Category Archives: Thriller

Read 75 of 2022. The Island by Adrian McKinty

The Island by Adrian McKinty

Title: The Island
Author: Adrian McKinty
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 978-0316531283
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4/5

It had been a while since I read a good thriller, and I am so glad I decided to read this one. Also, do not go on a vacation to an island. After reading this book, I sure wont. The Island is well about an island called Dutch Island that is menacing. The people there have their own rules, it is surrounded by shark-infested waters, it is a dry place, and of course a family is at major risk, due to a certain chain of events.

Tom Baxter and his new wife Heather and his children Olivia and Owen thought this would be a regular vacation. Heather wanted to bond with the children and well, the others just wanted to see Australia, till they veer off the beaten track and enter the Island, where they have to be on their feet, if they want to live.

The Island brings to fore so many characters and situations, just like a good pot-boiler should. The twists in the tale are plenty, and not for once does the book bore or disappoint you. The writing is obviously fast paced as McKinty keeps us guessing what will happen next. You cannot put this down once started and I absolutely enjoyed this one.

Read 22 of 2022. The Village of Eight Graves by Seishi Yokomizo. Translated from the Japanese by Bryan Karetnyk

The Village of Eight Graves by Seishi Yokomizo

Title: The Village of Eight Graves
Author: Seishi Yokomizo
Translated from the Japanese by Bryan Karetnyk
Publisher: Pushkin Vertigo
ISBN: 978-1782277453
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 352
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 2.5/5

I was so looking forward to reading a good mystery and was disappointed to some extent by this read. The pacing clearly was one of the major reasons for this. It went on to become too long after a certain point, and I wish it had ended earlier.

Tatsuya Terada has been invited to become the heir of a wealthy Tajimi family in a remote mountain village. The village gets its name from a bloody legend of eight samurais who were murdered by the inhabitants in the 16th century, letting loose a curse. Recently someone from the Tajimi family has murdered thirty-two villagers.

Tatsuya goes to the village only to become the prime suspect. Enter, Kosuke Kindaichi – a very hapless detective trying to solve the murders.

The writing is interesting in the first half and then it loses steam in the second half. I found myself getting bored and I wish there was more to the unfolding of the story. The characters are well-rounded and yet the plot doesn’t take it any far. The translation by Bryan Karetnyk manages to give the reader the much-needed imagination when it comes to a mystery and maintain the hold on conversation as well.

The Village of Eight Graves could’ve been so much more and isn’t. It would for sure make for a great binge-worthy Netflix series, but as a book it disappointed me for sure.

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

The Last House Guest

Title: The Last House Guest
Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Atlantic Books
ISBN: 978-1786492913
Imprint: Corvus
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 stars

I’d forgotten how much fun it is to read a thriller. I was too caught up reading literary fiction, till I picked up this thriller I had requested from Atlantic Books UK, and couldn’t stop reading it until I was done. That’s the true worth of a great thriller, I guess. You have to read it in one-sitting. The Last Guest House has all the tropes of a good thriller – environment, the right kind of pace, characters that are being looked on with suspicion, police that are clueless and earnest at the same time, and a local detective who seems to know it all.

The Last House Guest is about a wealthy woman named Sadie who dies unexpectedly on a holiday. The destination: Littleport, Maine – a vacation spot for the wealthy, and the people in the town who take care of them. Friendship strikes between a visitor and a local – Sadie Loman and Avery Greer. A solid friendship – that comes to an abrupt end when Sadie is found dead, and well of course the one under big-time suspicion is Avery.

You might think you know how this will pan out (as did I) but you are wrong (as was I). The thriller elements of The Last House Guest , like I said are just about right – including the timeline jump – past to present which works all the time for me as a reader. The twists and turns seemed generic sometimes, but I am willing to let go of that because the story reads in a very straightforward manner and that helps. The book does pack in the right amount of punch (apologies for using this word), just that sometimes you also wish that there was more of the characters’ backstory and motivations. All in all, a great read – a thriller I enjoyed after a long time.

Beast by Krishna Udayasankar

Beast by Krishna Udayasankar Title: Beast
Author: Krishna Udayasankar
Publisher: Penguin eBury Press
ISBN: 978-0143444480
Genre: Thriller, Fantasy
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 stars

So, I must admit that I do not read Indian crime or fantasy. That’s just my preference and nothing to do with how its written. Although this time I made an exception and deep-dived into “Beast” by Krishna Udayasankar and loved every bit of it. I think it had to do a lot also with the pacing, beside most things. It works superbly for a novel of this nature – a novel steeped in mystery, reads like an action thriller (is also by the way), and interspersed richly with fantasy, character development and parallel running storylines that do not lose sight of overall plot.

Beast is an urban fantasy thriller, deeply set in Indian myths and legends. Krishna Udayasankar doesn’t stray from what she knows best and that’s fantastic to me as a reader. I’ve read Immortal and loved the way the story was told. The narration of Three left me stunned. And might I also add, that her books grow on you. The narration grabs you and then you are hooked. Beast delivers on all of this and more.

Aditi Kashyap, the assistant commissioner of police is called to solve a gory triple homicide in a Mumbai suburb. The story starts this way and before you know it, she is a part of the terrifying world of the Saimhas – werelions, who live alongside humans since ancient times. She joins hands with Prithvi, an Enforcer called on to solve this case and hunt the murderer. That is the plot in a nutshell.

Udayasankar’s writing is detailed, rich, and her dialogues are absolutely on-point. No sentence is out of place. No one is out of character at any point and of course the female agency that Aditi has is much-needed in art. And might I also add that this isn’t your cliché werewolf story, if that’s what you think it is. Not at all. Far from it. I loved the  friendship between characters The friendship and camaraderie was something else and worked like a charm – the one that you can perhaps relate to in daily life.

Beast most certainly also needs a sequel to answer some plot points, however, that’s just my POV. The book is extremely entertaining, and if you like a good fantasy-cum-thriller, this is the book for you. Hands Down! Even if you don’t like this genre, pick up the book.

 

The Favourite Sister by Jessica Knoll

40114286

Title: The Favourite Sister
Author: Jessica Knoll
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 978-1509839964
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3 Stars

I did not think I would enjoy this book the way I ended up enjoying it. It is fast, breezy and extremely relevant to our times and the world we live in. Brett and Kelly are sisters who are the jewels of a New-York based reality television show called Goal Diggers. And this is where their rivalry begins. It is a show for the winning and there are three other competitive women participating in the show, besides the sisters.

This is where they begin to drift and all the secrets and lies and more secrets enter the picture, as expected. Till something happens (you guessed it right!) and things take a turn for the worst. The characters are etched well, though I did find some inconsistencies in some places, but that is all forgiven because the plot is so strong. The elements are the same – jealousy, money, fame, greed and control, which are the hallmarks of a good thriller.

Knoll builds the novel to a great climax and that is the beauty of this book. Sometimes it does feel like a drag but persist a little for the good parts to come. “The Favourite Sister” makes for a good flight read.