What a joy this biography is.

An absolute delight to read and oh-so interesting to learn about a fascinating historical figure, about whom I was – admission time – hitherto woefully ignorant.

The life of Farzana, known as Begum Samru, is a classic rags-to-riches story, told with verve and much admiration, by the late Ms Keay.

Born, an illegitimate girl, in the mid-18th century into poverty, sold off by her impoverished mother to become a “nautch” girl (a dancer -cum-prostitute) theoretically Farzana had absolutely nothing going for her in life. She could have easily slipped into sad oblivion.

But this young lady was obviously ambitious and had a vision of her own future which did not involve a life in the red-light district. She lived with a foreign mercenary two decades her senior, and as she moved around north India with the hapless Walter Reinhardt Sombre, she learned how to manage his mercenary troops, how to command their respect, how to manage land and finances.

Even by 21st century standards, Farzana is an impressive figure.

But she was a total anomaly in the 18th century – practically illiterate, riding into battle with her men, respected by both Indians and the foreigners with whom she came into contact. She was fiercely loyal and stood by the Moghul Emperor through his years of turmoil and defeat at the hands of warring factions.

From illiterate poverty to the very heart of Moghul power was a quantum leap for anyone, but for a woman it was even more so. She held her own with men, including the colonial British, yet remained caring and considerate of the hundreds of people who depended on her for their existence, feeding and housing a huge number of people – including the widow of Walter, who lived in her care for decades.

She had estates bestowed on her, she converted to Catholicism & built a lavish church in the north Indian state of Haryana. She rode into battle wearing a turban, she fell in love with a dashing Irish mercenary, smoked hookahs with the men and, amazingly, was admired by the otherwise prim-and-proper British women of colonial India.

Ms Keay tells Farzana’s story, from abject poverty to being the only Catholic ruler in India, with obvious affection and a fair deal of feminist support. Comparing the destinies of another Indian warrior queen, the 13th century Raziya Sultana, Ms Keay writes:

“Historians to a man (gender studies have yet to catch up with Raziya) portray her as a victim of circumstance or a product of wishful romance. Exploits that would surely win approval in the case of a dashing young sultan evidently tax academic credulity when their agent is a gritty young sultana…Farzana has suffered in similar fashion. In fact when scrutinised by those armchair authorities who would interpret the exploits of India’s freelancers to future generations, her reputation has nosedived…”

A page-turning read, in which history is brought alive with colour and ( I warn you) sometimes stomach-churning brutality, I found myself cheering for this remarkable woman.

Highly recommended.

Do read this exciting story (you can order the book using the link below). You absolutely won’t regret it.


Although I tell myself I really don’t care what other people think, secretly I was a little worried at quite how much I enjoyed “Crazy Rich Asians”.

So obviously I googled reviews of the book, & was relieved beyond measure when I read this comment in a 2013 review of the book in the New York Times:

Mr. Kwan knows how to deliver guilty pleasures. He keeps the repartee nicely outrageous, the excess wretched and the details wickedly delectable.”

Wickedly delectable.

Totally spot on.

This book is a light-hearted, un-judge-y romp through the lives and times and shopping binges of the crazily rich of Singapore.

There is delicious designer-name-dropping throughout the novel, and it rapidly becomes totally addictive to see who is buying what and wearing what.

The premise of the book is quite simple.

Rachel Chu, ethnically Chinese but brought up and educated in the US, falls in love with another academic like herself, handsome and charming and low-key Nick Young.

They live together in New York, and life is good.  Until Nick invites her to join him in his home, Singapore, for his best friend’s wedding, where he is best man.

I don’t think I’m spoiling the plot for you when I say that when she visits Singapore, Rachel is confronted with wealth and opulence on a scale she has never imagined (let’s face it, it’s all on a scale that not many of us have imagined).  Nick’s world, the world into which he was born, is that of the uber-rich and as a wealthy single man, he is considered way too valuable a catch to fall into the hands of this unknown, clearly not very wealthy ABC (American Born Chinese).

Plotting and scheming ensue, on a scale that would make old Machiavelli himself blush.

Nick is blisffully in love, and blissfully unaware of how much of a catch he is considered to be, and totally unaware of the lengths to which his family will go to put a spanner in the works.

The wedding that is the anchor-point of the novel is so grand and so opulent that you literally can’t stop turning the pages, to see just what excessive display of wealth will come next.

Quick aside: I live in India, where eye-wateringly expensive weddings take place.  Fortunes are spent on impressing everyone how wealthy you are, so the excesses of the Colin & Araminta wedding didn’t strike me as being in the realm of fiction.  I could even imagine some Indian mothers of the bride reading this novel and thinking “Ah, now I could do that for my daughter’s wedding…”

But I digress.

This is a jolly, happy read – though I did shed a tear at one point, I must confess.  The opulence and wealth and sheer bonkers-ness of the excesses of the idle rich are vicariously fun to read.  I mean, who doesn’t dream of climate controlled wardrobes, with different temperatures for the shoes and the furs?  And a camera in the mirror that takes a photo of you, and records what you’re wearing, thus ensuring you never repeat an outfit?

The city state of Singapore is depicted with great affection by Mr. Kwan, and the descriptions of the gardens of Nick’s ancestral home are lyrical and beautiful.

This is a fun read, showcasing the struggle for true love, and good vs evil.  And lots of fabulous frocks.

Enjoy this “wickedly delectable” novel.

And don’t even feel guilty about so doing for a moment.

Go on!

Order the book now.

You know you want to!


Having developed a bit of an infatuation with Inspector Samuel Tay, right from the moment I encountered him in “The Ambassador’s Wife”, I am happy to announce that he is still every bit my hero/anti-hero in the second of what one hopes will be an endless series of crime whodunnits.

Just like the first Inspector Tay novel, “The Umbrella Man” starts out with a bang, plunging the reader straight into the action. This time, however, the bang isn’t just  a metaphor.  Singapore explodes, as a series of bombs rips the heart out of Orchard Road.  The descriptions of the terror and destruction of one of the world’s major shopping streets is chilling.


Sometimes, where you are physically when you read a book, or write down your thoughts (like here, in this review) does impact you.  So the fact that I am writing this while my daughter tells me from her carphone that there are bomb threats in Delhi, as she drives home through lunatic traffic, only made these scenes of the book even more frightening.

Mr. Needham skilfully weaves fact and fiction together, putting his fictional characters in real life Singaporean locations.  When he talks of  Ngee Ann City, one knows exactly where the drama is taking place.  The corner of Scott and Orchard Road, and the poor Marriott hotel, which featured so unflatteringly in the opening scene of “The Ambassador’s Wife”, bear the brunt of the explosions.  But who would do this?  Who would attack Singapore?  What had this tiny country done to “deserve” such an attack?


The heart is ripped out of the tiny island state, and Inspector Tay is eager to be part of the team investigating this unprecedented horror.  But his previous run in with the Americans in “The Ambassador’s Wife” means that he is off the team.  The Americans bring pressure to bear and the Singaporeans bow to them, and Inspector Tay of the CID is sidelined.  And is furious.


Never a big fan of the Americans at the best of times, this situation only inflames his temper and Grumpy-Old-Man-ism:


He sulks, he mooches around, his poor Sergeant bears the brunt of his temper :


And of course he thinks and smokes and thinks some more and smokes a lot more and…but I am not going to spoil the plot, never fear.

Themes that began in the first book are continued here –  his dislike for the Americans for example.  His love of smoking, which is such a no-no in Singapore that he takes a positive pleasure in smoking wherever and whenever he can.  It is a testimony to Mr. Needham’s writing and to Inspector Tay’s brilliantly grumpy nature, that even though I hate smoking, I secretly cheer each time Sam lights up where he isn’t supposed to, or drops a butt where is is forbidden.



And it is this instinctive bridling against authority that leads to one of the dilemmas/controversies/call it what you will/ surrounding this book.

Basically, the powers that be in Singapore were a tad under-whelmed by the portrayal of their country in Mr. Needham’s first Inspector Tay book, and so this second novel was never published there.  Here, read the author’s own words on the subject –  he explains it way better.

Mr. Needham clearly knows Singapore and Singaporeans in great depth, and is not shy about speaking his mind.  Well, Inspector Tay’s mind :


Another great story.

Sam Tay is way up there with my favourite literary men.

And I can’t wait for the next book.

Enthusiastically recommended, and if you feel so inlined, you can order the book right now, by clicking on one of the links below:

FINAL CUT by Uday Gupt


I was sent this recently published collection of short stories and a novella to review by www.marketmybook.in, and though I have taken a while to review it – to my shame – it was nothing to do with quality of the writing, rather my own too-busy-to-find-enough-time-to-read life.

Mr. Gupt is a skilled and accomplished writer, and his stories cover many different areas of life with equal ease – colonial history, the Naxalite movement, business tycoons – and I enjoyed them all.

There is, however, one big drawback to a good short story.

And that is its very shortness.

Caught up in the adventure of the opening story in the collection, “Hodson’s Gold”, I was taken aback to turn the page to find it had finished, leaving me with an admittedly good, clever puzzling ending, but actually wanting more…

Also, this story –  because of its historical markers –  made me want to learn more about Major WSR Hodson, whom I knew only as a controversial 19th century figure, and founder of Hodson’s Horse.  Now, however, I want to know whether he also…ah, but I musn’t spoil the surprise for you.

It’s a great read.

This colonial/history-based story segues into another tale from a completely different world, that of West Bengal and the early days of the Naxalite movement.  This story, “Friends” has such a clever ending that I can’t tell you any more, or I would spoil it…it certainly tool me by total surprise.

Yet another really clever ending (that I also absolutely didn’t see coming) was in the interesting “Will Reena?”

Mr. Gupt is super skilled at pulling a surprise out of the bag in the closing sentences of his stories, making you think “Now why in earth didn’t I see THAT coming…”

Great collection, and I look forward to reading more of this talented writer in the future.


The physical book looks good, especially the cover, which I like very much indeed.

But Mr. Gupt has been poorly served by his editors.

There are far too many sloppy typos that simply shouldn’t be there, such as inconsistent spacing/use of hyphens, all of which are (I instinctively feel) not the writer’s error.





If you use foreign words  – Get Them Right.  Please.

It is NOT nom-de-gurre.

Nor is it a la carté.

If you don’t know, ask that clever Mr. Google.

Such silly carelessness spoils what is otherwise a good read.

But don’t let that put you off reading “Final Cut”, please, and if you wish to buy the book, nothing could be easier.  Just click on the link below :

Published in 2013 by Frog Books, the paperback costs Rs 195/$10


The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling

Had I heard of the book and/or Robert Galbraith before the latter was unmasked as J.K.Rowling?


Did I read “The Cuckoo’s Calling” because of the above ?


Is it a good read, regardless of who wrote it?

Yes, yes and yes.

As a non Harry Potter fan (I read the first tome years ago out of a sense of duty, and that was it.  Just couldn’t hack the others) I didn’t approach “The Cuckoo’s Calling”  – as some people seem to have done – out to find as many clues as possible that, yes, well, obviously, now you mention it, of course it must have been written by J.K.Rowling.

I read it as a stand alone novel that caught my fancy (because of the author thing, obviously) and it is a great, wonderful read.

I think (and hope and pray) that we might just have here the emergence of a fab new detective (and his indomitable sidekick) in the form of Cormoran Strike and the wonderful, so young but oh-so-wise Robin Ellacott.  In other words, Ms Rowling, please, please write a new adventure, and soon.

Mr. Strike is, on the face of it, an unlikely hero.  Overweight, one-legged, down on his luck. He drinks too much, smokes too much, wears crumpled clothes and is in a toxic relationship.

He is 100% human, basically, and that is why you relate to him immediately.  A clumsy, flawed man whose heart is in the right place, who is intuitively clever with cold facts but pretty lousy with those people who care for him the most –  what is not to like and love about the shambling Cormoran?  Plus brainy  = sexy.

Young Yorkshire born (yaay!!) Robin is cool perfection personified, and what I wouldn’t give to have her run and organise my life, the way she organises Cormoran Strike, her supposedly temp boss.

Since this is a crime thriller, I will not spoil the plot.  Worry not.

Suffice it to say that “The Cuckoo’s Calling” is a page turner of note, and that the city of London is more than just a scenic backdrop to the action.  London is fabulously evoked, in all her endlessly dug up roads and traffic jams and noise.  The flaky fashionistas who people the book, the down on their luck characters who wander in and out of the narrative, the cocky cops –  they are all brilliantly depicted.

Loved the book.  Can’t wait for the next one, in what I do hope will become a series.

Jut one teeny weeny quibble.  Not wild about the title.

I read “The Cuckoo’s Calling” on my Kindle (while camping at 5000+metres in the Himalayas, if you must know).

Published in April 2013.


If you wish to read the book now, after reading my review, couldn’t be simpler.  Just click on any of the links below:

The Sea of Innocence by Kishwar Desai


I first discovered the talented author Kishwar Desai and her eminently likeable heroine Simran Singh, in “Witness the Night” which I reviewed in 2011.  So I was thrilled to be sent a copy of Ms Desai’s latest novel “The Sea of Innocence” and asked to review it.

Simran Singh really is an engaging heroine and in this bang up to date novel – it takes place over New Year 2012/2013 with the horrors of the Dec 16th Delhi gang-rape case as a leitmotiv – we meet our feisty, middle-aged, smoking, drinking, slightly overweight heroine as she holidays in Goa.

Now, I haven’t been to Goa in aeons –  well, in about 22 years – so that means that it will have changed out of all recognition.  20 years in post liberal-economy India usually means a major change and –  dare I say it –  not always for the better.  So the Goa I knew –  sleepy, very few tourists, one restaurant worth its salt, 2 good hotels –  is, I know, hopelessly out of date.

Simran goes through the same experience :

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I fully empathise.

But, my word, the Goa of “The Sea of Innocence” is an edgy, not very nice place at all.  Beneath the holiday veneer of beach shacks and playing on the beach, of swimming and buying sarongs, there is a seething underworld of drugs, sex, gambling and worse.  Ms Desai brings this parallel world out of the shadows and into the limelight with devastating force.

Simran and her adopted daughter are in Goa for their Christmas and New Year break, with a brief to relax, unwind and spend some quality time together, but events soon overtake them.  Simran, in her role of social worker (and pretty smart investigator) becomes embroiled in a murder case that leads her deeper and deeper into the murky underbelly of Goa.

Ms Desai is an accomplished writer and the story grabs you by the throat from the very first sentence, and  the pace and suspense never let up until the closing paragraph.  Obviously I am not going to be a spoil sport and reveal too much of the plot and certainly not the ending, but there were twists and turns that caught me unawares right until the final pages, making this an addictive read.

The suspected rape of a young British girl – not Scarlett Keeling, though this poor child is referred to many times in the novel – takes place against the backdrop of sea and sun, whilst back in Simran (and this reviewer’s) home town, Delhi, the city explodes in cold, wintery anger at the horrors of December 16th :



Though the topic is grim, the story has many moments of lightheartedness and the descriptions of Goa are great fun.

Ms Desai  –  through Simran –  often compares the Goa of January 2013 to the Goa that she (and I ) knew 20 odd years ago.  Compared to the hidden ruthlessness of Goa circa 2013, the Goa of ageing Western hippies like Stanley seems positively innocent.  Guitar strumming under a banyan tree and smoking joints in the forest seem benign compared to the tawdriness of offshore floating casinos.  And yet how freaky those self-same hippies seemed 20 years ago…

Stanley, who lives in an apparent drug induced haze most of the book, is shown to be more than aware of the ravages of what passes for progress in India :



A good read.

Thoroughly recommended.

And, yet again, let me repeat what I said in my review of “Witness the Night” –  I do like Simran Singh very much indeed.

Published in late April 2103 by Simon & Schuster, the paperback costs Rs 350 in India.

Now, having read this review, if you would like to but the book, nothing could be simpler. Just click on any of the links below :

Shoes of the Dead by Kota Neelima

Shoes of the Dead
I was sent a copy of “Shoes of the Dead” and asked to review it, and so let me start this review by saying a big thank you to blogadda.com.  Thanks to them I have just read a fabulous book, and have discovered Kota Neelima, an author who is an amazingly talented writer and story teller.

This novel is a piece of committed, erudite and yet 100% gripping writing about the contemporary political and social scene in India.  Ms Neelima explores with equal skill and dexterity the corridors of power in Delhi and the ground realities of the tragic, ongoing phenomenon in India of farmers’ suicides.

With poverty-driven suicides as the central topic of the novel, “Shoes of the Dead” is never going to be a light fluffy read.  Instead it is robust, riveting and heart-breaking at times.

(Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the plot).

You are engaged from the opening page, as you are led deeper and deeper into the web of political machinations that try to extract self-serving political benefit from the deaths of desperate men. The author clearly knows her way through the bureaucracy and the murky world of politics in India, and the quality of her writing and story telling bears this out.  What is impressive is that her descriptions of life in the rural cotton belt of Mityala district are every bit as compelling.
The narrative moves seamlessly between the manicured lawns of grave and favour Lutyens bungalows in New Delhi and, in stark contrast, the parched infertile farm land of what she terms “South Central India”

What I especially liked about Ms Neelima’s writing is that she never once reduces any of her characters to a stereotype, even though they are all there – the political Mr Fix It, the son with a sense of deep entitlement, the ruthless moneylender, the honest farmer.   In the hands of a less gifted writer, these men might have become 2 dimensional stereotypes, but in Ms Neelima’s skilful hands, they leap from the page, fully fleshed out, believable characters.

I loved the book, was deeply moved by the ending (which I absolutely didn’t see coming) and as an exposé of the manipulation of well-intentioned poverty alleviation schemes, “The Shoes of the Dead” cannot be bettered.

Ms Neelima’s writing is elegant and a pleasure to read :



She has her finger firmly on the pulse of contemporary Delhi, sharing with her readers the incongruous sight of unbelievably expensive cars staying in low gear because of the mind-numbing traffic.  Just this last week, this reviewer saw a bright orange Lamborghini stuck in the mother of all traffic jams for such a long time that everyone (reviewer included) was hopping out of their equally immobile cars to take photos of said OTT car.




The writer observes the manipulative, cynical workings of the New Delhi political machine with cool insight :




And she is equally eloquent about the dashed hopes of those born into poverty :







Her description of desperately poor patients waiting at a government hospital is moving in its sadness :



Thoroughly recommended.


Published in 2013 by Rainlight by Rupa, the nice looking hardback is priced at Rs 495.


As I said earlier in this review, the ending took me by surprise, and I closed the book both sadder and wiser.  This is a well written, good read.  What are you waiting for ?

You can buy the book right now, by clicking on one of the links below :


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How many gushing adjectives can one use to describe a wonderful book?


Well written.


Realistic.  This book was all of these and more.

All the time I was reading this book,  I kept saying “yes,” simply because so much of it was so familiar.

I live in India. This book would seem to be set in Pakistan.

I live in Delhi and I think this book is meant to be set in Lahore, and so there was so much about the descriptions and the people and the lives described that was instantly recognisable, and there is nothing like feeling a comfortable, knowledgeable insider, to add enjoyment to the reading of a book.

I said that I thought the book was set in Pakistan and that it was probably set in Lahore.

That is because no proper names are used in the book. We do not even know the name of the protagonist – except that since the book is written in the second person, the “you” the writer addresses could well be you the reader/or me the reader. So “you” does not have a name, and people are referred to throughout by a descriptive tag that never changes nor evolves over the decades covered in the book. The pretty girl of the early chapter remains the pretty girl despite age and frailty…but I will not spoil the end, worry not.

Mr. Hamid is a staggeringly good writer (clever sounds almost condescending) and his talent fizzes through the book.

Firstly the way he used the second person without ever alienating you the reader/me the reader. It sounds so natural that you go along with his conceit. His descriptions of the countryside, the city, the country (which could be Pakistan, could be India) are perfect. I caught myself, time and again, saying “yes, that is exactly the way x, y, or z happens/looks/sounds” even though we are not entirely sure where the book takes pace. Now if that isn’t fabulously brilliant writing, I don’t know what is.

Mr. Hamid uses the format of a self help book, and each chapter contains a new message for “you” the reader.

Education, love, work, family, religion, bureaucracy – the writer skilfully steers we the readers through all the different chapters of life, and as “you” climb your way up and out of grinding rural poverty into middling commercial success, there is a chapter of advice to accompany “you” on the journey.
If I am making a bit of a hash of describing the technique, please rest assured it is clever and slick and also endearing. The writer is omniscient, but always sympathetic and never critical of you/me/we the reader(s).

Plus he is just such a brilliant writer.



One of the most dazzling pieces of writing for me is in the opening chapter of the book when “you” travel on the top of a rickety bus from the countryside to a town.




What writing…

Mr. Hamid has an infallible eye for the people of the subcontinent.

The man described below may well be power walking in Lahore, but I have seem so many of his fellow walkers here in Delhi :




Or this lady: reading this made me feel distinctly uncomfortable, having experienced similar behaviour at first hand :



My uneasiness at the matriarchal behaviour continued as I read more, almost squirming because I have witnessed such moments :




This is literally a countryside-dirt-poor-rags-to-polluted-but-big-city riches story, and it all hinges on certain crucial decisions and opportunities afforded to “you,” such as education :



You/we/the reader gets a chance that the siblings do not have and so life takes a different direction.

This book is a great read, it brilliantly captures the chaos and conflict of the sub-continent.  And it is fun.

And, for this reviewer at least, the innovative writing style “works” so much better than “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.”


Thoroughly recommended.


Published in 2013 by Penguin, the hardback sells for Rs 499 in India.

If you enjoyed reading this review and would now like to read the book, nothing could be easier. Just click on any of the links below :


Disclaimer – if indeed there is a need for one: I was sent this book by the publishers, and asked to review it.

That’s it !


This début novel is an interesting read, which kept me involved until the end, as I read on with growing interest, keen to find out what happens, all the while hoping for a happy ending.

But…No, no, I am absolutely not going to spoil the plot for you, so worry not.

Suffice it to say that the narrative covers the years 1990-1999, and charts the friendship and relationship between a young London based NRI, Abhimanyu, known throughout as Abhi, and his Calcutta based friend Uma.

(Hey, it is written as Calcutta throughout by the author, so I am not being politically incorrect)

They are both doctors (as is the author) so there is a lot of medical speak throughout the book, and much of the story line takes place in and around hospitals.  The couple never physically meets in the book, and the whole narrative takes place via the exchange of letters.  At times, to be honest, this technique jarred, especially when you know that they had well and truly entered the email era.  Why would you write when you could email, was often my rather cynical reaction, but this issue is addressed, late in the book, when Abhi admits to preferring hand written letters to emails.

I like the book, and I am full of admiration (and not a little envy) for a first-time novelist, but there are a few very mild comments, which I hope will be taken in the right spirit.

At times, the “dialogue” seems a little stilted.  I realise these 2 young people who are writing to each other are very clever young people, but all the same, sometimes the writing does seem somewhat stiff :




Or take this, when Abhi is telling Uma about a trip to Italy :



Doesn’t ring true, in the way that other parts of the book do.


This extract, below, however, sounds as though it is written with genuine feeling :



Or this moment, when her college romantic hopes are dashed :





I think when the author speaks with her own voice, from the heart, she is at her best.  When she is trying to impart knowledge to we the reader, she sometimes sounds a little artificial.

I very much look forward to Ms Mukherjee’s next book, and hearing more of her perceptive and intelligent voice.  For she is without question an intelligent narrator.  I want to hear more from her.

Published in 2013 by Fingerprint, the paperback costs Rs 195.

If you wish to buy and read this book, it couldn’t be easier. Just clink on one of the links below :




What an enormously entertaining read “Tantra” is. Haven’t had so much good old-fashioned reading fun in years.  Honestly.

I am not into fantasy fiction, nor am I into vampires, and yet this book –  which has them all in spades –  kept me hooked until the rather puzzling end…I sense a sequel.  Hurray!

Meet the Delhi you/we never knew existed.  I live here, for goodness sake, so I should know…

This is a Delhi where vampires and guardians battle for control of the city, and for the safety of its citizens.  A Delhi full of tantric and sattvic rituals, and of course, full of the more instantly recognizable Delhi types such as this specimen our heroine meets in a bar :

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Ah yes, Anu, our heroine.  Introducing Anu Aggarwal, a tough NRI professional vampire killer, who moves from New York to Delhi, to try and avenge the gruesome death of her boyfriend, Brian.

She moves in with her aunt, Nina, who provides a recognisable foil to Anu’s other life. Nina wants to marry her niece off. Anu wants to kill vampires.
The scene is set for a downright fun read.

The book is well written, crisp, and fast-paced, and there is an underlying wry humour as fantasy meets the 21st century.

Whoever knew vampires checked their email, for example:

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Like Anu, I knew nothing at all about the tantric arts  –  and I don’t think I could have properly explained sattvic, either, before reading this book – but the author wears his obvious scholarship lightly.

Anu has to learn much about the way not only the tantric world operates, but also how Delhi does :


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Poor filing, non-existent back office support – sounds more like a business than a vampire killing unit, but the mission is deadly serious :

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As Anu delves deeper into the occult, and begins to understand the magnitude of the evil forces she is up against,  she even learns to negotiate with her sworn enemies, vampires.  She is a trained vampire killer, but there are times when they are the lesser of 2 evils :

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There is drama, tension, religion, the occult, a love story (that is not concluded in an entirely satisfactory manner, but as I said – I sense a sequel) and there is enough blood and guts to satisfy –  well, a vampire, I suppose.

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Anu is a likeable heroine.  A super-heroine, really, able to do all kinds of amazing things and consumed with an unserving desire to do good.

I like her very much :


Published by Apeejay Stya Publishing in 2013, the paperback costs Rs 195


If you want to buy the book –  and it’s a good read –  then nothing could be easier.  Just click on either of the links below :


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