Blurb: What made him a serial killer? Was he born with homicidal tendencies? Did a harrowing childhood render him criminally insane? The questions haunt, Additional Commissioner of Police, Maithili Prasad as she discovers the horrific murders across Mumbai. As she spearheads the greatest manhunt in Mumbai s history, she’s determined to contain the reign of terror unleashed by the ruthless serial killer. But before that she must grapple with her personal demons that surface to plague her with self-doubt. Just as it seems that Maithili has begun to understand the deep-rooted resentment that drives the serial killer, he turns around and makes her the object of his revenge. Will she emerge unscathed from this ordeal? This thrilling narrative of a serial killer s life and the unusual and challenging investigation to catch him, uncovers a chilling trail of unspeakable torment and cruelty the tale of… Raakshas.
About the Author: Piyush Jha is an acclaimed film director, ad filmmaker and the author of bestselling crime-fiction novels. A student political leader at university, he pursued a career in advertising management after acquiring an MBA degree. Later, he switched tracks, first to make commercials for some of the country s largest brands, and then to write and direct feature films. Piyush’s films Chalo America, King of Bollywood and Sikandar are noted for their unconventional subject matter and for their relevance to contemporary society. Piyush’s earlier novels Mumbaistan, Compass Box Killer and Anti-Social Network are page-turners that explore the gritty, noir landscape of crime in Mumbai. Currently, Piyush is developing a crime-based TV show for a leading entertainment channel and he s also working on his next feature film as a director/writer. Raakshas- India s No. 1 Serial Killer is Piyush’s fourth crime thriller novel.
Review: I received a copy of this book from WritersMelon for review. The book has been published by Westland which was launched at the Crime Writers Festival at Delhi. Having read author Piyush Jha’s earlier books, his new book grabbed my attention very easily. His earlier books were about detectives, and this time Raakshas is on serial-killers. As this theme is also one among the crime, suspense & thriller genres I just could not wait to read it. The tale is a gripping storyline of a serial killer’s life and the extraordinary and exigent enquiry to catch him while edifying a frightening shadow of awful anguish and nastiness. Raakshas was the name that serial killer’s grandmother slapped on his forehead as soon as he was born, the name that came to define his life and the way he was destined to live it, the name that slipped deep into his heart and became a cancer that could not be cursed. Just 10 pages into the book and I was happy that the author did not disappoint me and it deserves to be filmed. The development of the characters with the story has been author’s greatest strength. Not just in general but the psychological state of each character has been written well. Whatever the characters do, are vindicated. It was easy for me to get into the head of the killer, in the way the character was represented. The novel was fast paced and it took me just few hours to complete as it was really very interesting. The book has been written very well with simple language. I loved that the hero is a woman IPS officer who carries out hazardous enquiries to nab the criminal which is definitely an off the point from author’s usual pattern of portraying women as negative characters in his earlier stories. The story as I kept on flipping I could comprehend how the mind of the monstrous criminal had worked as the personality was so well shaped. I liked that part where the serial killer takes the camouflage of Ruzbeh and wears Salwar kameez, who comes to shot the cop hero (Maithili Prasad), but instead she shots him and before he dies he passes a pen drive to her with all the answers to his crimes. ‘Raakshas’ is an examination of human inspiration that forces one on the path of good or evil. The plot of the book is compounded by the background of a swarming metropolitan area that appends to the complications. A distressing happening in upbringing and adolescence absolutely sends/makes one go behind the path of diverse conduits. In the present case one is moved by responsibility to become a meticulous advocate of law and order and other ones malformed by rejection and brutality turns into an unconscionable serial killer. The book has a surprise in form of a bonus section which clears the air that serial killing is not solely a western phenomenon. This section throws light on a whole bunch of serial killers in India and the youngest serial-killer in the world is an Indian. I highly recommend this book to everyone irrespective of preferring crime/thriller genre.
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