Piyush Jha is quite a renowned name in the genre of Indian crime thrillers. His latest publication, Raakshas: India’s No.1 Serial Killer, is a new feather in his cap. Serial killers always said to have a different mindset and their brains work without any fear or contrition. In this book Piyush has unfolded the life of an infamous serial killer who went havoc in Mumbai. Not only the author has delineated the killer’s early childhood and prepubescent days and then, his becoming a terror, but he has also raised a question, do human beings are born as serial killers? Or they are made into one?
The story is narrated from the point of view of a female IPS, who happens to be the investigating officer of the case. She is the first one to identify the similarities in the modus operendi between two consecutive murders in Mumbai and assumes the nefarious activity of the said serial-killer. Then, after a few days, all hell breaks loose as the killer strikes again and again. Each time, he is one step ahead of the police force and even shows the audacity to mock ‘Madam’ over the phone. A number of failed attempts on the officer’s part earns her severe opprobrium, but she is determined to unmask the killer. She has a past of her own with secrets buried in the depth of her mind that trouble her whenever she sees another dead body, a victim of the serial killer. Will she ever be able to unearth the secrets behind this killing? Will she be able to win the war against the faceless, brutal killer? The book reveals the answers in the most intriguing way!
It took me 3 hours to finish the book. This absolute page-turner compelled me to burn the midnight oil! The psycho-analysis of the killer and, depiction of the events throw lights on the complex labyrinths of the killer’s mind.The killer, with an utterly disastrous childhood, repressed his emotions and feelings and, eventually his mind, the unconscious one, overpowers him. Anima, the most significant of all the autonomous complexes according to Carl Jung, takes over and, he rather falls as a prey to it. As is seen with such persons, the killer’s IQ is well above the average and his creativity and skill is beyond any question. It’s not a psychological thriller in the truest sense, but I liked the élan with which the author has travelled through the killer’s psyche.
The serial killer’s character also reminds me of a similar psycho-thriller I read a few months back, Kirtida Gautam’s #IAm16ICanRape, the protagonist there, a boy of 16, exudes similar fantasies with the Anima playing a big role there too in his interactions with women.
These sorts of books, I would like to add, are not for those with a tender heart. The graphic descriptions of kill, murder, rape, can enervate you and make you feel like regurgitating, but these are also truth, truth of this violent world we are living in. And, we all know, truth is always harsh.
The lone editing error is on page 201. (Oh, well, forget it!)
Recommended for all who love thrillers/psycho-thrillers.
From my side, it’s 4.5/5
Raakshas: India’s No.1 Serial Killer, by Piyush Jha, received and reviewed in collaboration with Writersmelon