Tag Archive: Review

Title: The Devotion of Suspect X

Author: Keigo Higashino (Translated by Alexander Smith with Elye Alexander)

ISBN: 0312375069

‘The Devotion of Suspect X’ is one of the most acclaimed works of Keigo Higashino with more than 2 million copies sold. The novel has also been made in a movie Suspect X.

The book is a murder thriller and is built around a fast paced plot. Japanese style of writing can be fully enjoyed with interesting to the point plots, fast paced story-line, surprises built in the story making to eager to turn the next page. Some characters have been shown to decipher too much from too little facts but I guess all murder thrillers needs at-least one mastermind to plot the murder and one to break the code.

The story revolves around four main characters –

1. Yasuko: Portrayed as the lead character who, along with her daughter Misato, murders her ex-husband Togashi

2. Ishigami: The genius mathematician who plays the role of mastermind plotting the entire story

3. Kusanagi: Detective who is involved in solving the case

4. Yukawa: Physicist, another genius, friend of both Kusanagi and Ishigami. He plays a vital role in determining how the story unfolds

The story starts on a fast-track mode with author clearly establishing Yasuko’s history as a divorcee mother and Ishigami’s secret love for her. Yasuko’s ex-husband shows up to again torture her and extract money. The mother-daughter duo snaps and this is where the murder happens. Fast but messy. Here is where the genius mathematician steps in to help the love of her life. The plot looks very dramatic as Ishigami, though a neighbor of Yasuko, has never really held a conversation with her. Yasuko, it seems out of fear and no way out, accepts Ishigami’s help.

While the story on a virtual plane revolves around Yasuko, the center or lead character appears to be Ishigami around which all characters revolve; or to simply put the beauty of author, Ishigami makes them revolve by his perfect game plan. While Ishigami is the one who plots the way the police can never suspect Yasuko, it is Kusanagi and Yukawa who unravel the whole story and keep the reader hooked on to the book. Ishigami plots a masterful, devious and methodical scheme to fool not only the police but also the reader’s in thinking in a tangentially different direction if they try to determine what’s happening next. Without giving spoilers for the book, reader has to extreme attention to details to understand the real motive. The chase of Kusanagi to find the killer seems futile at every moment and pretty much enjoyed by Ishigami who seems to have pre-meditated everything except one factor – his old friend Yukawa who matches his genius. It is he who ends of breaking the code only to learn that the web to protect Yasuko built by Ishigami was much more complex than he could ever imagine. The real suspect – Suspect X was Ishigami, who devoted his life to save Yasuko.

The story-line in this book is superbly crafted and is a wonderful,  recommended read if you like murder mystery books which keep you hooked on till the last. If while reading the book, you feel that the case is like a mathematical problem with clues thrown around for the reader to figure out, then you are not very far away from the truth ! 🙂

This book review is part of the “Book Review” program by Blogadda. More such reviews can be found here. Sign up for the Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. and get free books! Participate now!

I would like to thank Blogadda and its team for providing this opportunity to read and review this book.

Blogadda Book Review : A Flawed God

Title : A Flawed God

Author: Arjun Shekhar

ISBN: 9789350090572

“A Flawed God” is the first book of Arjun Shekhar, an HR professional and now running a consulting firm Vyaktitva from where the experiences inspire him to write this book.

The book an be described as a thriller for most of the part where Sachit, the protagonist assumes the role of a Hero rising from his lackadaisical corporate life. The book adds value through the concept of using the employees as owners of the company which is on opposite ends of concept of shareholder ownership. While employee ownership of company has been considered a moral hazard in corporate world, the author is successful in convincing the reader’s of its validity by implementing it through a all employee decision making authority called the Front Line Parliament. Though the concept and its implementation looks like bookish theory, the author is successful in keeping the reader’s hooked on to the book through inbuilt action/drama of HR director being kidnapped and Sanchit’s heroic deed of freeing his boss. While the element of romance could have been done away with, you do find the cute romance developing between Sanchit and Pause, another main character who plays a main role in development of Sanchit’s character. The author adds a unique flavor to each of its characters and you will end up loving each and every one of it.

While part 2 of the book is all about drama, action, love and heroism, Part 1 is more of a mystery journey which Sanchit undertakes after receiving a mysterious invitation from the “Progress in Work Collectives” a mysterious organization which runs an invisible initiative to put the organization’s staff at the center of its strategy. Sanchit who has been dragged into the corporate world after ending his cricketing career due to a max fixing scam, finds himself utterly demotivated in his job. This invitation brings to him the much needed excitement and he proceeds to Turkey for Lazuli Playshop for induction in the guild. Just when the journey becomes exciting with all the suspense & hype it leaves the readers hanging in the middle by saying  that there is a separate report published as a booklet which contains the description of the Workshop. The second part of the book though exciting is for most parts disconnected from part 1. These two are probably the only faults in the book.

The book ends with an exciting thriller climax where things happen super fast. HR Director rising to the occasion and taking the leadership role to make Frontline Parliament a success is as fast as the disclosure that the “Collectives” was all a hoax played by Pause on Sanchit. But the pace is good for the adrenalin rush you get by the moment you reach the climax anticipating what all can happen next.

Finally, The book is a good read for its unique subject & for the fact that it talks about corporate culture in an intelligent & entertaining manner.

This book review is part of the “Book Review” program by Blogadda. More such reviews can be found here. I would like to thank Blogadda and its team for providing this opportunity to read and review this book.

Recently I bought a deal from mydala.com where based on a lucky draw they were giving away McD coupons worth Rs. 500 for Rs.10. I found the idea most amusing as a website publicized to be a deal website was doing lucky draws and speculative gambling on deals. The catch was that in case you don’t win you would be refunded through mydala point which can be used later.

Just to try the concept, I spent Rs. 10 to get the deal. Here is the snapshot of the voucher which I got

So why I think mydala is totally trying to screw up with customers

1. The model of deals on base of lucky draw is like gambling where chances of loosing are more than of winning. So effectively mydala is making you deposit money in form of points which either end up lying there just like that (since you don’t bother about a small sum of Rs. 10 spent on a deal) or ultimately you will make a deal just to get out these points and in the process giving revenue to the website.

2. The voucher itself is highly confusing and prepared to fool the customer. The expiry date mentioned is 1 day before the date of purchase. Further when I called up customer care to clarify this, she said only if the mail says “Congratulations” should I think that I have won the voucher. I dutifully told her that the mail says “Congratulations” to which she said did some verification and came to conclusion that the Congratulations is for getting the mydala voucher safe and sound in my inbox but not the McD voucher. I really don’t feel the need to be getting congratulated for a voucher which is of value zero.

I am sure there are couple of other such websites which try to fool around people with such tactics. Luckily the customer care of mydala was polite which calmed me and allowed me a chuckle as I let Rs. 10 go into the kitty of the website and registered as my points (which I don’t know when I would use).

I am most certainly curious if any of the reader’s have won any deal through such draws on any website. let me know your views too.

The views expressed in this post are personal to that of the author. 

Did you watch “District 9”? My recommendation – do watch it. It’s one of those movies where you go in with some traditional expectation but have a wonderful experience of enjoying the movie with something unique to offer. What is the movie all about? Let me start with the technical details first:

Distributor: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Release Date:  14th August 2009
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James, Mandla Gaduka, Vanessa Haywood
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Producer: Peter Jackson
Blog Author’s Rating: 3.5/5District-9

So what is the movie all about? The storyline of District 9 is set in the town of Johannesburg, South Africa. The movie starts with telling that 20 years ago an alien spaceship came out of nowhere and just hung up in air. The humans decided to go inside the ship and there they found malnourished aliens which were rescued. These aliens were put up in an area which came to be known as District 9. Given the way these aliens look people started calling them “prawns”. For 20 years they have been surviving in District 9 and the area has now become a slum where Nigerian gangsters conduct their operations.

The actual fun begins now, that is 20 years since the arrival of aliens, when the government decides to relocate the aliens to a new place and Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) a bureaucrat from government agency MNU is given the responsibility to give eviction notice to the aliens. While serving eviction notices, Wikus comes in contact with an alien fluid which apparently starts transforming him into the alien. He becomes the first case of a successful human alien hybrid. Ironically, when the bosses at MNU find his condition they capture him and treat him as a subject for experiments. Somehow he manages to escape and finds shelter in the very same District 9, a place where no humans would go. He comes across an alien named Christopher and the movie then continues on the plot of Wikus and Christopher (the alien) teaming up to recover the fluid which apparently would help the aliens power up their ship and in turn Christopher would help Wikus get back to normal.

Excited about the movie? It’s worth watching for the uniqueness that it offers. Unlike traditional alien movies where there is huge animation and drama of a war on earth stuff, this movie actually shows aliens residing for 20 years on earth and it’s the aliens that fear the humans. What is even more worth seeing here is the alien-human emotional relationship that develops between Wikus and Christopher (the alien), a concept which is quite unheard of. The movie ventures into the traditional human trait of being selfish and even goes on to imagine the aliens as having the human trait of sentiments and emotions. The movie is visually appealing with the film using faux-documentary footage, news reports and security cameras combined with traditional photography to create its own kind of realism, giving the viewer the distinct feeling they are on the lam right next to Wikus. Although there is no heavy animation used, the alien characters look quite real.

Some things which I was curious and particularly confused when I watched the movie was firstly, the aliens spoke English. How did they know the human language? I can maybe stretch my imagination to say that since they are technologically way advanced than humans, they might have found some way to know our language before they decided to crash (hang up!) on earth. Another thing is why have the humans have not tried to torn apart the entire mother-ship of aliens while it has been hanging up in the space for 20 years. After all we do love to do experiments, rite!

All in all a good entertainment and a must watch. It did left me with the thought of how we humans might end up treating aliens if we ever get to interact with a weaker species out there.

The article expresses the personal views of the blog author. Comments and feedback is appreciated..