Before getting into the review, let me tell you something. Recently there was a hustle-bustle in the blogosphere when Blog Chatter initiated A to Z blogging challenge. Many bloggers keenly participated in the challenge. They came up with some really interesting posts on their blogs. Soon after the completion of A to Z challenge, bloggers were called to submit their work and get an E book published with Blog Chatter. That was a golden opportunity for bloggers who dreamed to become published authors.
Finally on May 22nd, fifty five E books were launched by Blog Chatter. Fifty five new books = Fifty five new Authors. I really appreciate this initiative by Blog chatter. Click here to find all the 55 E books launched by Blog chatter. They are free to download.
Being a blogger as well as a book reviewer, I decided to support my blogger-turned-Author friends by gifting them a Book Review on my blog. So the first book I picked was Deal of Death by Sonia Chatterjee. We also have a chit chat with Sonia at the end of this post. Do not miss it.
Deal of Death – Introducing Raya Ray
“When the peaceful Munshiganj is affected by paranormal activity, detective Raya Ray steps in. Sharmila feels wronged when she’s told she delivered a stillborn. A dead body, a secret inside the temple, soon Raya realizes no one is what they appear to be”.
Deal of Death is a detective thriller in which Raya Ray is the lead character. She is a private detective who lands in Munshiganj on Sharmila’s request (Well, that could be tiny spoiler, if you are some one like me who assumed Raya to be a male name).
Sharmila was told that she delivered a still born baby. But, she was not ready to believe the doctors. Her motherly instinct said something has went wrong and her baby is alive. No one took her seriously and she was forced to leave the hospital. Here is where she calls Raya for help.
Thrillers have always been interesting reads for me. Every time I finish a thriller, I wonder how authors develop plots for such stories. When Sonia started writing (ok, she is my friend) a thriller just one week before submission date, I was like, thriller in a week ? Seriously ?
I should say, when I finished reading Deal of death I was really amazed by Sonia’s writing skills. She has a very rich vocabulary. Actually, it did not look like a debut novella to me. Great job Sonia!!❤
Coming to the plot and characters;
The plot is very unique. I loved the village settings drawn for the story, the Munshiganj !! It talks about various malpractices that happen in the village; how professionals misuse their positions, how money beats morality etc. Some photos used in the book very well match with the story line. (I have asked her about those pictures in the chit chat session below. Do not miss it). The chapters in the book are pretty small which makes it an easy read.
Raya Ray is a very strong protagonist. I loved the idea of introducing a female lead as a private detective. Normally we see male heroes in detective thrillers, so this made a difference. Sharmila is also a strong character. She is a confident women and doesn’t step back when people try to suppress her voice. I liked that one character who died even before appearing in the story. (Read the book and find out that character). In one chapter she was discussed about and in the next chapter she was murdered.
Some negative vibes:
- Raya turning to a private detective within two years didn’t sound realistic to me.
- Even though Raya unfolded many mysteries of Munshiganj, the ending could have moved bit more forward and made a complete ‘the end’. I mean, I didn’t feel like that was the end.
I strongly recommend this book to everyone who love to read thrillers.
Get your copy right here.
Well, now it’s time for a chit chat with the Author. Let’s see what Sonia Chatterjee has to tell us.
Hey Sonia, how was the experience of publishing your first E-Book with Blog Chatter?
To describe the feeling, I need to start with some background information. With two post graduate degrees in Chemistry and Management, I had been working in the Banking sector for 8 years before I decided to call it quits and chase my passion of becoming a writer. My blog soniasmusings.com was founded in Sept 2017 through which I wrote on books, movies, restaurants, parenting, personal journeys, travel and social issues. When I signed up for the Blogchatter A2Z challenge in April this year, I chose the non-fiction theme titled ‘A Dollop of Bengal’. However, I decided not to convert it into an e-book but wrote a Detective thriller ‘Deal of Death’ that was published by Blogchatter on May 22nd. It has been the most amazing journey so far and this book had been the final step that reinstated my faith in the fact that it is never too late to follow your dreams.
I am really amazed by the plot you have developed in this book. You wrote this in one week, seriously ? (I am jealous)
After the much awaited Blogchatter Ebook carnival was launched, I started working on my blog posts related to ‘A dollop of Bengal’ to make them befit a book. After channeling my efforts on it for almost a week, the outcome of my labor looked incomplete. Bengal has such multiple aspects that the range my book managed to capture could at best be described as a personal selection. I decided to continue working on it for the next couple of months before bringing it out as a book. And thus I chose to bow out of the carnival.
The deadline for the carnival was initially announced as 13th May. As I saw fellow bloggers confirming their submission 11th onwards, there was a sense of restlessness and unhappiness in me. When I chose to make writing my full-time profession, I had promised never to compromise in my commitment towards the new job. So, 11th evening onwards, I started writing a fiction novella in the genre of Detective thrillers. Like the saying goes, fortune favors the brave. The last date for submission was extended to 17th May and in six days; my first e-book ‘Deal of Death’ was completed.
Some photos used in the book look real. Does it have any reality touch with the story narrated?
While the cover has been created using multiple images, there are few pictures in the book that have been clicked by me at multiple locations in Bengal while working on a travel diary recently. The handpicked 5-6 images are the ones that seemed to fit in well with the plot and hence I decided to recreate them in the book. However, Munshiganj – the place where all the action takes place is a figment of my imagination and hence the original images have been retouched to bring them in alignment with the plot.
Would you like to share any interesting instance that gave birth to the character Raya Ray?
I am a big fan of Detective novels so much so that one of the blog posts in the A2Z challenge was titled Goyenda (Detective in colloquial Bengali). While thinking about the plot, I wanted a name that would be short and easy to remember. I was clear about creating a female protagonist since there are so few in contemporary Indian literature. After close to thirty names, Raya Ray lingered on in my mind for a while. When developing her character, I chose to make her walk the off-beat track. So Raya is married to an extremely supportive husband and is coping up with a personal loss while she is also adventurous and courageous. Raya is an amateur in the field of solving crime and chasing criminals but her sharp mind, analytical thinking and logical methodology is getting her the much-deserved taste success.
Blogger or Author, which one sounds better to you?
Writer is what I prefer to be known as. That includes being an author and blogger both.
Any plans for next book in the near future?
Yes, I do have plans to come out with more books in Raya Ray series in the future. I will start working on the second one after very soon.
What do you think about the reading habits of current and future generation?
At one point of time, the reading habits of this generation looked endangered. The younger generation seemed more interested in the audio visual medium than developing panache for reading. However, there has been a lot of recent innovation in the reading world. With E-books and audio books as available now, there are multiple reading options available. Also it is encouraging to see that the love for reading is coming back in a bigger way. I hope with more viable options in the future, it only gets better.
Among 55 E-Books launched by Blog Chatter, can you suggest any two books (of course other than yours’) to our readers?
While I have read quite a few of the e-books and intend to read most of them in the coming few months, there are two books that are my personal favourites – ‘Tales with a Twist’ by Varadharajan Ramesh and ‘That year I found me’ by Dr. Ruchi Nasa.
What are you currently reading?
The last two months have been extremely hectic with the blogging challenge and then the book launch. So this month I am binge reading my favourite author Agatha Christie. I just finished ‘Murder on the links’ for the seventh time.
Any last words to our readers?
Thank you for an overwhelming response to my first book. With close to 550 downloads now, the book is available for free only for a limited period from the link below. So hurry up and grab your copy now.
Click here to download the E Book
And please don’t forget to leave me a rating and review on my Goodreads Page.
Thank you so much Sonia for answering every question in detail. Wish you all the best.