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Publisher: HarperCollins India
Pages: 336
Price: Rs. 299 INR(Paperback), Rs. 179 INR(Kindle Edition)
ISBN: 978– 9352776016
Buy here: https://amzn.to/2vFHtT5

Sandy Raman, stringer for the BBC, lives as a paying guest with the Sawants, a regular, quiet, Indian family. Or so she thought. Until she woke up to a woman with a knife … and a dark secret. It is only after she runs a sting operation on a home for the differently abled that Sandy makes a connection between an institute acting as a front for something sinister and the strange family she lives with. Chasing the truth up a trail of brutal murders, Sandy must evade the grasping clutches of a thriving sex racket and expose the predators before her time runs out.

About the author:

Nish Amarnath debuted as an author at eighteen with The Voyage to Excellence, a critically acclaimed business biography. She has received awards for her short stories from Scholastic and Infosys, among others. Amarnath was managing editor at Euromoney Institutional Investor and a senior journalist at S&P Global, formerly McGraw Hill Financial, where she was nominated for the Alerian MLP Awards [AMMYS] in 2017. She previously led a public diplomacy mandate for the UK Government on behalf of an affiliate of French multinational, Publicis Groupe. Her articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Street, International Business Times, India Today, The Hindu, The New Indian Express and Times of India’s city supplements, among others. She holds post-graduate degrees in media communications and journalism from The London School of Economics and Columbia University, where she was a James W. Robins reporting fellow. Her enterprise story, ‘Citi and its Scuffle with the Watchdogs’, originally a Master’s thesis for Columbia University reviewed by Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind, was published separately as a book in 2014. A former Londoner, she now lives in New York City.

My take on the book:

Sandhya a nineteen-year-old young journalist just lost her boyfriend to a terrorist attack in Mumbai; shattered, Sandy heads for her higher education to Britain and stays with an Indian family, the Sawants, as paying guest. The Sawants are mysterious from day one as each family member has his or her  own set of secrets which Sandy keeps stumbling on one after the other. As Sandy starts working with the BBC as an intern, she come across a home which is strange with different types of people housed in it. What adds to Sandy’s suspicion are toddlers housed here without their parents around.

 Sandy puts her journo hat on and runs a sting operation only to find that the Sawants also frequented this place, then receives a warning mail to stay away from this home and to mind her business. The darkness around her seems to be getting murkier as she finds Nirmal Sawant, the elder son of the Sawants and her boyfriend, spotted in an  inebriated state, only to be declared by the  doctors as a case of drug overdose from a possible spiking of drink. As one scenario leads to another, Sandy suspects everyone around her including Nimmy’s friends. What will Sandy unravel in this quest to find the truth and what skeletons are hidden that can possibly stumble down from the Sawants’ abode forms the rest of the story.

The cover, title and blurb are intriguing enough for any reader pick up this book. From the word go, the Sawants come across as a mysterious family  hiding a bunch of secrets. The author dedicates the first few chapters in establishing the characters and the work that Sandy is going to do further. The build up to the suspense is a bit slow for a thriller as the  reader needs to be patient for the first 50–100 pages for the story to pick up. If the reader is aware of the place the story happened, it adds to the experience as the author makes the place and surroundings an integral part of the story. 

The narration feels a bit slow at the beginning and picks up pace as the author reveals the suspense in bits, throwing in clues and details at regular intervals. Sandy is sure to hold the reader’s attention with a wonderful character graph, and the author also succeeds in making most characters appear mysterious. The book is a must read for fans of thriller and suspense genres and those who prefer an intelligent protagonist trying to work on clues and revealing the final truth.

My rating: