14 May, 2015

#BookReview :: Killer in the Shadows! by Amit Nangia

Naam: Inspector Abhay Pandey, Uttar Pradesh Police, sheher Allahabad. If you read newspapers, naam toh suna hee hoga. 
Kaam: Maintaining public order, ordering the hawaldars, patrolling in my jeep and giving rides to women in need. 
Shauk: Haseeno ko bachaana, gundon aur politicians ki bajaana. Fir chhamiya party mein nachnagana. I like murder investigations the way I like my women - mysterious, complicated, and with a (killer) body.
A threat: Naina Sinha received a threatening phone call, followed by an attempt to kill her. I found Naina with a bloodstained knife at her house. Has she killed someone? 
A murder: An unidentified body is found in the public toilet with Naina's photograph and a huge sum of money. Was he out to kill her? 
A secret: There is a dark secret from her past that Naina is unable to remember. Does the secret hold the key to solving the case? As new secrets are unravelled, I begin to realize that everybody from her past has something to hide. This is much more than a simple murder case. Come, let's find the Killer in the Shadows!

My first impression of the book after reading the blurb was that it is ‘Dabangg’ in a book instead of on screen. And viola, our protagonist, Inspector Abhay Pandey makes his entrance in the book to the tune of Dabangg! I know! I did ask myself if I was ready to waste couple of hours on mindless masala stuff. But the one line in the blurb had caught my attention – ‘I found Naina with a bloodstained knife at her house. Has she killed someone?’ So I picked up the book with hopes of finishing it off in a couple of hours either way.

The story starts with an unidentified body being found at a public toilet. Police discovers Naina’s photograph and a large sum of money on him. On the other hand Naina has received a call threatening her life. Everybody around Naina seems to have some secret that they want to keep buried, but they are nothing compared to Naina’s own secret. Will the bindaas inspector be able to find the culprit or will all the secrets surrounding the case prove to be too much for him?

I have to say, the plot had great potential. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of it thoroughly. The author has included a thorough dose of twists and turns that keeps a reader second guessing about who the killer might be. However, the fact remains that I just could not shake off the feeling of déjà vu at certain points where Abhay Pandey and Chulbul Pandey felt like one and the same. And that is where the reading experience lagged for me. Even if I accept the fact that Abhay Pandey is a great fan of Salman Khan / Chulbul Pandey, it was just a wee bit too much for my liking. I like strong and original characters Abhay Pandey ends up being neither for the lack of proper development.

Amit Nangia clearly shows potential and I hope that he will develop his protagonist to be more original and indulging in the coming instalments of Daring Daroga.

Review Copy received from Quickies

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow! The inspector is from my hometown which means the book & it's review is already a hit ;)