Monthly Archives: June 2013

Book Giveaway: The Hit by David Baldacci

You may have read my review of ‘The Hit’ by David Baldacci. I am giving away the copy that I received from Pan Macmillan India. No courier/postal charges or any other costs. 🙂

Book Cover

You could be the lucky winner of the Book Giveaway if you fill the rafflecopter form below. This is open for residents of India only.

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Book Review: The Hit by David Baldacci

BOOK TITLE: The Hit

Book Cover

Book Cover (Image Source)

 

Author: David Baldacci

(Update: Participate in the giveaway to get this book for free !)

About the author: 

David Baldacci made a big splash on the literary scene with the publication of his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star.  In total, David has published 26 novels, all of which have been national and international bestsellers.  His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries; over 110 million copies are in print worldwide and more than 3 million ebooks have been sold. David has also published three children’s books.  He has received numerous accolades for his writing; most recently, he was inducted into the 2011 International Crime Writing Hall of Fame and received the 2012 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award. The Hit is his latest book. (Source)

The genre of Thrillers is not really mine, although I like the occasional book which makes me sit glued to the seat and finish the book just because I can’t wait to know how it ends. However, I am making an effort to read books which I normally don’t read and I can say this for a fact, that wasn’t a bad thing I did! After a long time, I finished a book in one sitting. Please note that I will not compare The Hit with Baldacci’s other novels but tell you what I think about it, as a standalone work.

The Hit by David Baldacci is a fast paced novel centred on the two major characters- Jessica Reel and Will Robie. Both of them are Government assassins, the best that their agency can boast of, quite equal in their capabilities. In their profession, there is no room for mistakes as making one mistake could mean death. Eerily, they are also quite similar in the way they think and operate. Robie is sent out to kill Jessica who has supposedly turned rogue.

“Sorry it’s come to this, Will. Only one can survive of course.” -Jessica Reel 

The book follows some twists and turns. Also, plenty of cat and mouse chases where it becomes difficult to distinguish who’s the cat and who’s the mouse until there comes a point when, both, the reader and Robie, understand the motivations behind Jessica’s actions (doesn’t take long, though).

Everything I do has a reason. Just open the lock. -Jessica Reel

There’s comes a moment when Robie does not know who to trust. Is Jessica Reel just trying to manipulate him to save herself? Or is there a larger conspiracy going on behind their backs? Now, that is the basic premise of The Hit by David Baldacci.

I quite liked how Jessica Reel is such a strong character. Although she’s the first to breakdown, I shall forgive Baldacci for that just because Jessica Reel is such a swell character and I don’t know if Robie has already gone through the same in The Innocent (I haven’t read it).  There are lots of action-packed scenes in the book for those who delight in them. They make for great reading when you have characters like Robie and Reel, either trying to kill each other, kicking some major ‘bad guy’-arse or just trying to save themselves from men who are out to get them.

As for the suspense, well, it’s not a book where you get thrown off by the climax, wondering how possibly you could have missed it. However, the book does throw off red herrings here and there. To tell you the truth, my predictions, as to who would be the villain were all wrong.

The book also provides some food for thought as Robie wonders whether what he does is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ since he’s a killer, essentially, even though he may be killing all the ‘bad’ guys.

In all, you won’t regret reading The Hit by David Baldacci. All those readers who like the action/thriller genre, need to pick this up and read!

 Also, if you’d noticed, I have changed the format of the review this time, having included an extra bit, about the author. Let me know if you like that, or the previous format was better. I am trying to develop the best format that works for me and your feedback would be appreciated. Also, if you’ve read The Hit , let me know how you liked it ! 🙂

Note: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Pan Macmillan India, in exchange for an honest review.

Friday Finds (June 21)

So, it’s been a chilled out week, as compared to the last few ones, although I have had to get to work quite early. But…that has meant that my work gets over early too. However, my travelling time in the Metro has reduced as I am touring markets close to where I stay this week. So that means I am not reading much now. The only book I’ve finished till now, this month, is The Hit by David Baldacci.

Anyway, here is my Friday Find !

Blood Red Sari by Ashok Banker

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Book Cover

  I came to know about this book today on the internet randomly on a best seller list somewhere. That made me curious to know more about the author. Reviews say this book has many strong female characters, and that was enough to get me interested!

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list, whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased). So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Friday Finds post, or share your ‘finds’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Post inspired by another book blogger Should Be Reading. 🙂

 


Book Review: The Mysterious Mr. Jacob by John Zubrzycki

John Zubrzycki, an Australian journalist, gained some fame when he wrote ‘The Last Nizam‘, a book about Mukarram Jah, his rise and subsequent fall. While that book was based on the Nizams of Hyderabad, his book ‘The Mysterious Mr. Jacob’, published by Random House India, is about Alexander Malcolm Jacob, a controversial diamond merchant, and how the Imperial Diamond contributed to his downfall.

Book Cover

Book Cover

The book is part biography and part thriller as the author delves deeper into the court case that started Alexander Jacob’s downfall. Alexander Malcolm Jacob is reported to have been an enigmatic and shrewd business man who practiced magic and illusions and cultivated a strong information network. The author talks about his past, the different versions of how he came to India and became a famous man.

Alexander Jacob owed much of his wealth to the benevolence of the Indian princes, known for competing against each other for status and the chance to show off their wealth by spending extravagantly on precious gems and artifacts from traders like Jacob. He accumulated great wealth on the commission he made from each item sold to these princes and the Britishers staying in India at that time. He also created a hype around myself by exaggerating the ‘adventure’ quotient of his beginnings in India. The illusions which he performed, added to his charisma, such that it was difficult to say no to anything.However, his lucks changed one day when he came to know of the Imperial Diamond. He soon realized that the commission made on this diamond would set him up for life and he would never have to work again.

The book is an interesting read. It tries to be neutral but puts Jacob on a pedestal at several places. The author has, no doubt, put in a lot of work, sifting through old British-era government documents, old newspapers in libraries, visiting each of the places that Jacob spent time in, in order to trace the eventful life of this enigmatic person. The book also reveals a fair bit of politics that the Britishers indulged in, to protect their interests in India. It also paints a picture of ‘society’ during the time the British reigned in India, especially the life of Rajahs and the power that they still enjoyed, in that period.

On the whole, the book keeps you interested in it, till the end. If you are interested in history, this book needs to be read!

Note: A copy of this book was provided by Random House India for an honest review.

Book Review: Tantra by Adi

You could say that Tantra by Adi falls in the ‘Chetan Bhagat’ genre. I generally try to avoid the ‘Chetan Bhagat’ genre of Indian Fiction. You may not believe it, but there’s usually at least one person in the Delhi Metro who’s reading a Chetan Bhagat book. Everyday. We may criticize him all we want, but you have to hand it over to him for ‘creating’ (for lack of a better word) this genre of pacey novels with story lines that everybody seems to identify with.

Anyway, coming back to the main point, although Tantra by Adi is  a light read, it’s not boring and has a kick ass heroine. And, I was in a mood for a light read.  So, randomly, I entered myself for the giveaway of the book ‘Tantra’ by Adi on GoodReads and imagine my surprise when I won a copy!

Book Cover

Image Source: www.tantrabyadi.com

This book is about Anu, a vampire hunter who moves to New Delhi for her own reasons, which are actually more personal rather than professional. She’s helped by Amit, a co-vampire hunter (who’s in the friend zone for now) and flirts with Gaurav, a handsome guy she met in a wedding which she was forced to attend by her Aunt who wants to see her ‘settled’.

In this book, she ends up dealing more with a Spiritual Guru gone bad rather than vampires although there is also a mysterious, enigmatic Vampire somewhere in the picture. I am assuming he will play a bigger part in the next book and I won’t be surprised if this is going to be a series instead of a stand alone novel. There are lots of questions that need to be answered and for that, a sequel(s) would be necessary. It also deals with the use of ‘good’ Tantrik magic, which is basically going to be how she ends up defeating the bad guys.  The author has quite nicely included, in the background, the rigmarole of arranged marriage and so-called dating for the same. There is no overdose of romance (thankfully!) and lot of action. For a change, a female is the main character who makes the first move and ‘saves’ a male love interest. (Yey for female empowerment!)

Now, the book does have some grammatical mistakes at different places but this ought not to discourage a reader whose sole purpose in reading a book is to get entertained but not have to think too deeply about anything else. So, take it for what it is, a light, breezy but still pacey, funny book which manages the passing of time in an entertaining manner.

Note: This book was won for free in a Giveaway on GoodReads

Book Review: Boats on Land by Janice Pariat

Boats on Land by Janice Pariat is a collection of short stories based in the North East, mostly Shillong (a place that I’ve always wanted to visit). The common theme that connects all the stories is that of Change and how each person deals with it in his or her own way. Some become quite fanatical or crazy as you might call them, some move on while some spend the remaining time in their lives, in lamenting and thinking about the past. 

Book Cover

Book Cover

I have to say this, the stories in ‘Boats on Land’ are quite fascinating. The characters feel special to me. They are sufficiently well sketched yet maintain a sense of mystery. Although these are stories set in the North East (a part of India largely ignored in the mainstream, sadly), when you read them, you soon feel a sense of bonding as the concerns and the problems, all seem to be the same. Whether it be the fear of the unknown (in the form of the changing times and cultures), the nostalgia for the past, rebelling against some set norms in our cultures and the desire to stop time from passing by, isn’t that what we all feel scared for, irrespective of place, age and nationality.

The book ‘Boats on Land’ also explores some other themes. Some stories touch upon sexuality, liberty, humanism, modernism, youth and that much criticized word- Development. But it’s also about love, sadness, rebellion, the desire to be ‘free’ and at the same time to ‘belong’.

The best story in the collection is the title story- ‘Boats on Land’. There are so many strong contenders for the next position that it is difficult to pin point one. The stories will haunt you and touch you somewhere. All I can say is that do not miss this book! It’s totally worth the time!

Note: A copy of the book was provided by Random House India in exchange for writing an honest review.

Feature and Follow #1

 This weekly meme is hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read.

Today’s Question is:

What blogger would you most like to meet in real life? Tell us about him or her.

In real life, I think I’d like to meet Nishita @ Nishita’s Rants and Raves.The books she reviews always fall in the genre that I like to explore. And of course, I love her reviews! Her kid also happens to be super cute. Follow her for some good content. 🙂

I would also like to meet other Indian book bloggers. I never seem to know the places to look for on the internet where I can find them.

This is my first time participating in Feature and Follow! You can follow me by email or through BlogLovin’.

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