You wake up, parched and famished, at the bottom of a deep well—dark and dingy with the foul smell of excreta and rotting scars and no seeming way to escape—what do you do?
This is the predicament that ex-ACP Anton Pinto faces when he reluctantly joins the investigation into the mysterious disappearances of men from affluent families of Mumbai. There is an inexplicable pattern behind the abductions and all suspicions point towards an old, physically-challenged, mysterious lady. Soon, Anton discovers that the seemingly unrelated men have one common link—the most popular and expensive international school in Mumbai.
Following clues that span from schools and old-age homes to illegal dingy hospitals, Anton is led through a labyrinth of incest, abuse, torture and suffering, spanning decades.
What secret does the school hide behind its gates? What was the undisclosed crime that is thirsty for justice? Will Anton be able to save the men? Will justice be served?
Birds of Prey will grip you with questions, taunt you about your societal choices and haunt you long after you have read the last page.
"One of the finest writing debuts I have ever come across. Archana weaves the story in a manner that reminds me of Sidney Sheldon...same pace, intense emotions, and crystal clear imagery. A page turner through and through. Brilliant editing is the icing on this cake. Kudos to the Author and her team.” Arpita. B.
“Of all the novels I have read this year, 'Birds of Prey' by Archana Sarat is one of the two stories that have touched me. Dealing with the sensitive issue of child sexual abuse, which though prevalent is rarely talked about, this book projects itself as the voice that is disturbing, devastating and melancholic, all at the same time. It evokes a plethora of emotions in the reader, ranging from hatred to anger to sympathy for the protagonist, who is involved in a series of mysterious disappearances. The book keeps the reader glued to it from the beginning till the climax with an even narration and an interesting plot.
The characters develop perfectly as the story unfolds. I finished the book by 5 a.m. in the morning; that's what an unputdownable book does to you. Coming from a debutant, this book is not just a good effort; it's the best one could write. In addition to writing a story, the author has been able to put across an important social message that demands attention. In addition to 5 stars, the author deserves a huge round of applause.” Waseem A. Malla
“Archana's debut novel, a slick, fast paced thriller is as compelling a read as it is unputdownable.You will find yourself running along with Anton Pinto, her cop who has been recalled from his self inflicted retirement to investigate the disappearance of rich men in the city. In the same breath, you will also find yourself rooting for Swarna, hoping against hope somehow that she is able to escape her excruciating existence. This is a book woven around the central theme of child abuse and is not a book for the faint hearted. You will at times wonder about the logical thread of motive, yet this roller-coaster ride where Archana will keep you at the edge your seat and has managed to keep a tight leash on the narrative at less than 190 pages will leave you breathless at the end the journey. Waiting for an encore Archana!” Bhaswar Mukherjee
“A book that, once read, can never be ignored, or forgotten!” Deepti Menon
“A very well weaved psychological thriller. There is so much clarity in the characters and the descriptions of a situation are so graphic that I was experiencing and not just reading it. Very gripping and kept me hooked till the end. Read it through the night to finish it in one sitting and when I couldn't, I actually took my Kindle to office! Brilliant work. Bravo!”Geet
“Not every book that comes under the banner of ‘Thriller’ is thriller. Most Thrillers do not possess the power to really thrill the readers, and then there are books which are too thrilling to be called a Thriller. Birds of Prey by Archana Sarat is a novel which falls in the latter category. While reading the book, there came moments when I had to struggle to breath after reading some particular paragraphs. Literally! There are some gloomy scenes in the book which are described in such a realistic way that you cannot help reading them twice to make sure you have read it right. This book is a perfect example of psychological horror, and at times, it reads like Stephen King’s work.” Asif Uzzaman
"A dark and riveting read. Tells you about the sordid lies beneath the masks." Jitesh Pillaai,
"This powerful story is like a dark serpent with enough twists and turns and thrills to keep you gasping for breath. While on the other it makes a stinging social comment that slaps and punches the reader waking him out of slumber. Grab it. Read it." Mahendra Jakhar
Screenwriter & Author
"Archana Sarat's book is intriguing and talks about multilayers of human emotions. Well sketched characters makes it further more interesting for readers. It's a perfect plot for a pacy thriller." Ram Kamal Mukherjee
Author, Veteran Journalist and Film Critic
"Birds of Prey carries the untold stories of what happens to innocent children who are abused at their tender age making them carry the psychological trauma all through their lives. An eye-opener for parents to be on guard for their young ones. Wish there could be many more police officers like Anton Pinto. Do read this ferocious tale that carries us through a multitude of moments of wonder, pity and terror." D. G. Rajan, Director, Balaji Telefilms
"Birds of Prey is a book that you can't put down once you have begun. Swarna will keep haunting you long after you finish the book. Archana's prose captivates and flows smoothly through the pages. A must read for all thriller-lovers." Walter Philips,
"Shaping youth into socially-conscious citizens, in a safe and nurturing environment, is an important responsibility for the society. Birds of Prey highlights what could happen if we fail to do that. The story pulled my heartstrings and made me think, question and ponder." Sai Prakash Leo Muthu,
Chairman, Sairam Group of Institutions
"A really, really engrossing read. Simply 'unputdownable' … Makes an interesting read, all throughout!" Baskaran Krishnamurthy,
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