Book Review: Birds of Prey, by Archana Sarat

I love reading crime thriller novels. The genre is such that, if written well, the novel manages to grip me. I think both the cover art and the title itself both appealed to the crime thriller lover. The blurb promised action – a serial killer on the loose, and a policeman trying to catch that killer. Could the book wow me?

Birds of Prey starts out by introducing us to the diligent ex-ACP Anton Pinto as he chases down a criminal. In the second part of the prologue, four years after the first scene, we’re introduced to the criminal of this novel. Anton has resigned from the force, and Rajesh Pandey has come to convince him to rejoin the force to help the investigation. Having managed to do so, the novel turns to the investigation, how Pinto meets with the family of the victims and then begins to put the pieces of the jigsaw into place. On an alternate angle, we are taken through the mindset of Swarna, who works at a school, and her past. That past is not a happy one, and at some trigger, Swarna relives those memories.

A must-have aspect in any thriller genre novel is pace. I think this book gets a tick in that aspect. The novel managed to keep me engaged from start to finish. It was quick read as well. I may have taken four hours or so to finish it. The writing is simple, flowing and easy to understand. The chapters aren’t too long either, and that added to the pace of the novel. I like the character sketches; those of Anton and Swarna are quite well done. The strengths and weaknesses of both are quite easy to notice. Diligent and work-oriented Anton makes a wonderful detective, I feel. He’s also committed to bringing the perpetrator to justice. Swarna’s character develops slowly too, and with that character, a sense of pathos develops for her character too. The reason for the victims being chosen, as well as the motive for the crime, makes sense psychologically.

I think it’s quite easy to know the “who”. There are novels where the “who” is known almost right from the onset, and the “how” or the “why” helps the book along, making the pages turn. This is one. I’d have loved it more if there was the mystery of the “who” too. The way the sexual abuse is described is very visual. The genre calls for it, and the author takes it on unflinchingly, and does a commendable job too. A part of me wishes that it wasn’t as visual and gory as it was though. The initial part of the prologue helped to put some aspects of Pinto’s character in my mind. A flipside of that prologue is that I wanted to know more about the case that prompted him to leave the force. I wonder if that case will be a future book from the author. It would be interesting, I feel.

I think I’d definitely re-read this book, but not in the near future. Birds of Prey is a well knit fiction from a very promising author that leaves me waiting for more in the genre from her pen.


A Score Of 8 Out Of 10
Book Details
Title: Birds of Prey
Author(s): Archana Sarat Genre: Psychological Thriller
ISBN/ASIN: 9789385854200 Publisher: Readomania

No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.


(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
19th August 2017)

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Birds of Prey, by Archana Sarat

  1. I loved your review – I felt quite the same when I read it. I remember finding it gory but you are right when you say the topic asked for it and she did take it on well. Knowing the ‘who’ was also a bit of a let down but I loved Anton’s character and the fact that he had a back story.

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