Category: Book Reviews

Book Review: A time to kill by John Grisham

The jury didn’t need evidence. They needed an excuse.

When an african american kills two persons for raping his 10 year old daughter, his life hangs in balance. An young lawyer is chosen to defend him.

A time to kill is sincere effort at writing a legal thriller unlike some silly legal tv shows. It has the seriousness that a book deserves. There will be good days and bad days in a lawyer’s life. I like it for not being sexy. It’s not a tv series. Books expect some seriousness. It is like a textbook for writing legal thrillers. The attention to details is to be appreciated. Able to portray the situations and racial tensions in USA.

At times feels one sided. I would have liked a moral conflict. I feel some parts can be edited. Even though good, some parts are unnecessarily prolonged.

A Time to Kill book cover
A Time to Kill

Lucien, the lawyer’s mentor is great. His efforts for rights of african americans are commendable. Loved his biography at the end of the book. I would have liked better arguments from the prosecutor. Liked the humour in the gravest of situations. Ellen’s (the lawyer’s secretary) character, represents that sometimes innocent people suffer for standing up to good. Feel sad for Mickey mouse, the police informer more than anybody.

I am still not sure how jury system is good for people. It always favours the majority in my opinion.

Rating: ★★★★☆

You can find the book in Goodreads: A Time to Kill

For more of my reviews follow me on Goodreads: Ravi Babu

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Book Review: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

This is a textbook for crime novels and I am not kidding.

Considered one of the best books of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot detective series, Murder on the orient express is a guide on how to write a crime novel. Even the chapters are named as evidence of A, evidence of B as such. Chapters are so perfectly planned that they urge you to know what happened next.

Hercule Poirot boards on Orient express which runs from Istanbul to London. On second day morning a passenger lay dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.

Murder on the orient express
Murder on the orient express

Agatha Christie plays with stereotypes well. She keeps Hercule Poirot short and ugly so that when we read his deductions we understand that appearances do not determine who we are. She also uses rockstars, cops, young women and old women to blend us into her narrative and then reveals who they truly are.

The novel is full of twists and turns. It keeps us guessing and challenges our perception on murderers, revenge and relations.

By the way I read this in a train which is truly fascinating.

Rating: ★★★★☆

You can find the book in Goodreads: Murder on the Orient Express

For more of my reviews follow me on Goodreads: Ravi Babu

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Throne (Not J K Rowling) (No spoilers)

Cursed indeed. Let me prepare you before reading the review. This review does not contain spoilers. J K Rowling did not write this book. Infact this is not a book. This is a play so consider it like a movie without visuals, only dialogue. J K Rowling just gave the basic idea and approved the final version. Jack Thorne wrote it. It deviates seven books and feels like a retelling with unique point of view. I am resisting myself to use the word fan fiction.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cover
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Time travel (this is not a spoiler) is difficult, complicated and bad idea for fantasy and non sci-fi books. The paradoxes eat the book simply. Further characters deviate from their original traits. Some plot points in this, become plot holes if connected with original sacred seven series. The villain is stupid and even stupider is his/her birth. The plot and its movement is at best inconsistent and at worst ridiculous. The heroes are forgettable. The book (sorry, play) lacks what it shouldn’t lack; Seriousness. I will try to forget this book. No, I am not angry; Just sad.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

You can find the book in Goodreads: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

For more of my reviews follow me on Goodreads: Ravi Babu

Book Review: Animal Farm by George Orwell

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
At the start it may seem like a simple fairy tale the Animal farm brilliantly explains the concept of communism. Not only communism, but it also shows class systems in England, Labour class, Dictatorship. Through Clover, It clearly illustrates the change in vision after Rebellion happened. How a group takes advantage of weaker sections and brain washes them.

Animal Farm Book Cover
Animal Farm

I do not know why even though this a satire on communism, At some point I also felt it touches on Capitalism and segregation. I think It will stand the test of time. It already did. I wish It will for years to come.

Rating: ★★★★☆

You can find the book in Goodreads: Animal Farm

For more of my reviews follow me on Goodreads: Ravi Babu

Book Review: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

At the verge of survival, humans turn into animals.
As Agatha christie rightly says it is very difficult to write 10 murders one after another without the murderer becoming obvious. The clever trick author pulled is that all the ten people had committed terrible crimes or at least accused of. But None of their crimes are proved or can be proven. Hence Every one in the ten people could be the murderer. The morality of actions is well illustrated. The professional mistakes conflicting with ethics was well described. Book is short and fast paced. Suspense is well maintained. Language is simple. The transition of humans into animals at the verge of survival was well articulated.

And Then There Were None Book cover
And Then There Were None

Even in the face of death the professional organisation is still maintained; The authority of judge over police and doctor diagnosis. It shows the human tendency for a societal structure. Beginning is little clumsy since it starts with introduction of ten characters one after other. But they meet at a place, then things take violent turn. This is my first book by Agatha christie. But from what I read and understood and heard from others this could be her Masterpiece.

Rating: ★★★★☆

You can find the book in Goodreads: And Then There Were None

For more of my reviews follow me on Goodreads: Ravi Babu

Book Review: If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon

Sadistically, I enjoyed Tracy Whitney’s struggle more than her happiness.

There are two parts in Tracy Whitney’s life. Struggle and then happiness. She goes to prison and suffers and then gets released, becomes con artist and feels happy. Sadistically, I enjoyed Tracy Whitney’s struggle more than her happiness. So the later part of the book where she becomes a con artist did interest me in the beginning but soon it be became a cliche that she always wins no matter what. Add to it the dinners, hotels, the paintings and beautiful people which bored me to hell.

If Tomorrow Comes Book Cover
If Tomorrow Comes

But I liked the first part of the book very much. Her struggle to come out after being deceived and forced into prison where she was tortured, is inspiring. Maybe the author thought it would compensate for all the dinners and hotels. They did not.

Starts good, becomes fantastic, changes to interesting, ends boring.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

You can find the book in Goodreads: If Tomorrow Comes

For more of my reviews follow me on Goodreads: Ravi Babu

Book Review: The Cuckoo’s calling by Robert Galbraith (J K Rowling)

The writing is great. There is something in Rowling’s writing style. She can create romance just by matching the person’s news article preferences without them being together. The character development is good. Strike is a peculiar character aged, wounded both physically and mentally. Robin is an interesting assistant to him like Watson to Sherlock Holmes. Book has more conversations than action which I liked actually. Because In reality Detectives analyse the evidence rather than chase killers.The writing is a bit formal but I liked Rowling’s british formal style. Overall it’s a good book.

The Cuckoo's calling Book cover
The Cuckoo’s calling

Rating: ★★★★☆

You can find the book in Goodreads: The Cuckoo’s Calling

For more of my reviews follow me on Goodreads: Ravi Babu