Thursday, 3 July 2014

Anti-Social Network by Piyush Jha: a review

How would you feel when you become a part of a sextortion racket? If someone blackmails you with your videos and asks for money? How would you feel if I tell you that all this may happen with the help of links you usually stream on the internet and ‘accidentally’ download without even noticing what it means? The cover of a long haired girl holding a sharp knife, a terror to most students in Mumbai, Piyush Jha has surely done a great job with the 3rd book of the Mumbaistan series- “Anti- social Network”

On the back cover- When college students across Mumbai are murdered one after another in gruesome ways, Inspector Virkar from the Crime Branch is called in. As Virkar investigates, he stumbles upon a ruthless gang of young, tech-savvy miscreants who use social networking sites and the internet for blackmail and sextortion. But how are the two cases linked? And who is the mastermind behind these killings? As the case grows murkier, the computer-challenged Virkar finds himself greatly out of his depth, chasing a killer who always seems to be one step ahead, and a group that soon trains its sights on him. He must race against time to unmask the gang and to find the murderer before his reputation is ruined forever. Thick with suspense and layered with grit, Anti-Social Network brings to you Inspector Virkar’s toughest case yet.

Mumbaistan, Compass Box Killer, both are there safely tucked on my bookshelf but when I caught hold of this book, I don’t know why but I had an urge of reading it then and there. The cover, the name everything was attracting me to itself. I, for now, can’t stop myself from complimenting the quality of the book.

Being the third book of its series, it is a subject to much expectation of the readers. And the author, in no way disappoints them. Yes, the book has surely made me feel a soft corner for thrillers. The book, when it starts grips the readers from its first page.

Gruesome, I wish I would’ve had more words for describing the kinds of murders in the book. But, for me, the book taught me that everything has a reason and maybe the people who do those crimes are not so bad in reality.

For the characters, I would say, words fall short in describing Inspector Virkar. After reading the book, I can bet on the fact that when Inspector Virkar is here, no fear! The way the character has been etched, the way he rides his bullet, the way he takes his beer and goes on a midnight boat ride to clear his mind, the descriptions, all give a cinematic expression to the scene.

As far as the murders are concerned, while reading, I could visualize the scenes very well and I actually had to close my eyes and read through the gaps of my fingers the scenes where the murders with the missing body parts were described. Trying very hard, I couldn’t find any negativities of the book. A little more thrill, speed would’ve taken the book to a whole new level. For me, this book is 4.75 out of 5.

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on


  1. Nice review..after two gripping thrillers I was expecting really something diff frm author..and piyush jha hs succeed in it..he describe mumbai areas also very well..worthy read..

  2. yes Rishi, people had huge expectations from the book and the author has properly lived up to them! A wonderful read... :-)