Monday, September 5, 2016

The Delhi Deception- Book Review

Book- The Delhi Deception
Author- Elana Sabharwal
Genre- Romantic thriller
Number of pages in the book - 370
Type- Paperback 
Publisher- CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Usually I stay away from love stories since I find them too dramatic and boring. My favorite genre happen to be thrillers, murder mysteries, theology, sci-fi and horror by John Grisham, Agatha Christie, Ashwin Sanghi and Amish Tripathi. This time I opted for a new author to try something different. After all budding artists should be given a fair chance yeah?

PS: The book was NOT sent to me by the author. The review is my personal opinion and not for promotional purpose.

‘The Delhi Deception’ by Elana Sabharwal is a thriller written in the backdrop of Delhi.

The plot- Carla, born to an Indian father and South African mother, is a journalist by profession who was born and brought up in South Africa. She is married to Andrew, a war journalist with CNN, posted in Pakistan. Distance keeps the two physically apart and Carla desperately wants to meet him, before she goes to India to meet her father’s family. She gets the shock of her life on finding out Andrew cheating on her. An upset Carla leaves for India and stays with her best friend Elousie.

Taking refuge in retail therapy and historical tour of Delhi, Carla meets a handsome George who frequents the social gatherings. She is attracted to him, hushing up her inner voice that she is married. The story takes a turn when Carla is kidnapped, injected with drugs, sold to traffickers but rescued by George. Gradually she falls for him inspite of being warned to be beware of the latter; nursing her wound on one hand and feeling guilty on the other. An interesting turn to the story comes when George convinces her to spy on Elousie’s husband who is suspected to be involved in anti national crime. 

Caught between friendship and new found love, Carla finds herself trapped in the blind maze with no light at the end of the tunnel. As the story unfolds, Andrew comes to Delhi searching for Carla, making it even more difficult for her to trust her own instincts. She is drawn deeper in a black hole of shocking revelations as betrayal gapes at her.

My views- Not even for a single moment did I feel that the author is from outside India! The book has been written after deep research and Delhi beautifully described. Elana has taken care of every little thing about India. Writing on a culture not known to somebody ain’t easy, and she does that seamlessly! From tea culture to Indian family values, Elana has taken every detail into account to create a fiction which seems real.

Under the smiling faces and painted colors of the elite class society, there lies a dark untold story, often concealed from the public. The smiles are fake, the gestures are forced, yet they look natural and good to naked eye. Elana has been able to bring out these aspects very well, making me nod in agreement each time while reading.

Carla is quite an interesting character portrayed by the author with different shades in her personality. I personally like the way Elana has shown Carla feeling guilty and then giving in. 
George seems every women's dream! Too perfect to be true (Hehe) 
Elousie, Carla's friend, is an underplayed character. Her actions did not make sense. But somebody always plays the fool in a fiction pulp, isn't it? 

The only place where the story stumbled was the climax where Elana picked up all broken pieces to complete the jigsaw puzzle. 
Spoiler- Why will terrorists dealing with Nuke leave the victim alive in an old unused factory? And why on Earth should the ladies be kidnapped just to be brought to the same factory where the nuke weapon was assembled?  Carla's reunion with her father's family (the main objective of her going to India) was diluted as the story progressed. The whole background of her father's family seemed unnecessary!
The book was otherwise quite engaging, leaving me wondering “what’s next” after each chapter.  If only the climax was a little better and watertight, the story would be flawless. Infact the climax was a bit stretched and over done. But as they say, no body is prefect, so the minor flaws do not annoy you. 

In a nutshell, this is a light read for all audience. Not suitable for "serious action"lovers may be but has all ingredients for a perfect Bollywood Masala fiction. Will not appeal to a mature audience. The language is quite simple, sans complicated words or jargons. 

My rating- 3 on 5 

About the author- Elana is married to an Indian physicist is a mother of 4 daughters. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa. A former fashion designer,Elana is currently work as a marketing director for a chain of five restaurants co-owned by her and husband.
Read more about her at


  1. That the author has done extensive research to bring out the backdrop in a realistic way, is really laudable. Nice review here... :-)

    1. That's what I liked about the story. Molded and customized for the Indian audience. Thanks Mani :-)


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