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Tangled web

 

Reviewer
Narayan Radhakrishnan
Advocate
"Sree Nivas"
12, Belhaven Gardens, Kowdiar
Thiruvananthapuram- 695 003
Kerala, INDIA
Tel: 091-471- 2316529
Mob: 93 878 28407
E-mail: [email protected]

REVIEW: TANGLED WEB
Title:                            Tangled Web
Author:                         L. Prakash
Publishers:                    Banana Publications, 2010
ISBN                           : 978-81-906981-1-5
Price                            : Rs. 169/-
Rating:                          : ***** (5 bolts)
 
            If there is one single word to describe TANGLED WEB…its chooduspeedu.
            L. Prakash is a person who has worn numerous hats. He was a reputed orthopedic surgeon, a keen adventure sports enthusiast, entrepreneur and is presently a guest of His Excellency, the Governor of Tamil Nadu at the state prison. The doctor has put to good use his time in prison to churn after book after book…most of them belonging to the thriller and mystery genre. A biography of the doctor’s life would make tantalizing reading, and it’s more exciting with twists and turns than the thriller novels he has written.
            Being an aficionado of popular thriller and mystery novels, and a staunch devotee of James Patterson; I found it surprising that not many an author from India had taken to this genre of thriller writing. Though Indian Writing in English is well known and promoted greatly; mystery and thriller writing still receives a step-motherly treatment among Indian publishers. Whenever one speaks about Indian Writing in English- its always Salman Rushdie or Vikram Seth that comes to one’s mind.  I was looking for our counterpart to James Patterson; one who would not only match him in terms of prolificacy but also in terms of writing quality spine chilling thriller stuff.
            And Dr. Prakash is the welcome answer. Over the last 7 year period; Prakash has churned out novel after novel having tasted success with legal thrillers, science fiction, horror, adventure novels, crime capers and what not.  Having read THE ABSENT MINDED LAWYER- a couple of weeks back; I was hooked and eagerly awaiting to read the doctor’s next novel. And Tangled Web is one helluva thriller that’s racy, page turning and in short…..chooduspeedu.
            It all starts with a young Punjabi, Vinod Kapoor, arriving in Chennai. He has some time free and decides to have some fun…fun being booze and gals. He gets involved with an upcoming starlet Neelambari (aka Rosie). But he has too much to drink, and before he can have the fun he desired- Vinod hits the sack. Sometime later when Vinod wakes up, he sees Neelambari murdered. Vinod has no idea of what happened, he vaguely has some recollections of a nightmare and nothing more. What follows is a sensational tale of suspense with the author keeping the reader glued to the pages till the end.
            To say that I enjoyed the book would be an understatement. I devoured the book. This is one book worthy of a Hitchcockian movie. A grand thriller……really chooduspeedu, ……hot and fast!!!!!!!

Tangled Web
Reviewed by Sharmishtha R

I am a great fan of James Hadley Chase and consider him one of the greatest authors in English crime fiction. I have read all his books may times and mention the title, and the plot automatically springs to my mind. I remember reading one of his exceptional books “Tiger by the tail” during my college days, where in a happily married man visits a prostitute when his wife is away visiting relatives; and ends up with a murdered whore, blood all over his hands, without the faintest idea about how it all happened.
I have just completed reading Dr L.Prakash’s Tangled Web, and for the first hundred pages the story was so similar to “The tiger by the tail”,  that I thought that Prakash had ripped off Chase. But then came the first twist that almost dragged the chair underneath me and made me fall flat on my face. And from there the novel rose from strength to strength reaching such an unexpected climax, that I was left with a great admiration for the author. I am certain that no Indian Mastery author has written such an entertaining murder mystery in the last decade.
The author has a unique narrative style, and the nonsense rhymes and stupid poems sprinkled throughout the book add salt and pepper to this even otherwise delicious dish. I am looking forward to read Dr L.Prakash’s Maybach Maiden, which promises to be equally entertaining and interesting.

Book title: Tangled Web
ISBN: 978-81-906981-1-5, pages 400, cost Rs 179
Publisher: Banana Books Chennai
Rating: Excellent


 

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Swiss Chocolates

 

Reviewed by Haris Pearls
Special correspondent
Indian Book Review

On a boring, dull, gloomy Sunday noon my sleepy eyes happened to focus on a copy of “Swiss Chocolates” by Dr.L.Prakash. Swiss Chocolates took me through a fascinating, thrilling, adrenalin pumping and fearful roller coaster ride. The novel is a collection of ‘13’ short stories based on real incidents with a tinge of fiction. As you find chocolates of different shapes and flavors in a box of Swiss Chocolates, you also find a unique story for every individual in the novel.
It’s a thoroughly entertaining and exciting work of a beautiful mind whose power of imagination is dreams unlimited. Who would have imagined of introducing aliens to the Pandavas in the enchanted pool. The Pandavas and their ‘all for one’ wife Draupathi were tired after the long march in the dense forest. All of them were thirsty and each of the Pandavas went in search of water. A cunning monkey leads them to a pool of poisoned water. E56 – the Alien watched the Pandava brothers drink the poisoned water one by one and fall unconscious. E56 saves the Pandavas and in return is gifted the samples of Earth’s flora and fauna.
Another example of the author’s unique and creative imagination is The Patriot; every Indian and Pakistani experienced the painful reality of the Kargil war. But the author has brilliantly introduced fiction into a sensitive and emotional real incident or accident! A Pakistani soldier in his spy hole on a shivering, cold and snowy winter day bored to death decided to conquer the mountain ranges of Kargil. He reaches the Kargil peak and in moments of happiness, joy and over enthusiasm plants a Pakistani flag. The following morning the Indian defense minister happens to fly over the mountain ranges and spots the Pakistani flag proudly fluttering in the mountain peak. It set off a domino effect resulting in the Kargil war.
The author creates magic and cheap thrills with words and plays naughty games with them. The lines….

Buddy! I know you are desperate too. But
This is a fucking public park and I am not
into exhibitionism. Wait until six and we would
go to your friend’s place. No No don’t undo the hooks!

The lines must have touched your heart and enlighten your soul!

There is true soul searching poetic touch in the waiting. But why always elderly people in old age homes produce beautiful, poetic lines. Does the author assume in youth unworthy of poetic appreciation! A cute and emotional poem from The waiting

“Whoh waquet bhi dekhen hain
Tareeq ki ghadion mein
Lamhon ne khata ki thi
sadiyon ne sazza paaiye”

Translation for the uneducated

“We have seen those times
In the clocks of destiny
Where seconds have committed the sin
And centuries bear the punishment


The hot, steamy, adventurous sex animals can have fun with the Fourth lesson. Fourth lesson will take you on a flashback mode when you secretly experienced your sexual arousal reading a copy of Debonair or Fantasy sitting in the last row in the classroom.
The monk takes you on a spiritual journey. A female scientist from Sriharikota Rocket launching station (SAHAR) shares her encounter with UFOs in the Aliens. An elderly man waits for his love 60 years in an old age home in The Waiting. A depressed pharmacist decides to spread happiness and joy with others by sharing a box of Swiss Chocolates.
Two stories are based on real experiences in the heart of Chennai in form of The Auctioneer and Astrologer. The auctioneer tickles your funny bones; it’s humorous, intelligent and thoughtful. Astrologer takes you on a journey discovering the crowded and narrow by-lanes of Mylapore and finally hearing the word from the God’s assistant – your destiny!
The icing on the cake definitely goes to The Mentalist. The protagonist calls himself the mentalist who performs a meditation technique – ‘Parapsycologic metaphysical trance’ (what is that scientific-yogic garbage? Heard it before?!?). People flocked to him, paying five thousand to fifty thousand rupees for a single consultation. He met them in star hotels; he listened to them, heard their problems, read their minds and surprised them by his insight into their dark secrets. They left his room happy and satisfied minus a few thousand rupees.
It’s a tough task for a writer to connect to the readers through short stories but Dr.L.Prakash has achieved it ‘13’ times. Swiss Chocolates is truly of International standards and worthy of a billion readers across the world. It’s unfortunate that publishers like Rupa&Co; Harper Collins; who extensively published Indian authors missed this jackpot!

 

 

Maybach Maiden

 


Review by Narayan Radhakrishnan

Advocate
"Sree Nivas"
12, Belhaven Gardens, Kowdiar
Thiruvananthapuram- 695 003
Kerala, INDIA
Tel: 091-471- 2316529
Mob: 93 878 28407
E-mail: [email protected]

REVIEW: MAYBACH MAIDEN
Title:                             Maybach Maiden
Author:                   L. Prakash
Publishers:                    Banana Publications, 2010
ISBN                           : 978-81-906981-1-5
Price                            : Rs. 189/-
Rating:                          : ***** (5 bolts)
 
            Remember the good ‘ol crime capers of the Sixties. Wham, bham- the good guys win, the bad guys lose- type of novels and movies that were a rage in the Forties and Fifties. Remember when Mickey Spillane and Dahsielle Hammett ruled the pulp fiction world. The good guys where honourable, straightforward with a sense of righteousness. Bad guys had guns and were rotten to the core.
            But good things seldom last forever, and since the Seventies techno-jargon-filled thrillers have taken the market. There are no more bad guys…all are technocrats, super-savvy and geeky villains hell-bent on ruling the world. A couple of weeks back I saw the hilarious and humorous thriller It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World and it persuaded me to go read some good old fashioned crime thrillers; one which can be easily read without worrying about the exact date of when the world would come to an end.
            It is while I was in such a mood that Maybach Maiden reached me. Though it is not a cent-percent an old fashioned crime novel; the novel preserves in it sense of nostalgia of the yesteryear crime caper, albeit a sense of dignified nostalgia. And I was immersed into the book within pages of reading it. The novel starts with a billionaire presenting to his young, beautiful, lascivious and sexy daughter- Kiran, a Mercedes Maybach. This present catches the attention of the media and some bad guys. Soon the bad guys from different parts of the world are behind the same. The novel then follows the travails of our protagonists- Gopalakrishnan and Martin, two individuals who have set their sight and hand to the car and of course Kiran. How the game proceeds form the plot of this novel.
            Had Mickey Spillane or Dashielle Hammett been alive, these would have been the type of novels they would have written. Dr. Prakash the author gives homage to Hammett, Spillane and the living legends like John Le Carre with this novel. At close to 600 pages, this novel is a lengthy work; but quick and riveting pace keeps us glued to the pages.
            Dr. Prakash is India’s most prolific and popular pulp fiction novelist; and Maybach Maiden once again proves why Dr. Prakash is the numero- uno in India. 
 

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Review by Reza Noorani FHM Magazine

 

Maybach Maiden

 


Who: Dr L.Prakash
What’s it all about? Remember a couple of years back there was this spoilt young brat, whose rich-ass father got her a whole frigging Mercedes Maybach on her 19th birth-day? Yup, that’s the girl in the book. A sultry big busted sex pot with lesbian tendencies. As an article one her appears in a popular magazine, it interests a lot of people, which include Mumbai mafia, Delhi mafia, a European mercenary, and a dashingly handsome guy from down south with a secret identity.
All these guys scramble over the kidnapping of the rich little sweet muffin and interesting plots and sub plots develop. Thrown in loads of sex, wild parties, funny little chipmunks and you have got yourself a perfect little treat for a lazy read on a fun week end.
What’s the buzz? It’s a funny one for sure. With subtle south Indian sensibilities; where the men like their women dark with curly jasmine scented hair, and the women in turn like their men with little puffs of whirlpool body hair; this one is a real killer. Fast enough to keep you engrossed. The characters are an interesting mix of people you’ve probably met in real life, if you have done a stint in prison and know your underworld well. Overall this is a highly entertaining piece of pulp fiction, worthy being proud of! Grabh it we say!!

Review of Maybach Maiden
Recipe for a lazy Sunday
Sharmishtha R

Ingredients: A seven foot Pituitary giant, a three and a half feet Chipmunk, an ex professional assassin, an ex-spy, a millionaress heiress who receives a 6 crore Mercedes Maybach as a birthday gift, helicopters, speed boats, islands, forests, mambas, and AK47 assault rifles.
Garnishing: Speed, action, adventure, lots and lots of steamy sex, and half a liter of adrenaline.
Mode of cooking and serving: pick up a copy of Maybach Maiden, by Dr L.Prakash; (Banana Books Chennai, ISBN 978-81-906981-0-8, pages 600, Rs 189,) and curl up with the book on a Sunday morning. Start with the first page and I guarantee that you simply cannot put it down. Rare humor, more punch lines than a Rajnikant movie, twists, tortuous turns, double and triple crosses, and a kick in the belly climax.
Warning: don’t blame me if you go to bed late or are not able to sleep till the next morning, when you eventually finish the book.
Verdict: Not only one of the best adventure thrillers that I have read in my life, but also probably the best adventure-crime-action thriller ever written in English by an Indian Author.

 

Mahabharatha

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Review of Mahabharatha
Reviewed by Dr Santosh Vishwanathan M.S., MCh.
Retired Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Book title        Mahabharatha in four volumes
Author            Dr L.Prakash
ISBN              978-81-906981-3-9, 978-81-906981-4-6, 978-81-906981-5-3, 978-81-906981-6-0
Publisher        Banana Books Madras India
Price               Rs 600 for four volumes ( approx 15$ US; 10 € )
Rating             ***** (five stars) [outstanding]

My first exposure to this wonderful epic was when I was seven or eight years old. We could not wait for our summer vacations, which we would spend in our ancestral village, and the chief attraction was the magnificent and awesome rendering of this timeless classic by my octogenarian grandmother. Each evening after dinner, we children; and some adults too, would gather around her, and she would narrate stories from Ramayana and Mahabharatha. I have never waited more anxiously for my summer holidays than in those times. Even today, I have to just close my eyes, and despite the passage of many decades, the intense face of my granny, with her hollow cheeks and thousand wrinkles, describing the emotional scene where Karna peels off his golden armor and rips off the sun-crested earrings from his body, unmindful of the dripping blood, and hands over the same to Indra, whose face bears features of victory admixtured with guilt; flashes before my eyes.
My next exposure to Mahabharatha was during my college days, when I had an opportunity of reading C. Rajagopalachari’s rendition in simple English. I was transported to Hastinapura, Indraprastha and Kurukshetra. Much later, I had an opportunity of reading the magnum opus by Kishori Mohan Ganguly, and a Tamil version by Cho Ramaswamy. Each time I marveled and wondered on the writing genius of Veda Vyasa who had penned such a magnificent story so long ago. What I had read and heard was reinforced by Peer Brook’s movie and the serialization of the epic by our own Doordarshan.
Around two months ago, I received an email from a friend waxing eloquently about a new version of Mahabharatha by Dr L.Prakash. He also sent me the URL ( www.bananabooks.in) of the web page, which I visited. Nevertheless I was shocked to find that the author was a convicted pornographer, currently spending time in prison. What would such a person know about Mahabharatha? This was the question in my mind, as I clicked the close window button and switched off the computer.
At that time I was reading a self help book, and by coincidence the chapter I read that night was about not being judgmental, and not trusting things unless I had access to both sides of the story. I felt a little guilty, and it was probably to assuage my own guilt that I decided to buy Mahabharatha by Dr L.Prakash. I could not find the book in the local Landmark bookstore, but a smaller bookshop in Anna Nagar had stocks. I shelled out six hundred rupees, and was not too disappointed, because the four volumes in a neat box, represented quite a lot of reading material. This set appeared to be almost four times in bulk as the Rajagopalachari Mahabharatha that I remembered reading.
Once I started reading, I had to revise my opinion both about the epic and its author.
Being a retired, non practicing surgeon gives me ample time and I started reading straightaway. The first two volumes took four days each to complete, the third, three days, and the last volume I devoured over a weekend. Having completed reading, I am beginning from the first volume once again, and this time I plan to read it slowly. In a single word, it is an awesome story, and I could not suppress my admiration at both Veda Vyasa the original author, and Dr L.Prakash who has done this wonderful rendition in modern simple English and contemporary idiom.
This is not exactly a translation of the Sanskrit original. The author has introduced many additional characters, twists, and sub plots. Though the original Vyasa skeleton remains intact, Dr Prakash has added his own muscle, sinew, and skin to tell a wonderful tale wonderfully. The language is simple; and we all know that it is difficult to write simple English! The narration is brisk and the author has rearranged the sequence of events in such a unique and gripping manner, that once you begin, it is almost impossible to put the book down. Shorn of religion, Hinduism, and preaching, Dr Prakash has presented the epic as an adventure, reminiscent of the narrative style of Alistair McLain or Desmond Bagley.
It is indeed a pity that the current generation of children and youth, rather than enrich enlighten and enjoy themselves with such a wonderful epic, are seen intensely discussing the magic in Harry Potter books or the adventure in Twilight Series and vampire books! I pity their ignorance and lack of interest in the wonderful magic of our ancient stories, more thrilling than even the Hollywood movie Avtar! Buy the book, read it and make sure that all your children read it as well. I am certain that these volumes will find a pride of place in your home library and you will be reading these volumes again and again.

Rating: Five Stars

 

 

 

REVIEW: WITNESS


Title:                             Witness 
Author:            L. Prakash
Publishers:                    Banana Publications, 2010
ISBN                           : 978-81-907320-1-7
Price                            : Rs. 169/-
Rating:                          : ***** (5 bolts)
                Perry Mason…the name sums it all. For a generation he was the epitome of the suave, brash, maverick fictional lawyer. Every law student used to dream of becoming a Perry Mason. And lawyer Erle Stanley Gardner churned out Perry Mason mysteries by the dozen. By the time Gardner died in 1972, America and the rest of the world were privy to 82 pulsating courtroom novels. The success of Perry Mason had prompted many an author to travel the same route. There were pastiches, some extraordinarily good, some astonishingly bad. Two particular lawyers were so impressed that they went one step ahead of Gardner and were instrumental in creating a new genre in thriller fiction, namely the legal thriller genre. I am speaking of John Grisham and Scott Turow. Today legal thrillers are the in-thing in popular fiction in United States and in Europe.
            Perry Mason also had his staunch devotes in India. The major examples being the lawyer Stewart Sangster series created by Parameswaran Nair of Kerala (featured in books like The Case of the Spookish Spouse, The Case of the Innocent Accomplice etc.) and Narayan Sanyal’s PK Basu Barrister series written in Bengali. However, both series died in the early Eighties.
            Of late many a lawyer-author in India was following the Grisham path of legal thriller writing. Adithya Sudarshan (A Nice Quite Holiday) and Armin Wandrewalla (The Turning) being the prime two examples. Traditional courtroom mysteries had taken a backseat. It’s at that juncture I got hold of Witness. And it’s after a long, long time I am reading a courtroom drama which is reminiscent of pure courtroom drams written by Gardner. Even the book size evokes memories of the Perry Mason Pocket Book series. The jacket image is reminiscent of Victorian era trials of England.
In a way, I felt that Witness is a homage and tribute to the Masters of the courtroom drama genre. The protagonist of this novel, Altaff, is the very personification of the brilliant, dedicated attorney whom we have seen in many a movie and novel. Witness has him involved in a murder trial wherein his client is accused of murdering a movie starlet. The lawyer has a mountain to climb, with an airtight case the prosecution has built, public pressure mounting and pressurizing the court to go for a guilty verdict, and a judge who seems biased towards the prosecution. The only saving grace Altaff has is the staunch support and help of his friend, ace investigative reporter Shivashankar. How the duo beats the odds; in a sort of a David- Goliath showdown forms the crux of the novel.
            Dr. Prakash’s books, though thrillers of the first order, were also heavy works. Most books cross 550 pages, and takes time to finish reading it. This is a very short novel – and under 200 pages it can easily be finished within a couple of hours. Altaff seems to be a series protagonist. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Perry Mason is going to be referred to in future as the “Altaff of America.” Watch this space.  And Dr. Prakash, if you are reading this when will I be able to read Death of a Lawyer, Scales of Justice and Not Guilty versus Innocent???


REVIEW: TRIAL


Title:                            Trial
Author:                         L. Prakash
Publishers:                    Banana Publications, 2010
ISBN                           : 978-81-906981-7-7
Price                            : Rs. 249/-
Rating:              ***** (5 bolts)
 
            After reading this gigantic novel which runs to 625 pages…all I can say is Whew!!!!! Thank God that I finished this book. The book gave me sleepless nights the last 4 days. I usually start reading at around 10:30 pm, and my usual light reading fare is for around one hour daily. But TRIAL kept me awake till around 1:30 am each day, and mind you I am blaming the author for causing me insomnia.
            Trial is not your regular John Grishamesque style of a legal thriller. Its one step more- meant for the hardened reader, more keen in understanding the nuances of the legal system, rather than the thrills and chills of it. We can in a way compare TRIAL to the legal fiction works (I emphasize on the word legal fiction, which is at least three steps above the genre legal thriller) of the kind written by Scott Turow and Richard North Patterson. You cannot read and enjoy Patterson or a Turow all the time. They do not churn out thriller after thriller. They write frugally, you get a new book only every two years or so….but what you get and what you read remains with us for a long, long time.  I can still recite the plot without missing a beat of any Turow or Richard Patterson novel; but often get confused with the plots of the Grisham novels. True, I enjoy both Turow and Grisham- but as a lawyer I believe that we should encourage more of Turow and Richard North Patterson.
            Enough of blah-blahing, what I meant to say is that TRIAL reminds me of the classic works of  Turow and Patterson, a hard-hitting legal fiction novel that succeeds as both a thriller and as literature of the first order. The novel is about the case that follows after a big goon is killed in broad daylight in Chennai. Through the protagonist Prannay, who is called on to defend a case of a life time- the author presents a bleak view of the Indian legal system. Corruption, nepotism and bribery are the order of the day- and even judges are not far away from succumbing to these vices. This novel is to Indian literature of what the award winning movie Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho was to Indian cinema. 
            Dr. Prakash, the author (who has worn many hats including that of an expert orthopedic surgeon, of that of an adventure sports enthusiast, and presently is in jail on charges of pornography)- is India’s best known and prolific popular fiction novelist. With TRIAL, the author proves that he is not a simple thriller- chiller author, but an author extraordinaire…who can even rival the likes of Vikram Seth and Vikas Swarup in Indian literature.
            A good novel, you might not want to read it again and again…but the single time you read it- the plot will stay with you forever. As a lawyer I found the book both interesting and thrilling and at the same time disturbing. Is this the true future of our legal system??

 

REVIEW: THE ABSENT MINDED LAWYER

 


Title:                            The Absent Minded Lawyer
Author:             L. Prakash
Publishers:                    Banana Publications, 2010
ISBN                           : 978-81-906981-7-7
Price                            : Rs. 189/-
Rating:                          : ***** (5 bolts)
 
 
 
            Dr. L. Prakash has been hailed as India’s most prolific popular fiction author. He is India’s answer to James Patterson, having explored almost all sub-genres of the thriller & mystery genre with his novels. With more than 65 novels and umpteen number of short stories to his credit, this doctor- author has explored each and every facet of the mystery genre including spy novels (He Was Once a Spy) crime caper adventures (Maybach Maiden) graphic sci-fi novels (Beyond Salvage) and what not.
            Absent Minded Lawyer, as the tile suggests is a legal thriller. And its not often we use the term humorous to refer a lawyer novel….but that’s exactly what Absent Minded Lawyer is. It’s both humorous and nail biting. The novel will occasionally make you break with laughter and also tingle your spine with the suspense.  The novel starts with the sedate insurance lawyer Swaminathan getting his hands on a John Grisham novel (The Streetlawyer). Lest say, he is so enamored by the said novel (and certain other vitiating factors) that he decides to drop his mundane practice of insurance law and decides to dive into criminal law. Swaminathan soon began to visualize himself as the generation next crusading defense lawyer. But soon he finds that the decision he took might have been a trifle bit hasty. How the young lawyer goes about with his tryst with his legal destiny forms the background of the novel. With the recipe of a plot which includes terror, murder and blackmail and of course hot femme fatales, I think we can see a movie version of this book coming to the theatres in the near future. Is Bollywood or Kollywood taking note??
            Legal thrillers are the in-thing in popular mystery reading nowadays. The success of John Grisham and Scott Turow, the success of movies like Michael Clayton and The Firm have fascinated many an Indian reader. But only a few have tried their hands at creating a desi legal thriller in English. Save for an Armin Wandrewallah in Mumbai and an Adithya Sudarshan in Delhi- not many have tired their luck in this genre. Dr. L. Prakash joins this esteemed company…and I just can’t wait to read Scales of Justice, Murder for Gain and Witness.

 

Scales of Justice

REVIEW: SCALES OF JUSTICE
Title:                             Scales of Justice
Author:                         L. Prakash
Publishers:                    Banana Publications, 2010
ISBN                           : 978-81-906981-7-7
Price                            : Rs. 249/-
Rating:                          : ***** (4 bolts)
 
            This year I became an addict….an addict of two powerful drugs, which causes me unease, restlessness, sleeplessness and in general insomnia. The first drug is a foreign one, but available the world over. The second one is a more local one, presently just available in India….but mark my words will soon be available world over. I am speaking about two drugs which really ought to be banned- named James Patterson and L. Prakash.  James Patterson is the most prolific author of thrillers internationally, while Dr. Prakash’s has proved his mettle as the most prolific thriller author of India.
            And among Prakash’s various novels- I have a particular liking for his legal thrillers. Having read THE ABSENT MINDED LAWYER, WITNESS and TRIAL- I was waiting for something on these lines when I received SCALES OF JUSTICE. And SCALES OF JUSTICE is so similar and at the same time so different from Dr. Prakash’s earlier lawyer novels.   If TRIAL was the Mohan Joshi Hazir Ho in fiction then SCALES OF JUSTICE must be the Kanoon in Indian legal fiction. The whole novel reads and feels like a Bollywood movie crafted to perfection as BR Chopra did it with his timeless classic. Though Altaff the hero of witness makes an appearance in this novel, this novel cannot be termed as an Altaff adventure. The protagonist herein is a middle aged judge Ashok Hariharan. A straightforward, loving, honest family man- Hariharan has just one skeleton in his closet. He had a passionate affair with a young girl and one thing leads to another and Hariharan becomes a witness to a murder. Though his reputation is intact; Hariharan is stunned when the case comes up in his court. The judge knows that the person standing in the dock is not guilty; but honour and reputation prevents him from blurting out the truth. The novel follows the dilemma of the judge protagonist.
            A good work, sprinkled with humour- highly, highly enjoyable. AI would give it a quaking 8 in thriller Richter scale of maximum 10. .

 

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