Tag Archives: Murder mystery

Book Review of “Worst Case” By James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Worst Case

By James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

A stupendous work of a seasoned author.

Detective Michael Bennett (NYPD) and FBI agent Emily Parker (abduction case specialist) team up to track a serial killer in this gripping bestseller.

A quick and easy read, decked with giggles and light-hearted fun in mini-chapters.
A run through Bennett’s life – a widower with ten (!!!) foster children; their beautiful nanny who ends up having a crush on Bennett; plenty of exciting action in tracing the villain and cracking the case of missing teenagers; mushy romance with partner Emily Parker ending on a smart and riveting note makes the book a good read. 

The tome exudes loads of suspense, tension and fast paced excitement.

I’d recommend this one.

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Book Review of “The 8th Confession” By James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

The 8th Confession

By James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

A wee bit slow paced with no mind games for the reader. The redundant presentation is now getting over the top. It is just an enjoyable murder mystery with Patterson’s knack of etching intriguing antagonists.

The story is about a series of, what appear to be, un-connected murders with no clues whatsoever, beginning with the explosion of a school bus/ meth lab on the streets of San Francisco.

Reporter Cindy Thomas, Detective Lindsay Boxer, assistant district attorney Yuki Castellano, and medical examiner Claire Washburn get ready to solve the mysteries while juggling their private lives simultaneously.

A good measure of fervent romance steams up the storyline without deviating much from the plot.

It is a page turner, no doubt, to a certain extent but does not build up any suspense. The climax seems a tad disappointing with the sudden revelation of the culprit – something not expected by the readers.

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Book Review of “Love On The Rocks” By Ismita Tandon Dhankher

Love On The Rocks

By Ismita Tandon Dhankher

Just when we thought new age writers try and stick to fiction and other lighter reads, Love on the rocks by Ismita Tandon Dhanker comes like a breath of fresh air.

Sancha is recently wed to Chief Officer Aaron Andrews of the merchant navy and they decide to go together for one of his journeys, on board the Sea Hyena. Amongst more than twenty men, Sancha does catch the fancy of First Engineer Harsh Castillo, who is also Aaron’s best friend. The ship had recently witnessed the death of their chief cook (Gary) who was found dead in the meat locker.


It was termed as an accident but when there’s a theft from the captain’s safe, things begin to puzzle Sancha. She takes it on her to investigate the mysteries. All the men come under her radar- including her husband. Clues point at people that she wouldn’t imagine being culprits. She finds herself at the cross roads of love, honesty and integrity. How the truth is revealed and what follows in Sancha’s life is for you all to read.

A new plot, a new setting and a refreshingly new perspective of life on board a ship. Sprinkled with humor and backed with ample research, the plot does not fade out. The author does full justice to the mystery and thriller setting that is supposed to be the crux of the novel. Decently paced, the simple language of the story shows the different perspectives of the characters. And all of them are finely etched.

A good read. As a debut writer Ismita shows tremendous maturity in her writing.

Rightly said, this is a romantic thriller that tests the bonds of love and marriage against a backdrop of suspense, intrigue and psychological undercurrents.

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Book Review of “Gone” By Jonathan Kellerman


By Jonathan Kellerman

Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series never misses out on action, adventure and thrill.

Gone is a good mystery plot.

A naked girl is found running across the road seeking help. Finally she manages to get an old truck driver to help her. She claims that she along with her boyfriend had been abducted. They even have some marks to prove it. Turns out that this pair (Michaela Brand and Dylan Meserve, twenty something year old acting students of an LA acting school) was seeking their “15 seconds of fame” by pulling up a hoax. But all said and done, the authorities press charges and Alex Delaware (an LA child psychologist and a consultant to the police) is on the case to examine Michaela Brand’s psychological state. A plea deal is eventually reached and life seems to come back to normal- until Michaela is found murdered. And Dylan Meserve goes missing.

Things go haywire from then on.

LAPD detective Lieutenant Milo Sturgis seeks Alex’s help as the body count increases. Seems like the serial killer on the loose must be put to rest. Everyone is under surveillance – from the students to the owners of the acting school to acquaintances to relatives – everyone.

As tempted as I am, I won’t be giving out the climax. Yeah thank your stars I’m not spoiling the suspense.

The characters of Alex and Sturgis show depth and a lot of development. Together they combine intellect and experience to solve cases that seem as complex as finding a needle in a hay stack. (Oh never mind the cliché here.)

Their friendship brings in warmth and fun. Their personal lives bring in a lot of drama and of course smiles.

It is not as predictable as it may seem. You are sure to be surprised at the revelations.

Gone is high on intensity, drama, suspense and thrill. Apart from the forgivable long descriptions of people, places etc. by the author, Gone does make for a great read. The plot is taut and it literally keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Kellerman seems to get better and better with each book. No wonder each of his Alex book (compelling and psychologically deep) eventually ends up being a bestseller.

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Book Review of “Naked Prey” by John Sandford

Naked Prey

By John Sandford

What a brilliant thriller! The Prey series definitely bring about the adrenaline rush while reading.

Lucas Davenport is seen working for the Minnesota Governor, solving complicated and sensational crimes. He is also a family man now –with a pretty wife and a lovely child.

Things get shaken when bodies of a black man (Jane Warr) and a white girl (Deon Cash) are found hanging from a tree, in the woods of northern Minnesota.

Lucas and his partner, Del Capslock, rush to the scene and so do the local sheriffs, and a few FBI guys. Soon an arrest is about to be made. But the suspect and his wife are found murdered.

Lucas returns to Broderick (a small town in Northern Minnesota) tracing a killer only to find that the town is pumping more crime and corruption than anyone can think. So much so that the homicide is linked to other criminal acts spurting around.

This one an international labyrinth of stolen cars, drugs, gambling and kidnapping.

Along comes Lettie West– a twelve year old trapper who cares for her alcoholic mother – being victimized not once but twice. It is she who becomes the main crime solver towards the end.

Sandford delivers yet another astounding read. The plot is complex, sharp, interesting, thrilling and captivating. The characterization is strong. The way she talks; her attitude; tough exterior hiding the heart of a child longing for love and concern; adds up to make her character one of the most likeable ones. Lettie is a dearie. A great addition to the series.

We also get a glimpse of Lucas’ softer side. The richest cop (since he also designs computer games) is as loving and caring as a father ought to be. A side which we hardly came across earlier.

The murder scenes actually send a shiver down your spine. The pace is terrific. The background details are just perfect. Intervened with sub-plots, surprises, twists, felony, deaths, murders, chase and revenge, this contemporary detective-crime-fiction page-turner, scores high as a “must read”.


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Book Review of “Fantasy In Death” by J.D. Robb

Fantasy In Death

By J.D. Robb

The story is about four friends are about to release their state-of-art holo-game but one of them is found murdered in his apartment during a solo testing phase. Lt. Eve Dallas is on the case. With nothing to begin with – no witnesses, no weapons, no clues, it seems tough in the
beginning but her husband Roarke assists and consults her from time to time to help her sort itout. It gives a glimpse of the future, given the rise of technology at breakneck speed.The book shows the dynamics of Eve and her friends (Peabody and Nadine) indulging in friendly humorous quips and sometimes mindless chatter, taking digs at each other. The pairing of Eve and Roarke in this one feels real with the lady being more understanding and strong. Eve also opens up her heart and reflects over “emotions” like friendship and letting people in her life.

Overlooking the flaw of the editor (misuse of commas, spaces, etc) this is one fun mystery.

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Book Review of “Deliver Us From Evil” By David Baldacci

Deliver Us From Evil

By David Baldacci



Looks like David Baldacci got his characters researched and etched right in his mind before penning them for his fans.

This fast paced murder-mystery-crime tale has all the excitement and action you’d wish for.

The main character is a notorious man involved in all the wrong things (of course) who has no idea that two furtive people, with their own agenda, are sneaking up his path. The suspense is too rousing to be let out here.

The spine-tingling plot is sprinkled with ample of brow-raising events and emotions, making it quite an interesting read.

Baldacci’s writing makes it very easy to visualize the events as they happen. This surely is one heck of a thriller released this year!


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Book Review of “Show Me A Hero” By Aditya Sudarshan

Show Me A Hero

By Aditya Sudarshan


After the torturous experience of reading certain books of certain “new-age up-coming” Indian writers, when I was asked to review Show Me A Hero, I was full of inhibitions and skepticism. More so, the book revolves around cricket – one of the sports I don’t really like.

Before beginning to read, I did a bit of background check on Aditya. He seems to have already published a novel, a play, several short stories and he writes literary criticism for some publications. This did not really help me much since this was the first time I was reading his work, but none-the-less it did instill some faith in me to “start” reading. I mean, how bad could he be!? I lived through 50 pages of “Patyala…” didn’t I !?!!

I was absolutely dreading the first page. But when I started reading, I found myself getting comfortable with the flow, the characters and the plot. Couple of pages down and I knew I would finish reading it soon.

So the narrator, Vaibhav, is a fresh-out-of-college lad who lands himself a small time job with a wildlife organization in Delhi. He manages to seek (rented) accommodation in Mrs. Ramdas’ PatParganj apartment. This is where he meets his house mates – Kisle (an Assamese medical student), Arjun (a turban-less Sikh techie journalist) and Animesh.

Vaibhav’s life is monotonous and lull until he meets his college friend Prashant Padmanabhan, through Animesh. Prashant is a determined and a confident young man with strong ideas and a rich background. He decides to make a movie on his hero- a controversial old cricketer- Ali Khan. Khan had been defaced and victimized by certain religious sects. Prashant believes that it is important to reveal the truth behind the scandals. He gets his friends Sheila, Rohan, Gitanjali, and others to act for him and be a part of the small budget movie, managed by Vaibhav. When they start shooting things don’t really go easy. There are people who seem to dislike the very idea of making Ali Khan a “hero”. When the youngsters feel they are on-track, a mysterious murder brings everything to a standstill.

How the youngsters then face the situation and move ahead is what you should find out on your own. I’m not giving away the climax to this one.


The narrator (Vaibhav) comes across as a simple guy. He likes his work at the wildlife organization; he is happy with his girlfriend in Mumbai, Anita; and he is a keen observer of human nature. We see him emerge as an unlikely hero in the second half of the book.

Prashant is sharp, hedonistic and aggressive. The characters feel real when seen from different angles. Sometimes perceptive and sharp, sometimes laid back and silly. It takes them through a path of self-discovery and courage and belief. The description of places, people and situations is very well penned.

The only thing that bothered me was the pace. It is a pretty slow moving murder-mystery/thriller. It could have done with some wheels I guess. But the suspense is quite gripping. The language is simple and easy. Even the long sentences are easily digestible. Aditya shows good writing skills and holds your attention.

Thankfully this “coming-of-age” novel isn’t about love, campus, girls, and the “regular” experiences of writers. This one is “hatke”.



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Book Review of “Mary Mary” By James Patterson


By James Patterson


In this book by JP, we see FBI Agent Alex Cross enjoying a vacation with his family in Disneyland when he is called for work.

A famous actress has been shot dead outside her home in Beverley Hills. And the serial- killer might be a woman. And “she” is after such “Hollywood” type mothers for some reason known only to her, of course it is all revealed only towards the end. And the clues left behind are totally twisted and confusing, naturally.

Shortly after the murder, a Los Angeles Times editor receives an email describing the murder, and signed, Mary Smith. More killings are threatened, and sure enough, they happen, with similar emails sent to the same editor. Mary also kills “men” and sends out emails “before” the crime happens, to break the pattern. Somehow there is an arrest made, but Alex isn’t sure it’s the right person. Soon he finds himself being targeted as well.

A cold case of 20 years before and some brilliant detective work by Cross leads him to the real killer.

Amidst all the work fiasco, Alex is fighting a custody battle for his younger son. Could life give him any more lemons!?! Yes, it could and surely does. A journalist, stalking Alex’s personal matters, keeps distracting Alex’s attention. And his newest relationship with San Francisco police detective Jamilla starts to face the grunt of it all.

It is a fast-paced read that is pretty entertaining, mysterious and full of suspense. The flow and pace is maintained throughout. The plot is neat and the twists and turns gripping.

It is interesting how the book opens with the thoughts of a killer. It gets you hooked from the every first line.

This is a thriller sure, and you’d notice a bit of character development too. Good or bad – you decide. I could feel a cop’s perspective and thought process. Alex is amongst those dedicated cops who’d give their lives for an investigation to reach its fruitful end.

I liked it for its quick, breezy readable quality.


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Book Review of “Double Cross” By James Patterson

Double Cross

By James Patterson


This one was a fairly simple and fast-paced murder mystery, but definitely not worthy of being called the “classic Alex Cross series”.

Alex has a new girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, and life seems to be going on smoothly for a bit. But not for long.

Kyle Craig (a villain resurrected from a previous novel) breaks out of a super-max jail in a rather interesting and unusual way to seek his revenge from Cross.

Another criminal, under the acronym DCAK (District of Columbia Audience Killer), is on a killing spree but ensures that his executions have a sizeable audience. So much so that he sets up his own web site and live video feed to air his artistic carnage.

This pair of killers seek Cross’s attention and blood!

Alex and Bree get on with the investigation. And what follows is the formulaic Patterson style of action and predictable twists. The quality of Patterson’s writing seems to have dipped immensely in this one.

Thankfully the short chapters make is easy to flip through the book fast.

I wonder why Alex doesn’t show his care/concern for his family as much as he claims to. His family always falls in the line of danger…unprotected!

There seems very little (rather no) character development. The antagonists and protagonists always seem to have enough funds (and ease) to travel the whole world it seems.

There are some high points in the story – but they are covered by contrived plots and the lackluster climax.

Just because I’m a JP fan I picked up the book, but felt cheated and miserable after reading this one.

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