What if a few writers team up together and share the writing journey? Well, one can do the research work and prepare the first draft of the content, and the other, more experienced one can finally edit the stuff to make it even better and engaging. Sometimes the role can be different also. But, the keyword here is “collaboration”. When the book is out and name of both the authors on the cover page, it will reach out to the readers of both of them. And, eventually, it is a win-win situation for both (or all) of them. Of course, considering the book is worth the same.
This is not a new concept of course, around the world many writers do such collaborations. Regionally and even internationally. James Patterson is very famous for doing so. And, probably it is one of the reasons of his popularity across many countries. Recently, Ravi Subramanian and Jigs Ashar did one such collaboration that resulted into two books – or “Shortz” as they call them.
We have shared our views and reviews for one of the shortz – A Brutal Hand – earlier. Here is a quick link to the same:
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Keep Your Eyes Open
|Ravi Subramanian, Jigs Ashar
|Westland (7 September 2020)
|# of Pages
3111 KB; 163 (Kindle EBook)
|# of Chapters
And today we are going to talk about the second book from this collab – Insomnia (Tagline: Keep Your Eyes Open).
Let us take a look at the cover page of this book.
Insomnia – as you know, refers to a medical condition when you cannot sleep at night. The cover page showing a lady sleepwalking. At the first glance, the place looks like a hospital corridor from an English movie. The cover page uses white, silver and black colors. The cover page quite faithful to the story and title both. And, it looks attractive too. Neat and clean surfaces and finishing on the elements makes you like the cover for sure.
Let us take a bird’s eye view of the story.
Meera Dixit, ASP attends a distress call made to the police helpline. Someone is calling to save him from his wife, as she is attacking him to kill! The call got disconnected and the ASP found that the person was in desperate need of help. So, she visited the place. She found the target place a closed house at a quiet place and despite her ringing the doorbell no one has opened the door.
The Commissioner of Police called in an important meeting to analyse the law enforcement situation across the financial capital of the country. When Meera mentioned about the call, she was told that the call could have been a prank and she should not take it very seriously, as she had already visited the place.
A young and dynamic police officer, Aditya Sachdev, however, advocate a follow up of the call. He was assigned on the case to accompany Meera. There are some personal reasons Aditya was willing to take this case. He doesn’t want to avoid the call and eventually regret not helping someone who is in desperate need of it. That is what Police is for.
On visiting the place they meet Rohit Acharya. He lives there with his wife Tanvi. Tanvi is the daughter of Late Dev Bakshi, the owner of Bakshi Pharma. She is having a medical condition. She often does sleepwalking and during those times she was out of control. She tried killing Rohit a few times. Rohit was the one who made that distress call.
With the fear of getting killed by his wife, he was unable to sleep.
What will the police do? Will Tanvi be taken to a hospital where she could have been under better care? Will she attack Rohit again? What are the demons Aditya is fighting with? Will Meera fall for Aditya during this investigation? Well, you can get answers to all these questions when you read the book.
Views and Reviews:
If the title is “Insomnia” then why the tagline is “Keep Your Eyes Open”? Isn’t it contradictory? If you suffer from insomnia, you need to put in efforts and get medication to close them and get asleep. Why then it is telling to keep them open? Well, the answer lies in the story. Nothing is misplaced here :).
Spread over 56 chapters this story has comparatively limited characters. It revolves mainly around the investigating team (Meera and Aditya) and the couple they are investigating the case of (Tanvi and Rohit).
If you are a movie lover, from the initial segment of the book you will remember Hindi film Officer (starring Suniel Shetty and Raveena Tandon).
The book starts in an interesting way. Like their other “shortz” thriller, the authors has elaborated the thrills in this story also quite well. For example, take a look at the following scene in the book:
Meera Dixit, Assistant Superintendent of Police, turned right at the Metro Cinema junction towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. CST, as it is popularly called, is a historic railway station and a World Heritage site in Mumbai. It was 1 a.m. on a cold Saunday in December, but the city was still awake.
In addition to introducing the character, these lines gives geographical details about the location, a little historical fact about it, the time when it was happening, the weather at that time and the traffic situation. And the spirit of the city is also reflected quite effectively. It is an art to weave all these elements together in just a few words. Any avid reader will surely admire the talent of the authors here.
Such detailing is found in almost all the scenes. For example:
Pushing open the iron grille, they saw a thin, silver-haired old man in dark-blue shorts and a yellow t-shirt. He was watering plants that neatly bordered a manicured lawn.
“Manicured lawn” will give you an idea that the place belongs to a wealthy rich fellow, the person is silver-haired, wore shorts and T-shirt and was watering the plants, gives you an idea that he has plenty of idle time, that comes when you have enough money and less responsibility if it is happening on a weekday. These lines also give you an idea that, though, this is the first time you meet the character, but, you will keep meeting him more than once over the course of the story.
The authors duo keeps giving background information and historical references where needed. For example, here is a scene where they are talking about a specific place.
As the name suggests, this section of the colony has a cluster of five gardens, interconnected by a circular avenue lined with trees.
The authors have paid attention to smaller details. For example, they named a home – “Paradise”.
The cops in the book are humans (read, they are not the superheroes) so, in addition to their strengths, they have their limitations and vulnerabilities as well. Such human behavior is reflected throughout. For example:
Meera pulled out her service revolver, murmured a silent prayer and rang the doorbell.
Such reflexes are normal and that makes the character look more real.
Sometimes, the attributes of the characters are referred to indirectly. For example, Aditya’s interaction with Amol (a small boy) tells a lot about his persona, which is not mentioned anywhere directly.
The book has some interesting oneliners also.
Crime appears to have gone on a vacation.
The interaction between all the important characters of the book and elaboration of their characteristics (for example the CP is punctual and is on time, etc) is one of the key strengths of the book. Here is a small list of characters you meet in the book and some of them are found taken from real life (with a little twist, of course): Meera Dixit – ASP, Salunkhe, Hemant Gokhale – Commissioner of Police, Rohini Singh – Meera’s batchmate at academy, Aditya Sachdev, Rohit Acharya, Tanvi, Bakshi Pharma, Dev Bakshi (Late), Sam Mehta, Pratap Chauhan, Dr. Binaaz Mistry, Mahesh Sardesai.
While I cannot reveal many aspects of the story to avoid spoilers, the fact that “Bakshi Pahrma valued at rupees 2,000 crores” plays an important part in the story, can be shared.
The initial segment, Meera’s visit to the caller’s place – to – Aditya and Meera assigned the case, seems a little disconnected. It could have been more convincing. Also, some scenes showing “emotions taking over the reality” are not so convincing.
By the way, if you read Ravi Subramanian’s books regularly, you will find interesting to see “Aditya” as the protagonist (and can visualize various elements of the story as well 🙂 ).
The book is a little pricey. Especially, for the target readers. The good thing, however, is. it is available for free to read under Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription. So if you are one of the subscribers, you shouldn’t give it a miss.
If you love thrillers, you will enjoy reading it.
7.5 out of 10.
Quick Purchase Links:
- Buy – Insomnia By Ravi Subramanian & Jigs Ashar – Hardcover – Amazon India
- Buy – Insomnia By Ravi Subramanian & Jigs Ashar – Kindle Ebook – Amazon India
- Buy – Insomnia By Ravi Subramanian & Jigs Ashar – Paperback – Amazon US
- Buy – Insomnia By Ravi Subramanian & Jigs Ashar – Kindle Ebook – Amazon US
Over To You:
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