Showing posts from January, 2016

The Butcher of Benares

I finally succumbed to the temptation and grabbed the offer to have a Kindle Unlimited subscription for a year at Rs.1399/- (a limited-time offer that Amazon India is offering currently).   The first book that I decided to "borrow" was The Butcher of Benares by Mahendra Jakhar.

Hawa Singh is a police inspector from Delhi, who has come to Benares with his father, who wants to attain salvation by breathing his last in India's most sacred place.  Hawa has a bad past, including a bullet lodged in his brain, courtesy an encounter with a dacoit.   Benares is a place of dead, where bodies are burnt all the time.  But even there, a floating dead body of a foreigner with a cross stuck in her chest is a matter of concern.  Hawa happens to be in the vicinity of the crime scene and is called in for help since his exploits are known to the higher-ups.  

The death of the American lady also brings in an FBI agent, Ruby Malik.

Even as the investigation commences, there is another deat…

Helmet rule for pillion riders in Bangalore

Early this month, the rule to make it mandatory for pillion riders of two-wheelers to wear helmets became mandatory in Bangalore (or is it Karnataka?)  Police gave users 10 days time before they started fining violators.   As per newspaper report, over the last two days, Police have penalised about 5000 for violating.

Like many other rules, helmet for pillion riders make a lot of sense.   Most of the deaths in accidents involving two-wheelers could have been prevented if the riders were wearing helmets.  In fact, even if there were no rules, one would think that riders would think of protecting themselves when travelling on the road.

One could argue that with the traffic in today's roads, chances of accidents due to speeding vehicles are rare.  But then accidents can come in many forms.  In Bangalore (as in many other places), popular accident causes are potholes and road bumps.   Reversing vehicles banging into you is common as well.  Just because your two-wheeler does not spee…

The Rogue Lawyer - John Grisham

Grisham is a popular American writer, known for his legal thrillers.  I had read many of his earlier books, but felt it had become repetitive.  I decided to read his latest one, The Rogue Lawyer, featured in New York Times Best Sellers's list.  
Sebastian Rudd is the rogue lawyer, one who takes up cases of those whom no one wants to defend. He knows the system well and uses it to his advantage where suitable.  He defends an alleged killer of two young girls, whom a prejudiced jury is very likely to find guilty.   In the course of doing that, he exposes the eagerness of prosecution to convict the accused overlooking clues that lead elsewhere. 
Rudd also has other interests, including promoting up-and-coming cage fighters, one of whom ends up behind bars for killing the referee.  He is also harassed by a convict, who staged an escapade moments before he was due to be hanged. 
Rudd also ends up being forced to be the lawyer to a person accused of being responsible for the missing of…

New Year reading - The Troubled Man

I stumbled upon the hard copy of The Troubled Man, the English title of the novel translated from Swedish a few days back.  The original novel, as I learnt subsequently was by popular Swedish crime writer, Henning Mankell, who passed away in Oct 2015.

The novel features police inspector Kurt Wallander.  Menkell has written a series of books based on Wallander - this one incidently was the last Wallander novel.

A retired naval officer, von Enke disappears during a morning walk.  A few days later, von Enke's wife disappears as well.   von Enke is soon going to be the father-in-law of Wallander's daughter Linda.  This gives cause for Wallander to investigate the disappearance.

As Wallander interviews the near and dear of von Enke, various incidents involving Swedish navy, NATO and Russia during von Enke's career comes to light.   Could there have been a spy and could some of the politicians during that period made mistakes?

Wallander has also grown old and realises that he h…