Tag Archives: Pan MacMillan India

The Favourite Sister by Jessica Knoll


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.

Book Review: The Shadow Throne by Aroon Raman

Title: The Shadow Throne
Author: Aroon Raman
Publisher: Pan Macmillan India
ISBN: 978-81-923-9800-6
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 332
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

I am not a fan of thrillers. I do not read them and they do not interest me. There have been times I have picked up a thriller just like that and surprisingly so loved it. This was one of those. I received an advance review copy of one of Pan Macmillan India’s Lead Title, “The Shadow Throne” by Aroon Raman and tore through it one day. It is that good and it is a thriller set in India and Afghanistan.

“The Shadow Throne” starts with a mysterious murder at Qutub Minar, and from there, the book spirals to an ace journalist Chandrasekhar and his cop acquaintance, Inspector Syed Ali Hassan, trying to uncover one of the biggest political and deadly games ever concocted, which could lead to millions losing their lives. This is not where it stops. There is more. There is ISI, the murky world of Pakistan spy and RAW – the Research and Analysis Wing, the uber-agency of Indian Intelligence, which form the core of the book.

This is again not where it stops – there is also a race of people that were thought of was extinct, and they surface as well, a part of a larger scheme – to claim what is theirs.

Amidst all this is Chandra’s history professor friend Meenakshi Pirzada, trying to help him by decoding clues. In novels such as these, there is often mistrust, loyalties are questioned, the best-laid plans go awry, and it all works out in the end. I will not say much about the plot. You need to read the book to discover it and at times be surprised and at others think to yourself, “I knew this was coming”.

The writing is fast-paced (as it should be) and definitely well-researched for a book of this proportion. Aroon Raman does a great job of mixing fact with fiction and keeping the reader on his or her toes throughout. The plot is intricate and needs the kind of detailing as mentioned. The use of Hindi and English is interestingly done and not over-used as well, which could become the case, while writing an Indian Thriller. One of the things that did strike me was the potential this plot had to be made into a film. I am sure it will be done in no time.

Like I said, I normally do not read thrillers but somehow the synopsis of this one prompted me to and I am glad I did. The Shadow Throne is an interesting read. You will finish it in a couple of hours. I loved it. I enjoyed the welcome break from literary fiction and will most certainly be looking forward to his second book.

The title is slated to release on the 11th of September 2012.

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Jeffrey Archer Quiz

So here is the Jeffrey Archer Quiz. You can win, “The Sins of the Father”, his latest book in The Clifton Chronicles. This is the 2nd instalment after Only Time Will Tell. The quiz is on till Thursday, 15th of March 2012, 9 pm. Please leave your answers in the form of a comment. There are 2 copies to be won for 2 winners. Please participate. Please mention your twitter handle (if any) with your answers.

Here we go:

1. When Archer wrote the book, “Shall we tell the President?” who was originally featured as the President of the USA?
2. Which Archer story is about a plot by Saddam Hussein to humiliate the Americans?
3. Which Archer book is about four men and their ambition to become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom?
4. Which Archer book is about two media barons and their battle to control the biggest newspaper empire in the world?
5. Which short story written by Archer in the collection ‘Cat o’ Nine Tales’, is about how a Bombay con artist ends up in the morgue?
6. Which Archer novel starts on 9/11 and features Van Gogh’s last painting?
7. Which Archer novel is the story of revenge when four men plot to recover the money which they lost to a master con man?
8. Which Archer story features a Soviet plot to make Alaska a part of the Soviet Union?
9. Which Archer novel is about two siblings separated at birth and ends dramatically with one of them defending the other in a murder trial?
10. Which Archer story is about the attempts of a US President to remove the CIA chief who is carrying out operations behind his back?