Anti-Social Network is Piyush Jha's 3rd book after Mumbaistaan and Compass Box Killer and the 2nd featuring Inpector Virkar of the Crime Branch in Mumbai, but this is the first of his books that I have read.
The basic plot summary is that a series of young adults are murdered across Mumbai and they see dto be connected and Inspector Virkar is here to save the day.
There is something about reading this book, that made me feel like I was reading a film script rather than a novel. (I've read my fair share of theatre scripts and read a few film scripts online too to catch nuances in dialogs from films like the Matrix or Inglourious Bastards.
Something about switching the tense to Present Continuous when describing a location and then switching again when it came back to the main story line, read like instructions to the sets crew.
Yes, there is a decent storyline in there, but its more suitable to a Bollywood Potboiler than a good crime thriller. I'm not even trying to compare the author to Henning Mankel or Stieg Larsson, it can't even hold up to the plot of an Erle Stanley Gardner or a Surender Mohan Pathak.
There is a lot of promise and possibility, but in the guise of adding twists and turns to the plot, the ending was actually quite predictable and I guess that is why I did not enjoy it so much.
The only thing I really liked about this book, was the love with which the city of Bombay/Mumbai has been described. With a little look at the history and development of locations.
The book however is a huge improvement over Indian authors whose primary target audience is young teenage girls and guys and I hope that it can entice this category of readers into reading books with little more to the story line than "falling in love"
Rating : 2.5 / 5
The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.