Lata Gwalani


Lata Gwalani explores the psychological thriller genre with her debut novel Incognito, which was launched in Mumbai.
As a behavioral trainer, Lata conducts workshops on Emotional Intelligence, and during these workshops, she met many people experiencing emotional turbulence. Somewhere along this journey, Lata realized that many people go through life with a baggage of unfulfilled aspirations. She also recognized the fact that there is a huge gap between our real selves and our ideal selves. This was the seed on which Lata grew the plot for the book, Incognito.

Lata’s experience in psychology gave her a strong background for the book, which tells the story of the lead character Anjali. Her plain and staid life suddenly turns into a whirlpool when she befriends four very different individuals, leading distinct lifestyles. Slowly and steadily, they entrap Anjali into their lives. Anjali becomes the nucleus of their existence. She witnesses their lives from the ringside, and draws vicarious pleasure in their passionate love affairs. Then Anjali inadvertently becomes a mute witness to their plotting of four bizarre murders. Will Anjali be able to extricate herself from the tentacles of her four friends, or is the fabric of their relationship so intricately woven, that Anjali can only be drawn deeper into the sinister labyrinth?

Four separate stories!Four strong women!Four independent lifestyles that, are as different as chalk and cheese. These women are captured very interestingly into intriguingplots of exotic and surreal locales, blossoming romance and finally a murder-intent. If this has not piqued your interest then maybe a few extracts from the book surely will.

Part 1 - The Confession

Anjali let a few moments pass as she gathered herself.
“I have a confession to make”, she said haltingly.
He smiled and nodded encouragingly.
Her tongue froze, stuck to the roof of her mouth. She opened her mouth a couple of times, but no sound emerged.
He pushed a glass of water towards her.
“Thank you,” she muttered and sipped the water watching him over the rim of the glass.
He sat patiently, watching and smiling.
\"Murder,\" she whispered.
His face was calm. His nod prodded her on.
“Four of them,” she continued to whisper.
“Would you like to me about them?” he asked.
“I want to tell you everything,” she said looking into his eyes.
“Well Anjali, where would you like to start?” he asked returning her steady gaze.
“Shall I tell you the way they told me?” she asked

Part 3 - Rachana

“Hey!” I heard Rohit’s voice explode.
I turned to look into the direction in which he was staring.
I saw a lean, tall lady, her hands cupping her mouth on either side, her dilated eyes staring at Rohit.
Before I could even realise what was happening, they were in each other’s arms
“Mayuri!” I heard Rohit’s excited voice.
“Rohit!” she reciprocated.
This was followed by peals of laughter. After some minutes, they disentangled, but still held hands.
I was too shocked to react. All I could hear was a male throated “Oh, my God!” which was immediately echoed by a female rendition of “Oh, my God!”
That was infectious because I was also silently saying “Oh, my God!”I pulled myself together. I walked up closer to Rohit and said a rather high-pitched “Hi!”
They both looked at me as if a tramp had intruded into their personal bubble of space.
“Oh!” Rohit was the first to recover.
“This is Mayuri,” he said with a flourish of his hand, as if she was Indira Gandhi and the whole world should know that!
“Oh, my God, Mayuri, I can’t believe this!” he was gushing shamelessly.
“Hi!” Mayuri’s husky tone responded.
“We are classmates from our MBA days,” she offered by way of explanation.
“And Rachna is my personal trainer,” Rohit said, tilting his head towards me.
Personal Trainer! I winced at those words.

Part 4 - Anuradha

I hung up. I sat staring at my notebook in front of me. A few moments had passed.
Then I pulled up my hair and twisted it into a bun at the top of my head.
I picked up my pen and wrote with vengeance.
“That’s when I decided to kill Avnit.”

According to Lata, the hardest thing about writing a book is,knowing where to stop! And so is the case with reading Incognito. You just can’t stop. Incognito is a compelling psychological thriller; this hair-raising tale will keep you hooked from start to finish. The easy visualisation and quick moving pace will keep you enthralled and you will be compelled to read it, to find out whether Anjali can pull herself out of the web of bloody intent.

Read and download Chapter 1 and 2 of the book

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