What happens when reality mingles with mythology? Well, here is a young protagonist who discovers himself trapped in the days of Mahabharata. Then a story of dark secrets, shocking revelations and a special bond between two women. Next come two thrillers that will take you inside the deep, dark and secretive lives of people and their quest for truth.

The IANS bookshelf this week offers an assorted range of write-ups. Read on.

1) Book: Lost in Time; Author: Namita Gokhale; Publisher: Penguin; Pages: 119; Price: Rs 250
The protagonist, Chintamani Dev Gupta, heading to a birding camp near the Sat Tal lake, is inexplicably transported to the days of the Mahabharata. Trapped in time, he meets Ghatotkacha and his mother Hidimba.

But the gentle giant, a master of illusions and mind-boggling rakshasa technology, weilds his strength just as expertly as he imparts the age-old secrets of the forest and the elemental forces. And in his enlightening company, Chintamani finds himself in the thick of the most enduring Indian epic.

Author Namita Gokhale’s book offers a tender look at a remarkable friendship as well as the abiding riddles of time. This visual treat of a book sheds light on the firstborn son of the Pandavas — one who finds rare mention in the yellowing pages of legends.

2) Book: Stuck Like Lint; Author: Shefali Tripathi Mehta; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 155; Price: Rs 295
The story revolves around the bond between two women — protagonist Trisha and Debika. When Trisha, an author, disappears suddenly, complaining of a writer’s block, Debika, her editor for years, is left distressed as theirs was not just a writer-editor association.

As Debika braces herself to read the stories written by Trisha that got her awards, she finds a shocking revelation — a dark secret that will unravel itself in the most mysterious ways. The book is a nuanced novella with a twist in the tale, a story about women who live complex lives within commonplace existences, each of them devising their own escape from the realities and challenges of love, marriage and motherhood to follow one’s heart’s desire, in the most unexpected ways.

3) Book: Pines; Author: Blake Crouch; Publisher: Thomas and Mercer; Pages: 309; Price: Rs 399
Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives there in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in hospital, Burke has no ID or cellphone. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town?

As the days pass, Burke’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Each step towards the truth takes him further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive.

4) Book: My Sister’s Grave; Author: Robert Dugoni; Publisher: Thomas and Mercer; Pages: 410; Price: Rs 399
For the past 20 years, Tracy Crosswhite has been living questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House — a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder — is the guilty party.

Crosswhite becomes a homicide detective with the Seattle Police Department. When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their home-town in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Crosswhite is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship with her past.