Write & Watch

Salesh Dipak Fernando



I picked up Tit for Tat by Archana Sarat because I love stories which are precise and to the point. The collection of flash fiction is an engaging ode to gloom. The biggest plus is the consistency in terms of tone and narrative style.  There is no deviation from start to finish.

I loved the fact that the author decided to completely skip the happily ever part of life to explore despair. Maybe that’s her way of showing the middle finger to the cruel unexpected twists of fate that life often hands out to us.

Every story made me yearn for more. It is heartening to see someone use pain as a twist factor. Thankfully she chooses not to dwell on the consequences of loss. A loss in itself can be a compelling narration. 

Consistency in tone is both a boon and a bane. After a point, even the twists become predictable because the reader is mentally prepared for the worst. And I literally wanted more in terms of the number of stories.  A few more stories would have done the trick.  My pick of the lot is HS174. 

If you love flash fiction and if you love stories which explore the dark side then Tit for Tat is the book for you. Pick it up and relish this short and engaging trip to the dark side.

Amazon Link

Tit For Tat







Sometimes we begin a journey not knowing our destination.  Along the way we encounter both roses and thorns. But we move forward with hope, with passion towards realizing our dreams. What if the whole journey turns out to be a nightmare? What if the passion that drives you becomes a dangerous obsession?

The plot – A writer and a police officer presented with a straight forward suicide case. Is it really suicide? You have to read the book to find out.

The pace of the book is an obvious plus. It’s barely 115 pages and a brisk read.  There are subtle hints which gain relevance towards the very end.  The bread crumbs serve their purpose. The author puts forth some very hard-hitting questions in the guise of a thriller.

It’s like wearing a mask. Peeling off the mask reveals an entirely different perspective. The success of any thriller depends on the author’s ability to outwit the readers and the book does that admirably well.

There are some glaring edit mistakes which have been rectified in the subsequent edition.  Another negative point was character development.  I felt a few more pages could have been devoted towards presenting the psychology of the characters as a justification of their actions. At times a simple character sketch can help elevate a plot.

But I choose to ignore the few negatives for the message the author wishes to convey.   I leave the readers with a question.  What is the extent to which you will go to get what you want? Will you give up everything you have to fulfill your dreams?

A compelling and thrilling read!

My rating – 4/5





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