ್ಯಾನ್ವೇಷಣೆಯ ಮೂಲಕವೇ ಈ ಮುಂಚೆ ತಿಳಿಸಿದ ಎಲ್ಲ ವಿಷಯಗಳ ಮೇಲೆ ಬೆಳಕು ಪಸರಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಆ ಊರಿಗೆ ಸೆಂಟ್ರಲ್ ಇಂಟೆಲಿಜೆನ್ಸ್ ಆಫೀಸರ್ ಆಗಿ ಬರುವ ಶಾಮನಂದನ ಅಂಗಾಡಿ ಉರ್ಫ್ ಶಾಮೇಗೌಡ ಮತ್ತವರ ಏಲಕ್ಕಿಯ ಉತ್ಪಾದನೆಯ ಕುಸಿತದ ವಿಷಯವಾಗಿನ ತನಿಖೆ ಕಥೆಯ ರೋಚಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಎಂದಿನಂತೆ ತೇಜಸ್ವಿ ಅವರು ಈ ಕಾದಂಬರಿಯಲ್ಲೂ ತಿಳಿಹಾಸ್ಯವನ್ನು ನಿರೂಪಣೆಗೆ ಬಳಸಿಕೊಂಡಿರುತ್ತಾರೆ.
ಈ ಕಾದಂಬರಿಯನ್ನು ಓದಲಿಚ್ಚಿಸುವವರಿಗೆ ತಕ್ಕಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಏಲಕ್ಕಿ ಸಸಿಯ ಟಿಶ್ಯೂ ಕಲ್ಚರ್, ಕಾಡಿನ ನಾಶದಿಂದಾಗುವ ಅನಾಹುತಗಳು, ಲಂಟಾನದ ಮರಗಳ ತೊಂದರೆಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆಯೂ ಜ್ಞಾನ ಸಿಗುವುದು ನಿಜ. ನನ್ನಂಥ ಕೆಲವರಿಗೆ ಕೃಷಿಯನ್ನು ಅವಲಂಬಿಸುವ ನಿಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರೇರೇಪಣೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿದ್ದು ನಿಜವೆ ಅನ್ನಿ.  ಒಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಇದೊಂದು ಅದ್ಭುತ ಜ್ಞಾನಸಂಪದ.
Translation of the above given review to English:
Review by Sriharsha D V
You don’t have to visit every village in India to get a hang of what happens within it. A visit to a small village in it will open the Pandora’s box. And this novel by K P Poornachandra Tejaswi, one of the foremost new-age kannada writers, gives an overview of the India we live in.
The social illnesses that existed then and to a good extent now like casteism, religion based issues, robberies, prostitution, reckless deforestation for wealth gain and to create differences and rivalry, Marxism’s wayward interpretations and their effect on the youth trying to imbibe them etc., they all find place in this book. The book has powerful depictions of all the above issues and the story is told laden with soft humour.
Rahasya means secret and as the name suggests, there is a secret in this story. While unearthing the key to this secret we see all the issues. Shamanandan Angaadi aka Shamegowda, an intelligence bureau officer visiting his native to find out the reason behind the constant and alarming decrease in the cardamom production of this region is the principle character who adds the required nail-biting suspense moments through the novel.
A person willing to spend time on reading this novel will get to know a lot about tissue culture in cardamom, effects of deforestation, the adverse effects of the invasive weed, Lantana camara, that has spread big within the western ghats etc. And it would inspire few people, like me, interested in practicing and promoting agriculture too.
Do give it a read and according to me, it should not be missed!