Posted in Books

Book Review: Mumbaistan, by Piyush Jha

About the author:
Piyush Jha is an acclaimed film director, ad filmmaker and a novelist. This is his first book, a collection of three crime thrillers set in the city of Mumbai. He has also written a novel, Compass Box Killer, which is set in the city of Mumbai as well.

Cover and blurb:
Splatters of blood on a red sky, with the silhouette of Mumbai in the background and a silhouette of a man holding a gun prominently on the cover… a well designed and thrilling cover for sure. The blurb made me even more eager to read it.

My thoughts on the book:
“A potboiling page-turner packed with three main ingredients: entertainment, entertainment and entertainment.”

When a book is endorsed as such, that’ll get expectations rising. Especially if the sub-title says “3 Explosive Crime Thrillers”, and its by an author whose second book was one of the better crime fictions I’ve read recently.

Well, I usually review crime fictions in a particular way, but with this book being a three story collection, I’m having to review it as three separately.

The first story is Bomb Day. It has a love story as its focus, a gangster who has fallen in love with a prostitute, the duo playing with an ATS ACP and trying to nab a terrorist who is the prostitute’s ex-lover. There are bombing attempts, and some things don’t seem as they are. Other wings of the police get involved, and the end is a twist that is, to an extent, expected or predictable. The pace however is quite nice, and kept me engrossed.

The second story is Injectionwala. This has Inspector Virkar as lead investigator. The case involves the organ trading black market, and a doctor named Porus trying to exact revenge on those involved. The story begins with a bang, with the killing of a doctor involved in the trade, one who had caused the death of Porus’ father. The scenes shift between Porus and Virkar after that. Again, this story also has a love angle, with Porus involved with his victim’s daughter, and the passionate and spontaneous sex scenes quite vividly shown. The end here too, to an extent, can be predicted. The pace of the story, however, I found to be slower and more tedious than the first.

The last story is Coma Man. It also has a love angle. But the story is more detailed than the first two. This has a man recovering from a coma after nearly nineteen years, recollecting just his name, his wife’s name and her birthday. With harrowing experiences, he remembers other things. It has much more emotions involved… and an ending that wasn’t as predictable as the first two books. It had all the masala it needed, and coming from an acclaimed film director, I guess this was expected.

Is it entertaining? Yes, indeed it is. Even the usage of Hindi scattered across the book works very well. I enjoyed the read, and I look forward to reading more such thrillers from Piyush’s pen.

Rated a 7 on 10!
Rated a 7 on 10!

Book Details:
Title: Mumbaistan
Author: Piyush Jha
ISBN: 9788129120175
Genre: Thriller
Publishers: Rupa Publications
Price: INR. 195

This book is a personal copy. No payment was taken for this review.
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Shared with Indian Quills Reading Challenge at Tales Pensieve.

(1st Nov, 2013)


Poetry and writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.