Zero day – Book review

BLURB

Mumbai is in a state of chaos. All traffic signals across the entire city have stopped working.

Shahwaz Ali Mirza, head of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, receives an anonymous email claiming it to be a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. He quickly puts together a crack team that includes his protege, IG Cybercrime Vikrant Singh, and gets to work trawling the dark web for more information on this mystery attack. However, a move to bring forward the hacker backfires, leading to a second, deadlier attack on Mumbai’s lifeline, the railway system.

It is their first brush with cyberterrorism: a zero-day vulnerability in the Indian government’s system that could bring the country to its knees. Racing against time and investigating a case unlike any other, in Zero Day, Mirza and Vikrant face the most dangerous mission of their lives

REVIEW

I love reading crime novels. Especially the pace they pick up after a few chapters and the urge they give me to complete it sooner. The novel Zero-day by Hussain Zaidi gives you a lot of twists turns and edge-of-seat moments.


In a busy city like Mumbai, a cyber attack is getting the city to a standstill. What would be the problem? More than physical terror, this time everything goes digital. A hacking attempt into the city’s traffic system brings the city to chaos.

The ATS chief received an anonymous email on the threat and the subsequent actions were taken by his team with occurrences of politics, and a wee bit of romance making it an interesting read.


Trying to find the identity of the hacker, to handling a national emergency situation in a smart way the book has its own nuances by the author with which he keeps the reader engaged. The language is simple and also makes the situations nail-biting through the narration. Characters Mirza and Vikrant had great bonding that helped in cracking the mystery. A crisp power-packed story that definitely would keep mystery lovers engaged.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

S.. Hussain Zaidi is one of the most prolific crime writers in India. The investigations into the Mumbai mafia that he has conducted in books such as Dongri to Dubai, Mafia Queens of Mumbai and My Name is Abu Salem are among the finest investigative reporting of all time.

As the Resident Editor of the newspaper The Asian Age, Zaidi began his career in journalism. He then worked for several other publications, including The Indian Express, Mid Day, and Mumbai Mirror. Authors like Misha Glenny in McMafia and Vikram Chandra in Sacred Games drew on his in-depth research into the Mumbai mafia for their works. Adrian Levy, the author of books like The Meadows on Kashmir terrorism and The Siege on 26/11 attacks, consults him on a variety of subjects.


His reporting on the Mumbai mafia has spanned decades. Black Friday, written in 2002, is a book about the 1993 Mumbai bombings, which had 13 explosions and caused 250 deaths. Two years later, in 2004, Anurag Kashyap adapted the book into a film also titled Black Friday. As a result of the controversy surrounding the film, the Indian Censor Board refused to allow its release in India for three years, and the Supreme Court of India eventually allowed its release after a unanimous judgment in the Bombay blasts case delivered by TADA court.

Zaidi conducted an interview with the suspected bombing mastermind Dawood Ibrahim for the book Dongri to Dubai: Six Decades of the Mumbai Mafia, a history of the Mumbai mafia involving the Mumbai mafia. In 2012, Sanjay Gupta adapted the book into the film Shootout at Wadala.


Phantom, the 2015 film starring Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif, is based on Zaidi’s book Mumbai Avengers, and the screenplay for it was written with Zaidi’s assistance.



As an associate producer, he worked on the HBO documentary Terror in Mumbai, which tells the story of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.

Review of Faith and the beloved

Faith and the beloved
Faith and the beloved

BLURB:

Naithy Cherozil is a rich and successful business woman from Mumbai who marries the young and handsome model Tony D’Souza after the death of her spouse. Little does she know that the ideal sex slave of her husband is the sleeper cell of a terror outfit. Events in her life take unforeseen turns as the male Mata Hari is activated.Prem Rollands is a ‘Kalari’ exponent and a brilliant student whose world revolves around his brother Arun. Things go awry when the police kill Arun under mysterious circumstances. Prem kills the inspector in retribution and is on the run. He is on the lookout to find the dark secrets leading to Arun’s death. Prem must avenge those who have plotted to kill his brother.Eighteen year old Alice Cherozil knows more about computers and mystery games than a girl of her age. Her life falls apart when her mother is hospitalised and in a coma. She is playing the ultimate mystery game of her life as the web of secrets surrounding two precious diamonds and her stepfather threaten to destroy her family. She overcomes the moral dilemma to kill her stepfather. Alice must outwit the underworld and stay ahead of all to save her mother’s life or the guilt of her failure will haunt her forever.As the lives of Naithy, Prem and Alice cross each other they must retain their faith and protect their beloved ones, even at the cost of their own lives.

A master piece from the Best-selling and Award -winning author of Men and Dreams int he Dhauladhar .A riveting saga of love, lust, betrayal, intrigue and revenge.

Review

Set in a contemporary mood style the novel is a fast paced thriller. The second from the author of Men and Dreams in The Dhauladhar . Based on the idea of keeping faith and notion of being one’s loved person, the novel has all elements like love, suspense, thriller, violence encompassed within it.

The opening where Alice Cherozil holds a knife remembering a passage from the bible is where it all starts. A gory and a deep intensive description about how she first contemplates and then proceeds with a firm determination wherein she ends up murdering her step-father Tony Dsouza.

How Tony becomes her step-father is altogether a different story wherein her mother Naithy who loses her husband as one of the victim’s of the Mumbai terror attack. She marries Tony, a model and ended up becoming him sex slave. Thereafter she slips into coma post an accident.

There is yet another story plot simultaneous wherein two brothers(Arun and Prem) who fled with money raping Naithy. Arun on the other hand is killed by the police for which Prem seeks revenge and is waiting upon a chance to avenge his brother’s death.

An action packed sequence follows as Alice does not foresee a lot things when she charted the plan to murder , Tony. But she finally managed to kill him and runs away. Prem looks to kill both Alice and Naithy and God it makes you wonder for a second why on earth all this is happening.

The plot narrows down to some underworld connections which seemingly makes it appear like a British political drama which will all the more leave you gaping and roll the eye balls on multiple occasions. Trust me I don’t remember the number of times I did that.

Even though I found the novel gripping and the plot to be intriguing I needed a break at times, just because everything was going overboard for me. Too many storylines which seem to run parallel and lot of motives which underlie bringing into picture more characters seeking revenge for one another.

I still couldn’t decipher myself as to who I should be putting forth as the protagonist because there were a lot many characters that seemed important at the spur of the moment and then vanished.

The book does have some loose ends but that does not stop you from finishing it. I found the language a bit difficult and it being in the second person narrative , took me time to comprehend what was happening. But applaud to the descriptive nature of writing style.

The book cover is well designed with a blood drop dripping from heart shaped diamond kind of giving you a hint of what can be expected.

Click here to buy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kochery C. Shibu is a retired naval officer. A graduate from the National Defence Academy he has held several important posts in the Indian Navy. Post his retirement he has executed hydroelectric projects in the Cauvery river basin in Karnataka, Beas river basin in Himachal and lately Teesta river basin in Sikkim. He holds a postgraduate degree in Defence Studies from Chennai University, and MA in English Literature from Pune University. Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is his debut novel. The technical content of the novel, namely the setting up of a hydro-project is drawn from his experience in these projects since 2005, as are many of the characters inspired from those whom he encountered at the project site. Kochery C. Shibu was born in Kochi and now lives in Bangalore with his wife and daughter.

This review is part of blogchatter’s bookchatter.

Review of The Misters Kuru – a return to Mahabharata


Blurb

The Pandavas are back!

Draupadi, Amba and Kunti are well settled in their modern-day Kalyug in New Delhi. So, imagine their surprise when, completely out of the blue, Yudhishtra, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva – the Pandava brothers – drop into their world from the heavens. What follows is even more laughter and tears as new battles are fought, old fires are rekindled, and the men find their place in the modern world. If you thought the women had the adventure of a lifetime in Ms Draupadi Kuru: After the Pandavas, the men from the Mahabharata will certainly give them a run for their money. One thing is certain – by the end of their visit, nothing will ever be the same again.

My review

I grew up listening to mythological stories from both sets of grandparents. The two epics Ramayana and Mahabharata took time immemorial to complete. I would await story time to know what next.

The characters fascinated me and I never felt bored if the stories were retold how many ever times they were. The curriculum followed in my school also had moral values as one of the subjects which took deep dive into the epics but in a much more engaging way.

So my interest in mythology went on to continue. I would love to read books that either were a retelling or a book that has a different point of view. So I could say mythology was one of my favorite genres.

The author’s previous work Ms. Draupadi Kuru, definitely was made many heads turn back. Not because the story was a retelling but the conceptualization of the author and the characters she sketched to suit the current scenario.

So when I knew that the sequel is releasing, I knew I definitely had to give it a read. Draupadi, amba and Kunti descending on Earth, setting their wrongs as right, adapting to the modern life in Kalyug, the then Indraprastha.

Love how Draupadi as a character screamed boldness and loud. The Pandavas deciding to come down and bring back Draupadi is the outline. But will they be able to and how do they do is the plot on which the script is centered.

The earth and the mortal life doesn’t seem the same way as it was thousand years back. Do the Pandavas adjust to the current scenario. Do they keep up their virtue?

I loved the fact that the author did not deviate from characters and their natural traits. Just a weave of modern life situations like fashion shows, cricket, talk shows, vibrators (yes yes you heard me right) and fitted jeans definitely add in a lot of interesting scenarios in the subject.

Arjuna and his ball, nakul and his looks taking him to modeling are definitely interesting twists to the original portrayal.

Life is not as easy when they were down here. They have shocks waiting to startle them, do they handle it well? Will they convince Draupadi to hey back? Not to forget the gossip king Narad Muni being a cook who prepares inedible food.

Who would have thought that he would now hold a ladle? What does Draupadi question Arjuna? Does he have the answers? I leave it to you to read the rest.

In love with the authors writing style of keeping it simple and precise. Not to be told as an exact retelling but a current scenario adaptation of an epic is definitely a good sign.

Click below to buy book

Love love love the caricature on the cover design. Draupadi being depicted as the modern day Goddess definitely lifts the expectations.

Misters Kuru: A Return to Mahabharata

About the author

Trisha Das is the author of The Mahabharata Re-imagined, The Art of the Television Interview and the internationally acclaimed How to Write a Documentary Script. She has written and directed over forty documentaries in her filmmaking career. Trisha has also won an Indian National Film Award (2005) and was UGA’s ‘International Artist of the year’ (2003).

This review is part of Blogchatters Book review program bookchatter.

Review of I hate my curly hair

BLURB :

I tug till my head’s black and blue!
But nothing can tame
This wild, curly mane!

Curly haired girl does everything she can to straighten her stubborn curls-after all, everywhere she looks she sees heroines with smooth, silky hair. Then one day, a big bully comes along and everything changes! A humorous tale of self-acceptance. And of hair, lots and lots of glorious curly hair!

REVIEW :

Having read her first book dare eat that. This book is a complete contrast and is aimed at a different age group.

The author Divya aka ‘baal ki dukan’ had struggles with her unruly and very much curly hair. I’d definitely trade mine to have curly hair now.

This book is from the point of view of a four year old girl, who absolutely hates her curly twirly hair that coils and twists.

She feels it’s so unfair for someone to be blessed with curly thick hair that makes it unruly, frizzy and unmanageable.

Being called names like noodle, poodle this girl has tried everything she can to get those curls straight. From stretching it with books, glue, oil and what not the poor thing has tried to set right the unruly mane.

A sense of sadness surrounds her when she watches girls with long straight silky hair on TV and that’s something she doesn’t have.

Being bullied and laughed at for all her hair struggles, she tries hard not to cry.
But an incident changes her while thought and she starts feeling proud and happy to sport those lovely twirly whirly curls. Taking similarity to favourite heroes from books who are brave and adorn curly hair. She feels unique and is finally happy to have accepted herself as the curly haired girl and so does the bully friend.

The illustrations by @rujuta.td are brilliant and absolutely cute to look at.

A recent obsession of my daughter to grow long hair right after I narrated #rapunzel . She now wants curly hair post we finished reading this book.

A very fun and engaging read this book can reread as many times just to teach kids self acceptance and joy of reading.

BOOK DETAILS

Format available: Paperback and ebook

Price : paperback 244 ebook 156

Publisher : puffin books

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Divya, often called ‘ baal ki dukaan‘, struggled with unruly, thick, curly hair for over two decades before she realized her hair looks best when it’s left uncombed! She loves using her curls to hold the numerous pens, pencils and paintbrushes she needs while she’s writing, doodling or working. She gets her best creative ides when she’s hanging upside down, doing anti-gravity yoga. If you’re in Bangalore, you might spot her (and her distinctive curls!) with her husband Vivek. Their quest to eat bizarre foods from around the world features in her first book, Dare Eat That. Follow her at: http://www.divyaanand.in

Do check what Arti has to say about restaurants open in Delhi And what Debidutta has to say.



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