The title of the book was a head turner as I was browsing online, much before receiving the book for a review.On receiving the book,the interesting blurb gave a glimpse into the story line and I realized that it isn’t a story based on mythology(my first perception of the book proved wrong) but goes deeper into the psyche of a serial-killer trying to answer the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ of a serial killer’s actions and life.While reading, I was reminded of the various serial killings which hogged the headlines-The Nithari killings,Charles Sobraj and others.This book falls under the category of a Psychological crime thriller. I really liked the book, so, here is the book review.
Expounding the ‘Anima’
Firstly, let me start with the book cover which very rightly requires a special mention. The cover has been intelligently designed, as it fits the story and the title to the tee. The look of the person on the cover is deceptive,wherein he appears calm and introspective but quite intimidating with the knife.On a closer look, one gets to see the blood shot eyes of a killer- hungry for revenge and bloodshed which in turn speaks volumes of his actual psyche.
The story, as the blurb conveys, is that of ‘India’s No.1 Serial Killer’ which in turn is narrated by Maithili-a police officer who is fighting her own questionable past apart from being the investigative officer of the serial killer’s case.
‘Raakshas’- opens with the birth of a baby boy to a scientist and his educated wife. The wife dies at child birth and the baby is blamed for the untimely demise of his mother by all the family members barring his aunt, who has a soft corner for the boy. The aunt takes the child under her care however the circumstances forces the same boy to transform later into a serial killer. What forces the child of such educated parents to transform into a monster forms the crux of the story. Parallel to the boy’s story we have Maithili whose past as a ‘killer’ haunts her into her present and affects the working of an efficient police officer.To know more about the transformation of an innocent child into a serial killer and Maithili’s past, you have to read the book !
Piyush Jha as a writer has been successful in keeping the reader intrigued with- a compelling narrative of the spine chilling killings, reflecting on the psyche of a person with a disturbed childhood and by alternating two parallel stories. Yes, some of the descriptions of the gory acts are grisly and awful,but they are of prime importance.As a reader one is forced to be taken on an emotional roller coaster , riding on the feelings of sympathy as well as hatred for the serial killer: Sympathy for his past and hatred for his present.If not for the descriptions ,the acts of the serial killer will be justified and commiserated.
The writer has also reflected on issues of -the law and order situation of our country, the red tape nuisance, the inefficient police force, lack of support and encouragement for efficient uniformed men and women due to political pressure, the Media trials which happens for the sake of TRPs, the boom of ‘ fake babas and sadhus’ and the ever increasing number of people duped by these fake babas.At the end of the book, there are some real life accounts of the serial killers of India, which is again petrifying. All this has been conveyed in a simple and intelligible Indian English.
The only grey area of the story would be the random rattling away of the names of streets and places of Mumbai and Pune during the course of the story. The writer could have devoted some more paragraphs in giving vivid descriptions of these streets to make it more authentic and convincing.
Underlying all this, the fact that no one is born a serial killer but the circumstances forces a person to become one, keeps reckoning in the reader’s mind till the end.Also,a very strong message of ‘How parental guidance and upbringing can influence a child to transform either into a Marvel or a Monster’ forms the undercurrent of this book.These aspects give the story a humane touch though being a crime thriller and this is where the writer in Piyush Jha excels.The story of ‘Raakshas’ has got all the ingredients to be transformed onto the silver screen .I am eagerly awaiting the release! As for the book, it makes a very good read and keeps the reader on tenterhooks till the end.Go for it!
I give this book a rating of 3.5 / 5 !
Title : Raakshas
Writer : Piyush Jha
Number of pages : 233
Publishers : Westland Pvt
Courtesy : WritersMelon
I received this book from WritersMelon in exchange for an honest review.
Also check :https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1552350186