crime thriller

Don't Let Go by Michel Bussi

10:36:00 PM


                   Michel Bussi's 'After the Crash' was an International Best Seller which had a unique theme.I had reviewed it here, sometime back. 'Don't Let Go' is another gem from this French story teller which has enough twists and turns to surprise you.
               Marshal Bellion and Liane Bellion are on a holiday in the reunion Island with their Six year old daugher, Josapha Bellion. But Liane Bellion suddenly disappers and the blood stains in the room makes Marshal Bellion a potential suspect. Soon after,the police digs up Marshal's blotted past and are quite convinced that he is the killer. Finding himself cornered, Marshall decides to go underground with Josapha. But if Marshal is not really the killer, why does he appear so guilty? Don't Let Go is Marshal's race against time and is all about his attempts to escape from the Police with his beloved daughter by his side.
                Don't Let Go is the kind of book which rightly deserves a screen adaptation. It's such a visual experience and almost every chapter ends up with a cliff-hanger.The narrative is so fast paced that an average reader can finish it in one or two sittings.The book is definitely more fast paced and enteraining when compared to 'After the Crash' and 'Black Water Lillies'.
               On the downside, the book is not devoid of illogical twists either. The scene in which Christo recognises the killer's handwriting on the windowpane was a bit of a stretch.

On the whole,I 'm giving a four out of Five for this thriller.

-nikhimenon

crime

Riley Sager's Last Time I lied

8:34:00 AM


                      Riley Sager's 'Last Time I lied' is a slow burner. It's one of those books which moves at a leisurely pace in the beginning but still manages to hook your attention and never let you put it down or move on with something else!
           Camp Nightingale is a summer camp run by one of the multi-millionaires of the town ,Franny-Harris- White. She has two adopted sons, Theo and Chet. But when three of the young girls from the camp Vivian, Natalie and Allison go missing from the camp all hell break loose and Franny is forced to shut down the camp, also leaving behind Emma, the only other roommate of the three missing girls, traumatized.
          Fifteen years later, Franny decides to reopen the camp and she decides to invite , Emma  also to the camp as the instructor-in -charge of the present occupants(Krystal,Sasha,Miranda) of the cabin (named Dogwood,) from where the three girls went missing fifteen years ago. Emma manages to form a bond with the three young girls,but pretty soon she realises that Camp Nightingale harbours many sinister secrets which might have led to the disappearance of Vivian and her friends.
          As I mentioned in the beginning , Riley Sager takes his own sweet time in setting up the plot and establishing the characters.The first one hundred pages or so are a bit dull and the narrative mostly moves at a lethargic pace,but once the mystery begins unravelling slowly, there is no looking back.In the layered narrative,Riley Sager manages to pack in as much intrigue and mystery as possible ,unravelling them, at regular intervals.
         The tail end twist was splendidly done and I never saw it coming.But I wish Sager had given some more detail about the circumstances that might have led Katherine to take up that drastic challenge! 

On the whole,I'm giving a 4 out of 5 for this genuine psychological thriller!

-nikhimenon

crime

Hydrangea by Lajo Jose (Regional)

9:26:00 PM


           Hydrangea is Lajo Jose's follow up to his highly successful 'Coffee House', the second book in journalist turned private investigator Esther's crime series.Like his previous work, Hydrangea is also an investigative crime thriller, but unlike 'Coffee House' which had a heavy 'S.N. Swamy-K.Madhu' movies' hang over to it, 'Hydrangea' is modelled mostly on the western 'stalker' crime thrillers(Lars Kepler's book with the same name seems to be Lajo's reference point for this work, as the similarities and inspiration are pretty much evident).
           So, the plot goes somewhat like this- A serial killer is threatening the city with his maverick crimes and the modus operandi is pretty weird, he shoots a short video of his unassuming victim pretty much before the actual act of crime and sends it to the city police chief ,virtually challenging them to stop the crime from being committed. But since the videos don't leave much clue about the victims except for a grainy image of them in their cabins, the police also can't do much about it.Private Investigator Esther and the firm which she is working for,headed by Ali Imran also gets entangled in this rigmarole and their task is cut out as the killer is on his violent spree!
           Lajo Jose has definitely improved when compared to his debut novel and this time around his plot is sharp and the narrative is also quite fast paced.The pointless banter between Aparna and Esther has been trimmed down for good this time around.The characters of Ali Imran, the lady IPS officer and that of Esther were quite poorly developed.And last but not the least,Lajo's obession with his debut work is quite evident with multiple instances of that book being referred to in Hydrangea, which to be honest, was a bit irritating, after a point.
         But whatever said and done, I enjoyed reading Hydrangea.Though it's heavily inspired by the Western thrillers of similar genre , Lajo has delivered a decent addition to the almost extinct Malayalam Pulp Crime genre!

I'm giving it a 3 out of 5!

-nikhimenon