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Educated, young, no-nonsense bearing, able administratorâthese are the qualities that won Sesha the loyalties of the people after three years of rule as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. An allegation that he was the mastermind behind the murder of 73 Kannadigas threatens to bring him down but he is miraculously saved in the 11th hour.
Even before he can relish his victory, Sesha is slapped with the charge of sexually offending a young nurse. This time round, the case is strong and his supporters are uncertain. Worse, his teenage daughter calls him 'vile' and walks out of the house. While Mythili, his wife promises her full support, her secretive activitiesâundertaken with the help of a retired copâis a cause of concern for Sesha.
Will Zarina, the human-rights activist, succeed in bringing him down? What about the insinuations of a celebrity lawyer that he is casteist and antiminorities? When the young nurse is found dead, the case becomes even more complex. Who is innocent? Who is guilty? And who is the mastermind?
Read an Excerpt:
A dim yellow light in the background enabled the viewers to get a silhouette of the girl. Perhaps there was a fan beyond the camera frame that ruffled her curly hair mildly, and her hand moved involuntarily to put it back in order. The yellow line over the edges of her shoulder and arms implied a somewhat plump figure. She was wearing a sleeveless top or kurta.
âSesha had never stared at me like that. In fact, I doubt whether he had noticed me properly at all. He would enter the room and I would walk out. There was never a chance. But then, that night was perhaps different. He had always seen me in churidar-kurta. That night since I had gone to sleep, I waswearing a nightgownâ¦a sleeveless one.
âHe asked if I could serve him dinner. The cook had left. She generally left for her home on Saturday evenings and returned the next night. I agreed. He returned to the dining table after changing. I had laid out the dinner. He then took out a bottle of red wine and poured two glasses. That was a surprise. I had never seen him taking alcohol. Perhaps his wifeâs accident and her long illness had disturbed him emotionally. He offered me a glass. I hesitated. But he insisted. So as not to offend him, I took the glass and sipped the drink.â She seemed to move uncomfortably in her chair.
Catherine volunteered, âYou donât need to describe it further if you donât want to. I know how painful it would be.â
The girl took a long breath and replied, âHmmâ¦Iâll talk. Painful indeed. But Iâve braved it over the last two years. Jesus has made me strong. After clearing the table, I was returning to my room. Intuitively, I felt he was following me. I was scared to look back. I paced faster towards the room. But a couple of feet before my room, I felt he was too close to me. I turned back to object. Since he was too close, he fell over me. He propped me against the wall and before I could realise what was happening, he kissed me on my lipsâ¦â
Her voice choked. Catherine extended a glass of water and the girlâs hand extended from the hazy dark background. The fingers that wrapped the glass, which was outside the darkened area, were white and the nails were well manicured. She sipped the water, cleared her throat and resumed.
âHe walked me to the next room and sat me on the bed. He knelt down before me, held my face in his hands and said that I looked beautiful. I was benumbed by the suddenness of his advance. He ran his fingers over my forehead, my eyes and cheeks and then through the neck down toâ¦the whole
thing was inappropriate. An affront. I realised he was exploiting mynumbness. Anger surged in me. I pushed him aside, jumped out of the bed and ran to my room. I closed the door behind me and slouched against it. My whole body shivered. Unable to sleep, scared that he might forcefully enter
the room again, I sat against the door and remained awake the whole night.â
Catherine handed the girl another glass of water.
About the Author:
Hariharan Iyer is a finance professional based in Dar es Salaam. Not content with just a rewarding corporate job, he took to writing a couple of years back. He blogged on media and current affairs for a year at valadyviews.blogspot.com before hitting on the idea for this novel. An idea so powerful that it convinced the accountant in him that he could put together not just a balance sheet but an intriguing political thriller as well. He has definite views on politics, NGOs and media ethics and has tried to package them in the form of an interesting novel.
Hariharan lives with his wife in Dar es Salaam while his two sons are pursuing their ambitions in India.
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Ebook copy of FOREVER THIS TIME
HEART LIKE MINE
Echo Lake #2
Releasing April 5th, 2016
St. Martin's Press
Delaney Blair loves her job at Echo Lake's Mercy Hospital, where she's developed a reputation for being smart, fair, and driven. When she's assigned to cut funding, she has to temporarily relocate her office, put on borrowed scrubs, and go toe-to-toe with Dr. Joshua Mackenzie, the interim head of the pediatrics department. His killer smile and rock-star body are distractions Delaney could do without, but she's determined to stay focused while she brings his budget into line.
It's not working.
Beloved by his colleagues and patients alike, Josh is too busy caring for sick kids to talk numbers with the sexy, stiletto-clad Delaney. Every time they talk business, tensions run highâ¦but so does a powerful attraction neither of them can ignore. When an emergency brings Mercy to its knees, Delaney and Josh must work together to save lives. But can they also find a way into each other's hearts?
NUMBER OF PAGES: 368
SERIES / STANDALONE: Echo Lake #2
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of Tasty Book Tours. Thanks guys!
Heart Like Mine by Maggie McGinnis is second in the Echo Lake series. This part is the story of pediatric doctor, Dr.Joushua and financial analyst Delaney. Delaney, the financial analyst of Echo Lake’s Mercy hospital is tasked with the job of cutting down the budget of the pediatric department headed by Dr.Josh. She draws up an initial proposal which included cutting certain jobs and expenditures. She pursues Josh to get the budget through and approved so that they might not have to shut the department owing to the lack of funds. Reality hits her when she actually spends time in the floor witnessing kids being saved and treated very efficiently. Adding to this is the attraction that she has for the Doctor’s killer looks and charm. Eventually they work together for the sake of saving the department from the knife.
Given that the book is second in a series I felt a bit lost when it came to the emotions between the friends – Joshua, Ethan, Joise and Molly. However, the characterization was perfectly balanced to ensure that a new reader wouldn’t be lost and an old reader wouldn’t feel bored. The writing was quite simple and conveyed all the right emotions. In fact, the USP of this book is probably the emotions as such. From love to mistrust to protectiveness to sympathy, the story just had it all. Of course, there were the ‘dark’ emotions which were absent and of course, they weren’t really required for this story. The story however, didn’t really stay up to the expectation it kindled in me in the beginning. The ending sort of became predictable thanks one character which seemed a bit abruptly introduced into the story. The romance was built slowly and that paid off very well!
MY SAY: A slowly brew tasty romance!
OVERALL RATING: 4/5
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NUMBER OF PAGES: 211
SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy from the publisher – Readomania as part of the TBC tours in exchange for an honest review. Thanks guys!
In this age where a sizable proportion of the Indian literary world churns out stories which are akin to instant coffee – flavorless and bland, there are few stories which pop once in while and leave an inexpugnable bond. This story was one such story. It’s been a while since I read a good literary fiction like this book. People would probably disagree with me and would prefer to classify this book as a romantic fiction. Wikipedia agrees with me too. The Wiki definition of literary fiction is – “Literary fiction, also known as serious fiction, is a term principally used for fictional works that hold literary merit, that is to say, they are works that offer deliberate social commentary or political criticism, or focus on the individual to explore some part of the human condition.” At the end of this review, I assure to have explained my stand.
A Thousand Unspoken words by Paulami Duttagupta is the tale of a fallen hero, Musafir. He is the brutal voice of the underdogs. He is forced to disappear after his last book wreaks a havoc while stirring souls of people in Kolkatta. Tilottama, Musafir’s ardent fan, comes into his life. An affair brews. The fallen hero sincerely attempts to write again. Is he successful in completing it? or is there a thousand unspoken word which would be lost forever?
The book back summary and my version of the plot above isn’t much to go on at all. However, revealing anything more would simply destroy the experience of the reader. The story isn’t actually much. It’s a simple tale of identity crisis - something that every other person who uses a pseudonym or goes by a different name in public go through. Just that it isn’t overly filled with philosophical explanations to justify the characters pains. This is exactly what makes the book a good literary fiction. The protagonist is on a path of self discovery. The journey is made both difficult and easy by people who love him - Tilottama, his mom and his brother. It’s not just about Musafir, it about the journey of other characters too. Delivering such an emotionally packed story isn’t possible without good narration and characterisation. Each and every character required depth and shades which would eventually contribute to the protagonist’s character. Tilottama’c character would be the perfect example of when one protagonist contributes to the character of the other. Needless to say, the writer has mastered the art of narration and got the characterisation perfectly right. The writing particularly deserves a special mention. Having never been to Kolkatta or Shantiniketan, I was able to picture and feel both the places thanks a perfectly vivid description. Nevertheless, I do have a couple of things that I thought could have been better - First, the climax. Cliffhanger climaxes seem to be the “in” thing these days. A proper closure for such an intense tale would have been way better. Second, idealism and beliefs are two intense topics as such. Mingling them is simply emotionally burdening. Musafir as a writer is a different person - he is selfish and is the person Tilottama expected him to be. This combined with the actual person (as in Musafir’s) idealism (about money etc) was simply too much to handle at one point. Of course, I did love it. It was more of a bittersweet experience for me!
I hope I made my stand as to why this book is a literary fiction. Or if you want a rather simple answer - The story is about a human’s struggle to find his identity. Fits Wiki definition of exploring a human condition doesn’t it.
MY SAY: An emotionally packed read. Not for people who look for instant fiction. If you savor and revere true fiction, this book is for you.
OVERALL RATING: 4.5/5
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A Thousand Unspoken Words
A Readomania Publications
A hero, a person who displays great courage for the greater good, can also fall. But what happens to a fallen hero? A Thousand Unspoken Words is the unique journey of a hero who falls.
The champion of the underdogs, the writer who uses the nom de plume Musafir is famous in Kolkata. His incisive criticism of the injustices around him earn him many enemies but he holds his ideals above all else. Scathing attacks at his books and a night of hide and seek from political goons leads Musafir unto a path he never liked, faraway from his ideals. He runs away and chooses the comforts of money over the travails of following one’s ideals. The hero falls.
But Tilottama, passionate fan’s hopes don’t. When he comes back after many years, emotions, love and lust take charge and an affair brews. Will she bring back her hero? Will he rise again? Or will the thousand untold words, the many stories of the ideal writer be lost forever?
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Paulami DuttaGupta is a novelist and screen writer. She shuttles between Kolkata and Shillong. She has worked as a radio artist, copy writer, journalist and a television analyst at various stages of her life, having been associated with AIR Shillong, The Times of India—Guwahati Shillong Plus, ETV Bangla, The Shillong Times, Akash Bangla and Sony Aath.As an author, her short stories have appeared in various anthologies and literary magazines. A Thousand Unspoken Words is her fourth book. Paulami also writes on politics, social issues and cinema. Her articles have appeared in Swarajya, The Forthright and NElive.
Paulami is associated with cinema and her first film, Ri-Homeland of Uncertainty received the National Award for the Best Khasi Film. Her second film Onaatah—Of the Earth is at post production stage and will release in 2016. She is currently working on her third screenplay. A short film tentatively titled ‘Patjhar’ is also in the pipeline.
Paulami is a complete foodie and is almost obsessed with watching one film every day. She also loves reading—political and social commentaries are her favourite genre. Literature classics and books on cricket are also a part of her library, apart from a huge collection of romances. Jane Austen’s fictional character Mr. Darcy is her lifelong companion. She is an ardent fan of Rahul Dravid and has been following all news about him for almost twenty years now.
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NUMBER OF PAGES: 344
SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review copy as a part of iRead Book tours, in exchange for an honest review. Thanks a lot guys!
“I Read. I travel. I Become” – Derek Walkot
This book turned out to be the company during my 350 km drive back from my vacation. Given that I was sitting next to my dad who was driving, I had to stay awake and this book kept me more than awake.
The lead character, “Alex” Alexandra Callet is a successful interior designer with her own company. She has vowed to get over her partner Jake who doesn’t seem to just get that she is in love with him. DEA offer Kevin is trying his best to pin down Miguel, the paid assassin. Strangely, Alex physically resembles Miguel’s sister, making her the perfect candidate to actually bring down Miguel. The DEA trains her and sends her off to Mexico to extradite Miguel so that he can be prosecuted. The training and this whole mission impacts Alex in an unexpected way. Does Alex survive?
The plot was well thought of and had very little loopholes as such. It wasn’t an airtight plot, but it was surely a watertight plot (Not elaborating further. Spoiler risk!). However, the writer induced a lot of Christian faith into it at parts where a simple motivational self-introspection would have sufficed. I just couldn’t relate to it as I don’t follow that religion and haven’t read many books which had such elements at play. If only I had the slightest inclination that this was going to be the case, I really wouldn’t have picked up the book. Nevertheless, in spite of not understanding a certain part of the story, the book still turned out to be a goodread. The characterization was near perfect. I only wished the writer gave more depth to Miguel’s character. After all, the villain is an important person! My other qualm would be that the romance aspect of the book was a bit inconsistent. As in the story of Alex and Jake seemed a bit un-natural. At one point in the story I was actually hoping that Alex would fall for the person who was accompanying her. The chemistry between them seemed way more realistic! The pacing and writing was spot on, keeping me hooked to the story.
MY SAY: Thriller unmatched!
OVERALL RATING: 4/5
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GENRE: Fiction - Romance
NUMBER OF PAGES: 197
SERIES / STANDALONE: Romance Round The World Series #2
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: ARC from the writer in exchange for an honest review! Thank you, Devika!
This is the second book I’ve read by this writer. The first being ‘When I See Your Face’. There is a world of difference between both the books. Literally, they are set in different parts of the world. Writing wise, the writer seems to have matured a lot.
Emily had her heart broken by the devilishly handsome Alejandro nine years ago. Moving on hasn’t been easy. Their paths cross once more reopening old wounds. Things escalate quickly, sparks fly and the desire for forbidden seems to have amplified since the meet. Does Emily resist temptation? Does history repeat itself? I’m not answering that. It’s prudent to read the book I say!
The writing was perfect and the characterization was quite precise. The narration did jump timelines but that was seamless. The setting had a huge scope for the writer to describe Spain and she did exactly that. However, I was a bit unsure if the writer actually has visited Spain or done her research well. She elaborates both on the common places to visit and the places less visited by tourists. Given that both the central characters were from the tourism industry, it could have been easy to go off track and elaborate on the setting more than it was needed. The writer thankfully stuck to what she was actually supposed to do – Writing a romance. At certain point smack in the middle of the book, I felt the writer could have actually ended the story at that point. Only later when I actually finished the book I realized why she actually went on (That is one potential spoiler which I’m not giving out!). The writer certainly scores huge on the emotions and pacing!
MY SAY: One neatly packaged romance!
OVERALL RATING: 4/5
AUTHOR LINKS: Website
BOOK LINKS: Amazon Goodreads