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Birds of Prey Paperback – Nov 2016
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"A dark and riveting read. Tells you about the sordid lies beneath the masks." - JiteshPillaai, Editor, Filmfare
“Archana Sarat's book is intriguing and talks about multilayers of human emotions. Well sketched characters makes it further more interesting for readers. It's a perfect plot for a pacy thriller.” - Ram Kamal Mukherjee, Author, Veteran Journalist and Film Critic
"Birds of Prey carries the untold stories of what happens to innocent children who are abused at their tender age making them carry the psychological trauma all through their lives. An eye-opener for parents to be on guard for their young ones. Wish there could be many more police officers like Anton Pinto. Do read this ferocious tale that carries us through a multitude of moments of wonder, pity and terror" - D G Rajan, Director, Balaji Telefilms
"Birds of Prey is a book that you can't put down once you have begun. Swarna will keep haunting you long after you finish the book. Archana's prose captivates and flows smoothly through the pages. A must read for all thriller-lovers" - Walter Philips, Actor
"Shaping youth into socially-conscious citizens, in a safe and nurturing environment, is an important responsibility for the society. Birds of Prey highlights what could happen if we fail to do that. The story pulled my heartstrings and made me think, question and ponder." - Sai Prakash Leo Muthu, Chairman, Sairam Group of Institutions
“A really, really engrossing read. Simply ‘unputdownable' …Makes an interesting read, all throughout!” - Baskaran Krishnamurthy, Author
About the Author
Archana Sarat is an Author and Poet for the last ten years. She shuttles between Chennai and Mumbai and loves both cities passionately. Her works have been published in various popular newspapers, magazines and anthologies like The Times of India, The Economic Times, The SEBI and Corporate Laws Journal, The CA Newsletter, Me Magazine, The Science Reporter, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, the WRIMO India Anthology, the GloMag Literary Journal and many more. She is popular in the online world for her flash fiction that appear every Saturday, called ‘Saturday Shots’. Though she is a Chartered Accountant by qualification, she took up her childhood love for writing as her vocation. She has a Diploma in Creative Writing from The Writers Bureau, UK. She lives with her husband and two sons in Mumbai. Birds of Prey is her first novel.
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The style of writing is simple, lucid and clear. The story runs in flashbacks as well as in point of views. The descriptions are attractive and one can surely visualise the incidents that happen in the story. The author has carefully chosen the events and used them at a correct place. The editing part seemed ditched the flow of the story and could have been better. Further, the lack of proper crime related language makes it look bit fake. Otherwise, the plot keeps us hooked till the end. I shed numerous tears while reading and finished it in just one hour. Kuddos to the author for bringing up such critical issues and giving us the reality check.
You wake up, parched and famished, at the bottom of a deep well—dark and dingy with the foul smell of excreta and rotting scars and no seeming way to escape—what do you do?This is the predicament that ex-ACP Anton Pinto faces when he reluctantly joins the investigation into the mysterious disappearances of men from affluent families of Mumbai. There is an inexplicable pattern behind the abductions and all suspicions point towards an old, physically-challenged, mysterious lady. Soon, Anton discovers that the seemingly unrelated men have one common link—the most popular and expensive international school in Mumbai.Following clues that span from schools and old-age homes to illegal dingy hospitals, Anton is led through a labyrinth of incest, abuse, torture and suffering, spanning decades. What secret does the school hide behind its gates? What was the undisclosed crime that is thirsty for justice? Will Anton be able to save the men? Will justice be served?
I salute the author to write a novel on a sensitive issue such as child sexual abuse though prevalent at every nook and corner of society is rarely acknowledged (forget talking). It invokes a plethora of emotions amongst the reader ranging from anger to disgust , hatred and sympathy for the protagonist who is involved in the series of dissapearences.
This book is gripping. It keeps you hooked till the very end. It starts with an account of life of the ex-policeman and is filled with so many twists and turns that you can’t help but wait with bated breath as to what’s gonna happen next?
I loved the way the author has charectorized the protagonists. I loved the journey of anton from being just a consultant to the case to giving his 100% in it. I loved the way he faught his inner demons. This book will make you sit back and introspect the relations around you.
This book reminding me of the following lines:
nanhi si ek jaan ne apna bachpan khoya
khauf ki maili chaadar odh ke soya
bebas akela bezubaan chupchap roya
The writing style is very simple lucid and the narrative style of the author is impactful which builds in suspense. However , there were two things which I found as a let down.
The introduction of the criminal profiler was a let down. He was more like a prop rather than contributing to the case. I felt he should have had a substantial role.
Secondly I felt the ending was a bit rushed, the reason she chose those 3 people was still not clear. I felt that should have been more elaborated.
Having said all that I feel that this book has a voice of its own which is meant to be heard. I wish that this book is translated into hindi and other regional languages and should be read by one and all.
‘Birds of Prey’ is such an intriguing story about dark unforgivable unhealed scars. It is a story wherein you get confused with whom to actually sympathize with, Anton Pinto, An Assistant Commissioner of Police who handles the case affirmatively of the three mysterious disappearance of men or with Swarna whose childhood was stolen from its very beginning.
The cover of the book is well designed by Abir Sanyal and it befits the story that unfolds in the book. ‘Birds of Prey’ is one of such books that kept me glued to it, so much so, I even overlooked my dehydration. To top it all, I could connect with some characters described subtly by Archana who went through similar process due to untoward situations in their life. Archana though makes a debut with this book, I believe it crosses boundaries to mark a special place in the hearts of the readers, you don’t feel it is debutante who is writing on a relevant topic i.e. Child Abuse and with great maturity and expertise.
The description of every character in the book is flawless and natural. There is no forceful attempt to describe a personality but as the plot unfolds the characters are revealed by Archana. I specially loved the switch between the stories of ACP Anton Pinto and Swarnalatha Subramaniam. Archana beautifully highlights themes like; fear, superhero syndrome, crime needing punishment, circumstances of irresponsible parenthood, abortion, and most importantly child sexual abuse.
Reading this novel was entertaining at the same time sensitizing regarding the harshness of the issue, therefore I truly feel that it is a must read for every parent, social activist and a lover of the child in you.
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