Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review : Anti Social Network.

Piyush Jha 's novel "Anti Social Network " is an action cum crime thriller.There is never a dull moment in the narrative.It is dedicated to his wife Priyanka for gently pushing him along.

Towards the end of the book is the Acknowedgements wherein the author admits his gratefulness to many, especailly to his mother & Mumbai Devi ,the deity of Mumbai.

Piyush Jha is an ad film maker .He has made a name with advertisements for India's biggest brands.He has made films like Chalo America,King of Bollywood,Sikander etc.His earlier books Mumbaistan & Compass Box Killer have brought him high acclaim.

The publisher is Rupa .It is available as an e book as well.My book copy says that it is a digital copy.This goes hand in glove with the title "Anti Social Network ".

The cover has been designed by Nitesh Mohanty.It shows a girls' silhouette in black against a blood splattered background across  the upper part of the book .The girl is wearing a short frock or skirt rising  above her knees.She is playing with her hair with her left hand.In her right hand ,is a knife from which blood is flowing.She is surrounded by the buildings of Mumbai at her feet.Maybe  she is somewhere on a hill top or upper storey .Perhaps,  she has Mumbai at her feet .The back page of the book shows the Mumbai stock exchange building,the Rajabhai clock tower & the Gateway of India.The Rupa logo is at the top right handside of the front cover page & also down at the back cover page.

The cover page says that this is a Inspector Virkar crime thriller.It says that it is a Mumbaistan series.This sets the pace of the book.

A young lad is found murdered with his penis missing.Another killing ensues.This body has the tongue cut out.Next in line, is a girl whose eyes have been gouged out.Inspector Virkar who is assigned the case is dumb struck.He has seen bodies with parts missing & yet this all seems to be the crimes of a deranged mind.Or is it, very careful planning to confound the police. Is there one murderer or a gang on the loose ? There is Usman teacher ,an informer turned criminal,who tips Inspector Virkar.He gets eliminated soon.Is that death linked to the series of gruesome killings ?Naina Rai ,the student counseller becomes the comrade in arms, as Inspector Virkar falls for her charms.As the narrative gathers speed,it is clear that the net is being abused for coercion, so that money exchanges hands.Are the murders & the coercion part of the same racket ?  Inspector Virkar has to befriend a geek ,Robert a  hacker who has to be bribed with paid holidays .Moreover,Robert is always on a high, on drugs.Is Robert trustworthy ?

Is Inspector Virkar able to match up to the cyber skills of the killers ? Do Naina Rai & Inspector Virkar become a couple ? Does Robert deliver or is just playing along ?

The novel begins with an epilogue & ends with a prologue.There are forty four chapters in a book of 192 pages.Short chapters teeming with action & thrills.Mumbai slang is used effectively & makes for smiles .The author seems to know the lanes & bylanes of Mumbai too well.He describes them in great details.Hence ,the narrative gets real ! Inspector Virkar is a simple person who needs Jhinga Koliwada & branded beer.He seems to have a keen sense of observation as part of the job & even otherwise.He has an eye for detail, of the anatomy of humans,especially women !

A fast paced thriller which can be read in just one night ! Total  paisa vasool for the price of Rs.195  !

Grateful that Storizen keeps me occupied by sending me books for reviews ! 

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