Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review #100: Honour For A Ransom

Author: Rajnish Gambhir
Pages: 370
Publisher: Frog Books, an imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

  • Ratings-

Cover : 3/5
Title : 2/5
Blurb : 4/5
Theme : 5/5
Story : 5/5
Characters : 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Overall : 5/5

  • Characters:
  1. Kartar- The protagonist
  2. Sarah- Kartar’s teenage love
  3. Rano- Kartar’s wife
  4. Dilawar- Kartar’s father
  5. Sukhwant- Kartar’s mother
  6. Nihal- Kartar’s younger brother
  7. Parminder- Nihal’s wife
  8. Simran- Kartar’s daughter
  9. Sher Singh- Simran’s love
  • Blurb:

April 13th, 1978. Kartar Singh, an upper caste agriculturist, guns down his newly married daughter Simran and her lower caste husband, for the sake of ‘upholding family honour’.His ex-lover, Sarah Jefferson (a British psychologist) visits him in jail to discover that Kartar has been a victim of ruthless manipulation at the hands of his politician father, Dilawar Singh, who is known to unconditionally despise the lower caste. Vowing justice for Kartar, Sarah embarks on an intriguing mission, venturing to turn the tables against the unscrupulous Dilawar, who by now is a powerful minister in the Punjab cabinet. Curiously delving into his boyhood days, she is astonished to learn that young Dilawar was in fact an ‘affable-boy-next-door’ who too had a love life, having lost his heart to a beautiful girl in Lahore… What then caused this drastic transformation in his attitude and personality? With the time fast running out, can Sarah succeed in nailing Dilawar as the chief culprit for the honour killings? Will she be able to reunite with Kartar – the only man she ever loved? A heartrending love story – Honour for a Ransom unfolds through the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, horrifying hazards of partition, romantic strolls by the Thames, and the unbending complexities of the rigid caste system.

  • Review:

Am I reading it right?“, “Did she actually rate a book 5/5?“, “I can’t believe she rated the book 5/5!” If your mind has been wondering with even one of these questions, I can bet that you are an ardent follower of my reviews – because I have never given a 5/5 earlier 🙂 And just to be clear, it has nothing to do with this being my 100th book review! You’ll soon know why this book deserves the much sought after rating.

Honour For A Ransom by Rajnish Gambhir is the story of a Punjabi guy named Kartar Singh and his struggles through life. He portrayed his interest in literature at a very young age and his mother was the only one supportive of him, being an artist herself, painter to be specific. However, his father wanted Kartar to study agriculture and thus he was enrolled in the top school of London where he met Sarah for the first time at the Christmas Ball. They soon fell in love with each other and Sukhwant was happy for his son, unlike Dilawar, who played against all odds to get his son back to India and work for the family business. Sarah was understanding enough to let Kartar go, although she still loved him with all her heart.

Kartar was married off to Rano and an unintentional indulgence led to the birth of their daugher, Simran. It was only then that Kartar realized how kind hearted and understanding Rano was. Simran was a rebel since childhood. She would go against Dilawar’s orders and never be afraid to stand ordeal against her grandfather. She was a just, righteous and kind human who believed in equal opportunities for all and detested caste discrimination. She fell in love with one their stable boys, Sher Singh, and didn’t think twice before deciding to elope with the low-caste fellow when her family was about to get her engaged to a guy from their community. Love, for her, was above any other emotion and relation.

Dilawar, who was soon to be nominated as a candidate in the upcoming elections, couldn’t afford to bear the brunt of his granddaughter’s deeds and ordered to get her lover killed. Bound by the order of his father, Kartar had no other option but to shoot at Sher Singh, while Simran tried to protect her husband and the newly-weds were both smeared in blood. Kartar couldn’t come to terms with the fact his daughter was killed by him and hence confessed to the local police authorities. In lieu of his political situation, Dilawar severed all ties with his son, holding him solely responsible for the happenings. Meanwhile, Nihal’s treacherous wife Parminder was vying for being the lead in their family business, given that Dilawar would be busy with his political responsibilities post election. She left no stone upturned in ensuring that she reached the pinnacle of success; little did she know that her own actions would lead to her doom.

Kartar wasn’t surprised at his father’s behavior of disowning him and gave up all hope of being rescued, but his younger brother Nihal wanted to give it a shot. During the same time, Sarah visited India and was made aware of Kartar’s situation by the local newspapers. She sure had some plans which looked promising, atleast after understanding Dilawar’s nature through Kartar’s written work which he would divulge in, in the closed confines of his prison cell. His narration is bound to move every reader, connecting Dilawar’s current behavior with the situations in the past. Let’s see what the climax turns out to be.

The book has so much to offer that you’ll not have enough of it. The narration and story-line is so engrossing that I was in deep thoughts even minutes after finishing the book. This is one book which I strongly recommend to anyone who wants to read quality work, an unadulterated story and want some time away from reading the usual contemporary romances and suspense thrillers 🙂

  • Let-downs:

There was a lot of back and forth between present and past which made the narration a bit confusing. Unless you have an elephant’s memory, the large number of characters will surely have a toll at your remembrance.

  • Appreciations:

After a long time I got my hands on a book which made it difficult for me put my appreciation to words. Rajnish has made a splendid narration via beautifully crafted characters. The entire plot has been portrayed in a way that you can feel the characters living, breathing and thriving, speaking to you right from the pages of the book. All sorts of emotions have been covered in the book – love, hatred, betrayal, falling apart, fidelity, selfishness, et al; you name it and the book has it! Also, it is very rare to see Indian narration following the standards set by international literature, taking Indian literature to an altogether new height; Rajnish’s Honour For A Ransom is one of them. I am glad to have agreed to review this book. Thanks Rajnish for dispatching a copy to me. 🙂

  • Verdict:

Exemplar of Indian Literature writing (5/5)

Click here to read Rajnish’s interview by me.


I was introduced to the literary world as an author in 2013. I soon realized that the life of authors is not as easy as it seems. All we yearn for is a little appreciation, someone to praise our efforts, and the satisfaction that we have made a positive impact in at least one individual’s life.

With these thoughts in my mind and belief in my heart, I resorted to reviewing books of other authors to encourage them in this journey, to lend a helping hand to the ones who needed guidance in writing, and be an inspiration to many. It has been 2 years since then and today I can proudly announce that I have reviewed 100 books, 98 of which are from Indian authors, of genres ranging from romance to contemporary, poetry to mystery, self help to cooking guides, and many more!

Reading such a varied range of books broadened my horizon of thoughts and taught me a great deal of the language. I soon began editing books as well, at prices much lower than the industry, with the sole purpose of helping the ones who put their heart and soul into writing. Each of these works needed polishing, vocabulary enhancement, and a lot more. I have successfully edited over 10 novels till date, Keeping the Promises by Dhruv Gajjar and You Are My Luck by Rajdeep Mittal to name a few. Thanks to the ones who believed in my command over the language, trusting me with something close to their heart.

Today, I am a published author, a book reviewer and also an editor! And none of this would have been possible without my readers, fans and followers.

I would like to thank each one of you for being an ardent follower of my book reviews. Your ‘likes’ on my posts and words of appreciation in the ‘comments’ have truly kept me going. It also helped me have faith in the fact that honest opinions are always respected; diplomacy is the mask of cowardice.

A shout to all the authors who approached me for getting their books reviewed, for believing in my work, and for trusting in me to give an honest feedback about your work. I look forward to continued support from each one of you as I progress on this journey of a book reviewer. Happy Reading! 🙂

P.S. Please RATE the post. Hover on the stars and mark it. Feedback is important. 🙂

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I am a Computer Engineer working with a prominent firm. Writing is my passion and likewise I love reading novels and reviewing them. Want to get your novel reviewed? Feel free to contact me at or on Follow on FB- Happy reading! Keep smiling! ;)

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