4 Mar 2016

Raakshas ~ Book Review





I finished Raakshas last night and I am still dwelling on the plot. A bit haunting but a wonderful read.

Raakshas by Piyush Jha - A fast paced, spine chilling story of a serial killer and the police officer who’s in pursuit.

Piyush Jha, an acclaimed Bollywood director, is famous for his best selling crime fiction novels. And it’s one genre that always entices me. Do I have to give more reasons to pick this book?

First impression - the cover page is too good and the title, catchy. Raakshas : India’s No. 1 Serial Killer is the story of a young man on a killing spree in the murky streets of Mumbai and how the police department handles the case.

The protagonist is Mallika Prasad, Additional Commissioner of Mumbai, who investigates this maniac serial killer case. Despite having a troubled past, one day she realizes that her dream is to bring justice to the society. She tries hard and plans well for this case but then the killer is always a step ahead of her.

The antagonist, who had a tormented childhood grows up to be a young man only to treat murder and brutality as his normal lifestyle.

Both of their characterization was well crafted with their strong back stories. I found the shades of the characters, especially around the antagonist, were only black and white.

The book is captivating, fast, well-written to hold your attention as soon as you start reading. It only took me few hours to finish. With the good language and impressive narration, I was able to visualize the scenes as they unfolded. The plot was quite interesting but with more consistency and intricate characterization and details, it could have been even better.

The entire story is actually narrated by the cop while I think a two way narration would have given much more thrill to the reader. As a reader, I would have preferred the perspective of the serial killer rather than just the cop's.

The relationship between the serial killer and Mallika could have been more complex. The story would have had definitely piqued the interest if their conversations had been longer and deeper. The descriptions of murders were gruesome and I started getting knots in my stomach. But after a while, they became predictive and those grotesque moments were not much effective.

I liked Mallika's plans to catch the killer. But I was awed by the killer's activities, how he was smooth and smart when it comes to charming his victims, the determination he shows during his hiding after almost getting caught and then especially, his way of clearing the evidence.

The book started with a bang but then the climax fell flat. I think this book deserves a better ending after all. 

Is the story trying to create sympathy towards the young boy or trying to rationalize his reasons for turning into a serial killer? It's unclear. Perhaps that could be taken as a plus for this particular plot.

The bonus section at the end, where the author narrates the real life incidents of some infamous gruesome serial killers of India, is strangely enticing to read.

Raakshas is dangerous but not very thrilling. It’s a wonderful script for a movie, but for a book, it is little less.

Altogether, it is a gripping one time read which is a sure page turner.

Grab your copy in Amazon.in and Flipkart, if you're interested in psychological thrillers or crime novels.

18 comments:

  1. I liked the psychological dissection of the mind and brain of the killer. That made it a nice read for me. Good review, Meera... :-)

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    1. I felt it was more like unfolding the events rather than the actual thought process. But still, it was a wonderful read. Thanks, Mani. :)

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  2. [ Smiles ] Thank you for sharing this, Meera.

    I love book reviews!

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    1. Thank you, Renard. Good to see you here. :)

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  3. nicely reviewed but I think your review revealed too much here for readers

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    1. I think I couldn't have said less or more but in future I'll try to keep this point in mind. Thanks Cifar :)

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  4. Great post...Thx for sharing Meera

    xo, NEHA
    http://www.theinstylejournal.com/

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    1. Thank you, Neha. Welcome to my space. :)

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  5. looks interesting and very different kind of story

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    1. Yes, Prasad, you should give it a read :)

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  6. Looks really interesting! I need to a grab a copy soon!

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    1. I'm glad my review stirs your interest, Arun :)

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  7. I have read his "Anti-Social Network". Liked it... After your review, feel like reading this one too!

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    1. This is his first book I read, and I liked his script like narration even though I wished for more. Thanks Loco :)

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  8. A very well written review dear :)

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    1. I'm glad you liked it, Purba :)

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