Book Review- Compass Box Killer

Title: Compass Box Killer

By: Piyush Jha

About the Author (Few lines from the book) –

Piyush Jha is an acclaimed film director, ad filmmaker and the author of the bestselling novel, Mumbaistan.
A student political leader at university, he pursued a career in advertising management after acquiring an MBA degree. Later, he switched tracks, first to make commercials for some of the country’s largest brands, and then to write and direct feature films. His films include Chalo America, King of Bollywood and Sikandar.

He lives in his beloved Mumbai, where he can often be found walking the streets that inspire his stories.

ISBN:  978-8129124272

Cover Price: Rs. 195.00

Rating:  3.5/5

Something about the book ( from the book’s cover):

‘Akurle is just the first to die. To find out 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 killers motives.

Slick plot twists and high-adrenaline action mark the first of the Inspector Virkar Crime Thrillers part of the Mumbaistan series. Tough, daring and relentless in his pursuit of justice, Inspector Virkar is a policeman one wishes every city had.

Now for my View:

I received the book this Monday, in a week I was busy settling into my new apartment. Inspite of it being hard for me to find time to write anything, let alone read, I managed to finish this book in time. Well the reason being it is an extremely easy and fast paced offering! I’d say it is a great book to read even when you are in the middle of a time crunch.

The Compass Box Killer is Piyush Jha’s second book in which he brings together his favourite subjects - Mumbai and Crime- to give us a crime thriller. The story begins with the murder of a police officer, Akurke, which would have passed off as food poisoning if it wasn’t for Jha’s enigmatic hero, Inspector Virkar. Jha’s protagonist sets the story in motion when he finds a student’s compass box with a note stating ‘Akurle is just the first to die. To find out who is next, find me first.’ There begins a chase, a challenge to catch up with the killer before more bodies turn up. Vikrar moves from Mumbai to Khandala to Belgaum to bring the murderer to justice. Is he able to find the Compass Box Killer? Or, does he fail in preventing more deaths? Well, you’d need to read the book to find out.

Before you start reading this book, you’d need to bear in mind that the author is a Bollywood director. So it is bound to have the shades of Hindi Cinema in it. I proceeded with that mindset and enjoyed it thoroughly.

I have always had a soft corner in my heart for crime thrillers so I’m glad to have had the opportunity to read this one as well. What I loved best about the book is that it’s absolutely gripping; which is a must for its genre. I found it hard to put it back on the shelf unless I absolutely had to. But the moment I was free, I went back to flipping its pages one after the other. Moreover, it’s great to see Indian authors writing something other than Romance. So if you want to try something fresh from the Indian Literary sphere, then this is the book for you.

Another plus point for Jha’s thriller is that the protagonist is your ideal cop, one every city would be lucky enough to have. All the pre-requisites for an Inspector who runs the show in a crime thriller; cop with an excellent record and a knack for seeing what others tend to miss, are imbibed brilliantly in Inspector Vikrar.
Not only is the book unputdownable, it’s laden with interesting twists and turns to keep every reader’s interest alive. Atleast that’s what it did for me.

The book has its share of Hindi and Marathi words, which is perhaps a given when the plot is set in Mumbai. But I personally don’t enjoy mixing too many languages together in a book. That apart I think it’s a great book. Let’s just say it’s a Bollywood extravaganza, a good one at that!

So what are you waiting for? Pick it up and once you are done, let me know your views too!