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January 5, 2011

Book Review - 2 : The Mysterious E-mail

Author: Anirban Basu
Publisher: Rupa Publications

A business magnate - Banibrata Mazumdar greatly perturbed on the receipt of an e-mail, seeks the advice of Aki Ray- a detective by passion and an independent software consultant by profession. Aki advises him to lie low. The very next day, Mr. Mazumdar is kidnapped. Aki rushes to the spot, trying to solve the crime wrenching the truth from the particular incidents. Will Aki be able to solve the mystery behind the email? Will he be able to place the jigsaw puzzle of the kidnapping piece by piece?

Tauted to be a thriller, a race against is written with such a heavy hand that reader with a non-technical background may just need a jargon side-book to decipher the language. The basic premise is based on such a small thread of phishing, you want to mock at the intentions of the author. It has a clumsy screenplay which is so simplistic, you don't feel any interest by the time mystery actually unfolds because you have guessed it well in advance. The dialogues are clunky and the twists and turns are superficial to say the least.

Based in Kolkata, the plot is formulaic, tried and tested... seen in numerous movies and plays. It has absolutely nothing to offer new and there in lies it's biggest problem. The main protagonist Aki is too contrived and over the top, placing too much self importance with himself...something which could have been deviated in bringing better twists and tales in the story. There is one particular good chapter in which we discover the whole agenda behind the phishing e-mail, but that's about it. Rest details are just too far fetched and bores you completely with the technical mumbo-jumbo. Considering it is just 146 pages long, it still seriously tests your patience.

I am going for 1/5 for Anirban basu's The Mysterious e-mail. It's a half baked predictable mystery book, read it if you have 200 bucks to waste. For a more satisfying reading experience, i suggest you better get back to Robin Cook's Medical thrillers or John Grashim's Legal thrillers. It is indeed a mystery how such a book can be published in the first place.


Luscious Sealed Lips said...

Indian Writers and their books - Yawn! What is wrong with Publishers these days? They are publishing anything and everyone!


Phoenix said...

Rupa for the sake on bringing freshness to the readers is managing to dish out just trash! someone this new age writers are not even worth shelling out Rs 100 on them.What gives them the idea that by being able to write a sentence correctly they are good enough to pen a book?!!

Amit Gupta said...


Well, publishers are dishing out books in the hope of hitting the jackpot with some book. Blame it on the success of books by first time authors, everyone is hoping to be next Chetan bhagat. It's a matter of supply and demand. People are buying, that' why books are coming out. Even though i agree, the quality is going down, hence it is important to be proactive in selecting books you want to read and that's where book reviews from common people (like me) can be useful and can act as a pointer!

Amit Gupta said...


It is just not Rupa, there are many small time publishers as well who are in the same boat. By low quality and price, the revenue margin is low for the publisher and the royalties are peanuts for authors. But then, as readers we never buy the quality books or buy pirated books, who is to be blamed? Not publishers entirely.