31st Book of 2020!
Chetan Bhagat’s writing style remains to be the same where he ensures that you don’t have to go to dictionary at all. He writes not to teach you English but just to tell the stories he feels like writing for the people not very good in language or just getting into the habit of reading. As the book is thriller, it needs a different kind of narration – somewhere I feel CB is not excellent but still manages to keep you intriguing to know who the killer is. I read this book in just two sittings so you can imagine the excitement level that his narration is able to keep.
I liked how the murder happens in the first two chapters itself. Chetan also introduces almost all the characters within the initial chapters itself which makes you guess whom among them must be the murderer of Saurabh’s fiancée - Mostly, after the statements of all the family members are listed back to back. Keshav, as the first voice of the book, tries to decode the case from his perspective keeping us aware of his outdoing which takes the story further very interestingly. As always, CB just doesn’t let the book be all about the thrill of murder with multiple twists and turns but embeds his favorite elements of love, sex, friendship, emotions, humour, drugs, alcohols, one-night stand etc. too.
All the chapters – the way they end with an open ending of a scene where the conversation is in half-stage between the characters is nicely done as rest of the scene is left for you to imagine. I liked this a lot. The one thing that I noticed even in the previous book of Bhagat is the way he has started collaborating with brands and the way he inserts them in the story this time is wonderful – in the previous book, it looked forced. This time, you will find a lot of mentions of Uber, UberEats, Oyo Rooms, Amazon, Porsche, Chayos etc. You will also find the messages that CB wants to put across such as commuting by metro over car, the corruption in police dept. where the cases are closed by framing anyone as killer or mentioning a murder as suicide altogether etc.
Now, talking about the drawbacks- As this is a crime thriller, when the murderer is finally revealed, though CB has made the set-up wonderfully which works up to an extent, but the name doesn’t make you jump off but you are like – Ohh, Okay so this is it! This is something Bhagat needs to work on if he is thinking of writing more thrillers. Secondly, there are still few grammatical errors in the book – I don’t know why it gets skipped in editing when I’m sure Chetan Bhagat and Westlands must be having best resources at work. The protagonist of the book, Keshav, who is telling the story in first voice mentions the elders directly by their name which I found bit odd and disrespectful. There is a section in the book where the transfer of funds is discussed which is later not given any explanation which I found quite surprising as many pages are spent on it earlier. The fat-shaming done throughout the book becomes disgusting later on but I don’t know why author continues with it in almost every chapter. The interrogation part with the family by police – which is mentioned in the first half of the book is so basic that you just can’t digest the simplicity of it.
Overall, this is a light thriller which new readers who are not much into thrillers shall enjoy. The people into crime thrillers shall find this an okay-ish attempt. I give this book 3.75* out of 5. It can be given a try.