Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Review - Compass Box Killer

Compass Box Killer

Author: Piyush Jha
ISBN: 9788129124272
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Rupa
Number of Pages: 234
Genre: Fiction / Crime Thriller
Language: English
Price: Rs. 195 (review copy received from The Tales Pensieve)


About the Book: 

An edge of the seat thriller. Full Jalwa ~ Madhur Bhandarkar
"Akurle is just the first to die. To find who is next, find me first."

One muggy afternoon in Mumbai, a senior police officer is found murdered at his desk. When Inspector Virkar from the Crime Branch arrives at the scene, he finds a cryptic note that spills out of a student s compass box.
Then begins a series of killings and in each, a telltale compass box reveals more clues. Accompanied by the attractive, ambitious TV reporter, Raashi Hunerwal, Virkar has to race against time to catch the Compass Box Killer before the bodies pile up. As the investigation shuttles from Mumbai to Khandala to Belgaum, Virkar is taken deep into a labyrinth of backroom deals that lead to shocking revelations about the ruthless killer s motives.
Swarnali Speaks :

I haven't read film maker and author Piyush Jha's debut, Mumbaistan but heard a lot of good words from people who read it. So, when I found this one was up for review, I decided to grab a copy and see for myself. And no surprises, the book is as good as they say :)
For starters, I highly appreciate the author's attempt at penning an Indian thriller, something that is not so common with most contemporary Indian authors. I have barely read some 3-4 Indian thrillers in the past year and half compared to the tons of romances. And the appreciation is not just for attempting the genre but also skillfully using it to create a total paisa vasool (worth every penny) novel.
The language used in the book is fairly simple which can be read and understood by readers of all kinds. The only problem I had is with a few Marathi phrases the characters use which I could not comprehend. Adding them in the novel gives a nice touch to the book as the reader is reminded of the Mumbai setting but a translation in English right after the Marathi terms would've been really helpful for non-Marathi understanding readers like me. Also, the character of Inspector Virkar has a habit of mouthing colloquial Hindi phrases which I found a little unnecessary in certain cases.
 The book has a very typical Bollywood filmy feel to it which I was expecting . It is a complete entertainer - murders, unidentified mysterious and highly intelligent killer, a very honest and hard working policeman and kick-ass action  sequences seasoned with a fairly good dose of romance. I would definitely love to see this one transformed into a Bollywood movie someday.
The plot is racy and is very well knit. Murders keep coming one after another as the killer escalates in his game leaving behind notes in rusty compass boxes for the Inspector to find and unravel and connect together the pieces of the big jigsaw puzzle. A minor problem would be perhaps with the fact that the characters remain a little sketchy. I would have personally liked a little more detailing with Inspector Virkar's character.
Also, coming from a good publishing house like Rupa, I didn't find any typographical errors in the book, which is a major relief.
All in all, a really good read. I will definitely be picking up Mumbaisatan very soon.

Rating : 4 / 5 

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.


  1. This book looks so scary! I normally run and hide at any hint of violence, but your review makes it sound really intriguing. Have I asked this before? Are you on Goodreads?

  2. Oh I didn't know this type of plot had a typical Bollywood feel to it, but I do like what I've read about it so far. But I really like to read murder mysteries anyway.

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  3. @Amber_Yes, i am on goodreads...already added you :)
    @Cheryl_ Murder mysteries are my absolute faves :)

  4. I normally do not like thrillers, (you know about my obsession with romance), but this review makes m want to read this book!!! ^_^

  5. My first time visiting your blog, and here I found a lot of interesting content .. thanks for sharing ...

  6. The books sounds interesting..Thanks for the review



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