Book Review: Honour for Ransom by Rajnish Gambhir

  • ISIN: 978-9352013920
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Publishers:Leadstart
  • Price: Rs. 375/- (I got this book from the publisher for a review)
April 13th, 1978. Kartar Singh, an upper caste agriculturist, guns down his newly married daughter Simran and her lower caste husband, for the sake of 'upholding family honour'.His ex-lover, Sarah Jefferson (a British psychologist) visits him in jail to discover that Kartar has been a victim of ruthless manipulation at the hands of his politician father, Dilawar Singh, who is known to unconditionally despise the lower caste. Vowing justice for Kartar, Sarah embarks on an intriguing mission, venturing to turn the tables against the unscrupulous Dilawar, who by now is a powerful minister in the Punjab cabinet. Curiously delving into his boyhood days, she is astonished to learn that young Dilawar was in fact an 'affable-boy-next-door' who too had a love life, having lost his heart to a beautiful girl in Lahore... What then caused this drastic transformation in his attitude and personality? With the time fast running out, can Sarah succeed in nailing Dilawar as the chief culprit for the honour killings? Will she be able to reunite with Kartar - the only man she ever loved? A heartrending love story - Honour for a Ransom unfolds through the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, horrifying hazards of partition, romantic strolls by the Thames, and the unbending complexities of the rigid caste system.

Behind the book


About the author ( in his own words: Source - Goodreads)

Born in Kolkata, I went to St. Paul's School, Darjeeling and La Martiniere for Boys, Kolkata before graduating in Commerce from St. Xavier's College, Kolkata.

Being an avid reader during my school and college days (reluctantly reading became a lesser priority as I acquired greater responsibilities!), I would often be awe-struck about how authors managed to magically weave interesting plots into engaging novels. I would be drawn to their charisma of creating life like characters whom one could so easily connect with! Such intriguing thoughts were inspiring enough to generate within me a passion to write random poems and short stories (all confined in my 'secret diary' though!).

It was not until early 2007 that I took a decisive step forward to start penning my first novel, 'A Passion Beyond Extremes' (a romantic thriller published by Leadstart in 2013), followed by 'Honour for a Ransom' (a love story published by Leadstart in 2016).

Needless to state, nothing has been more fulfilling than this wonderful journey of becoming a published author!

Me thinks

Whoever said never judge a book by its cover was right in case of this book. The cover of the book is a dampener but make no mistake. The blurb is of high potential and that is what makes a reader grab the book. The story having its roots in the pre-independence era is a page turner for sure. With well defined characters and a thrilling plot the author has a perfect read for any reader. The story revolving around honour killing is a stark revelation of the fact that not everyone is born a villain..

The story had a lot of potential with some very strong twists and angles to it. The narration also was lucid ensuring a reader's attention is held on till the last page. The author in an attempt to try something new perhaps confused the reader first when he tried to play with the narrative style by introducing alias for characters. This led to confusion. As if this was not enough there are a lot of portions which are repeated to an extent that you want to just flip the pages and get done with the story. There are also a lot of editing mistakes because of which reading is not smooth. 

Moreover the detailing which I agree was necessary at some places makes this book a thick one compared to other short novels which needs a reader to be engrossed enough to reach the last page and enjoy the whole journey. Though there were a few drawbacks the overall experience of reading this book was good, it takes courage to write story on something so tragic and moving. The author managed to bring to life history when he spoke about Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the honour killing prevalent in Punjab or the India Pakistan partition. Hats off to him for his research on this story which has led to such amazing details which perhaps are otherwise lost in history books.

Recommended read for its history, research and plot - this one is something that should not be missed!

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Mango Barfi - a perfect combination of all the flavours of mango with various dry fruits for company.  Melts in the mouth (read: melts your heart)



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