Sunday, April 28, 2019

Peter Swanson's 'Her Every Fear'

                                                        Her Every Fear
                                        Peter Swanson
                                      Thriller/Psychological Thriller

                         I had read Peter Swanson's previous book 'The Kind Worth Killing' sometime back and absolutely loved it.So, when I got a chance to pick up his follow up to that work,I never felt the need to think twice.'Her Every Fear' revolves around the life of Kate Priddy who is suffering from PTSD.

                        Kate has just agreed for n house swap and she has just relocated to Boston from London, to her cousin's (Corbin Dell) apartment whereas he has gone to her at London.But a day after her arrival at Boston, she figures out that her neighbour,the twenty something girl has gone missing and in all probability might have been murdered. Pretty soon she realises that her cousin, Corbin might have had something to do with the young girl's disappearance. Enter Alan, the stalker-neighbour who lives just next door and Jack Ludovico, the mysterious man (with secrets) who claims to be the missing girl's friend and the proceedings get murkier.

                     Like his previous work,'The Kind Worth Killing', 'Her Every Fear' is also pretty long at 400+ pages, but that doesn't mean that the narrative is slow paced. Infact the writing is crisp and replete with twists and turns and most of the chapters end with cliff-hangers! The pathological relationship between Henry Wood and Corbin Dell has been beautifully described but the repetitive detailing of the same events from each of the principal character's point of view could have been done away with at times (especially towards the end).There aren't many characters in the book and the main characters like Kate, Corbin ,Henry have been etched out well.

On the whole, I'm giving it a 3.6 out of 5.This one is an engaging read!


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Cyber Sexy: Rethinking Pornography by Richa Kaul Padte

          Pornography is something which everyone Loves to watch/read but no one openly admits in the public. Richa Kaul Padte's 'Cyber Sexy' is a book on Pornography, a bit 'scientific' one at that. In what can be termed as a nuanced account of the evolution of porn, 'Cyber Sexy' tries to look at the various aspects of 'pleasure'.
         Well, this is the kind of book which is quite difficult to review.Obviously, a somewhat authentic account of the hitory of pornography was what I was hoping for when I picked up this book.But to say that the book entirely lived up to my expectations would be a bit of an overstatement.First and foremost, though the efforts of the author to take up a subject like this for her debut work as an author is laudable, the way it has turned out leaves a lot to be desired.May be a little bit of humour in the narrative might have did the trick.
          The book opens with the writer's first encounter with 'porn' and soon goes on to discuss more serious topics like consent, pornography in literature,exhibitionism,mass intimacy and so on.
          The basic problem which I felt with this book is that though it deals with a topic which is hardly boring, the way it is narrated makes this work of non-fiction quite bland and even uninteresting at times. The book has references about some of the biggest online MMS scandals which shook the country in the early 2000s and later, but it never rises above the numerous discussions happening in the online platforms like reddit and quora on a daily basis. The last couple of chapters delves into consensual porn and non consensual sex. As I mentioned before, the basic problem I felt with the book is the jumbled narrative. Instead of discussing one issue at a time and taking it into it's logical conclusion/ writer's opinion on the same, the debutant author jumps from one thing to the other citing 'experiences' of random people.

On the whole, I'm giving this work a 2.75 out of 5.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

              Anthony Horowitz , one of the most sought after authors of children's fiction is also someone who has made a smooth transition to writing adult's fiction. His Sherlock Holmes novels, 'The House Of Silk' and 'Moriarty' were not only highly successful but also critically acclaimed.'The Word Is Murder' is a stand alone crime novel and interestingly has the author himself playing a prominent character in it.
         Detective Hawthorne is the protagonist. He was working with the Police once upon a time ,but is now working as a private detective. Diana Cowper, a wealthy lady and mother of the popular actor, Daniel Cowper is found strangled in her apartment. But the strange thing is that she had planned her own funeral less than 24 hours back. But is there more to the murder than what meets the eye? Detective Hawthorne investigates with the writer Anthony giving him company.(Anthony has been assigned to write about the investigation.
            The book has got some smart lines and interesting refernces to real life persons and movies.The meta-references are also quite brilliantly done.The scene featuring Stephen Spielberg and Peter Jackson and the author himself is a scream. Though it's unclear whether it was an entirely fictional scene, I hope Anthony Horowitz gets assigned to write the next film of the Tintin franchise. Though the book is a tad too long at 390+ pages, there are enough twists and turns happening at regular intervals making the proceedings interesting.

On the whole, I'm giving it a 3.5 out of 5.


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Pyjamas are Forgiving by Twinkle Khanna

                      I had read 'The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad' by Twinkle Khanna some time back. One of the stories from that book was inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham (Twinkle herself produced a movie based on the same titked 'padman' which had her husband, Akshay Kumar playing the title role).The 'legend of 'Lakshmi Prasad' was an interesting read. 'Pyjamas are forgiving' is Twinkle's latest work. Unlike her previous two works (Mrs Funny Bones and the 'legend...') which were about real life people and real life incidents, 'Pyjamas...' is an entirely fictional tale.
                       Anshu , the protagonist  is a middle aged woman with sleep issues.She has come to Shanthamaya Sthalam, a spa situated somewhere in Kerala. She is on a mission to reduce her weight, besides other things. There she unexpectedly meets her ex-husband, besides other people. What happens in the spa during the course of next one month or so is what the story is all about.
                      The characters are shallow and half baked. The protagonist doesn't come across as an entirely likeable character. Some one-liners are witty but quite often they tend to be borderline vulgar and quite crass(those pertaining to orgasm and sexual act were very quite crude, to say the least).
                    There is no story per se, the plot moves at snails pace and wholly relies on the day to day activities at the spa. It would have been fine if the narrative was replete with genuinely funny moments but that was far and few in between.The book is mostly about the self realization/ self discovery of a few of the residents at the spa over a period of one month or so.But at the same time, some of the key characters never get their due.The relationship between Anshu and her ex-husband is not properly explained or explored. We get to know that they went to a few vacations together, but then what really happened between them/or in their relation is hardly explained.
May be you can give it a try if a slow paced, leisurely read with a few witty lines and hardly any surprises is what you are hoping for. I'm giving it a 2.5 out of 5.


Monday, April 1, 2019

#Bookblitz : Physical by Mari.Reiza

~ Book Blitz ~
Physical by Mari.Reiza
 Women's Psychological Fiction

About the Book:

A feminist read that won’t disappoint. 

In a small town in Italy, Kiki feels worthless and angry when her longtime partner finds a new cool girl to ride on another decade of easy existence. Meanwhile in London, Fátima, the wife of Kiki’s best friend, is losing her selfhood after giving birth to twins and being made redundant. Both heroines are determined to rebuild the passion and impunity of their youth, vitalizing desires that will bring them to risk everything.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt:

Finally, I got my boss on the phone.
‘Relax, you just had twins,’ she sounded shifty. She hurried to say there was no rush for me to come back.
‘Thanks, but I’m ready.’ I did not like how this conversation had started. Should I call again? Maybe we could do take two.
‘Orso can take care of you now,’ she replied to me.
I told her to go fuck herself, which I had told her enough times before, when we had worked together. She was used to it. She had said the same to me, as often. It was taken as a sign that we respected each other. ‘I do not need anyone to take care of me,’ I elaborated given her silence. Of course I did. But it felt so good to say utter bullshit aloud, like it made it more believable.
‘We’re making one hundred people redundant in the department,’ she came clean under duress. ‘Fátima you are on the list.’
Fucking hell! The temperature of my body had gone up by five degrees in a hundredth of a second. The cold white wine was flashing fast to cool me down, but I still felt the phone melting in my hand. I knew I should not cry with her on the line, and I was speed thinking a good punch. But I was out of practice. She was anticipating me. She was thinking faster than me what I was thinking.
‘Do not even think to sue, Fátima. They are giving some good money. Take it and go. You do not even need this job anymore,’ she said.
Who the hell was she to tell me what I did or did not need, what I was supposed to do with my life?
I was incandescent, my skin tingling like the filaments of a bulb. I certainly was not up to snappy ‘do not worry about it you little daddy’s girl from Notting Hill’ remarks. Yes. I had Dad and Orso spitting gold coins like crazy for me, but living in my brain was hell, because it seemed that whatever I did, it wouldn’t count for shit. I preferred to be spitting gold coins with them.
‘You should feel emboldened by your new life. Focus on that. You have been blessed,’ she added. She was trying a solid voice but I could perceive a quibble. This conversation was not easy for her either.
Yet she would be able to forget it as soon as she hung up. She would maybe pop out for lunch somewhere nice, perhaps with Mark or Rachel, and pride herself for how well she had managed a difficult firing earlier in the morning. And Rachel would know that it was me and say, ‘Poor cow!’ And Mark would add, ‘Well, she had it coming. You can’t have it all.’
The fuck you can’t! Emboldened by my new life... It was going around my head.
My new life as a mother? Blessed for having offspring? How did she know it was a blessing? She did not have any. By choice, I thought. She had chosen not to be blessed. Maybe blessings got in the way. Of course they got in the way.
I decided to stop my tears in their tracks. It even felt like the ones on my cheeks were going back into my eyes, and all the scum that had come into my mouth, driven by rage, disappeared down my throat. My temperature was going back to normal, perhaps colder. It was like we were rewinding the tape. And in a voice icy as Lady Death’s, I only said five words, ‘Just send the papers through,’ and hung up.

About the Author:

Mari.Reiza was born in Madrid in 1973. She studied at Oxford University and worked as an investment research writer and management consultant for twenty years in London, before becoming an indie fiction writer. Also by her, Inconceivable Tales, Death in Pisa, Sour Pricks, A Pack of Wolves, STUP, Mum, Watch Me Have Fun!, Marmotte’s Journey, West bEgg, Room 11, Triple Bagger, Caro M, Opera, the Retreat, sells sea shells and aberri (homeland), all available on Amazon.

Author Links:
Website * Twitter * Instagram

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