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19 August, 2017

#BookReview :: White Smoke by Nikhil Mahajan

Virat studies in a renowned boarding school in Shimla. But behind the façade of a happy teenager is a disturbed child trying to fight the pain of his mother’s death and his father’s ignorance. Neither love nor friends seem to be of any help. That’s when he finds a picture in a library book, which changes his life forever. 
In trying to find the truth behind the girl in the picture, he stumbles upon dirty secrets and a scandal that shocks him. 
Meanwhile in Delhi, a CID officer and Police Inspector Mathur are trying to unravel the mystery behind the gruesome murders of two influential families that seem to be connected to the mysterious girl in the picture. 
Will Virat be able to find the mysterious girl or lose himself on the way? 
Discover the chilling reality of life, friendship, love and deceit behind the curtain of White Smoke.


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White Smoke by Nikhil Mahajan is a short light read of 150 odd pages.

On one hand, the capital city of India is being thrown into turmoil by high profile murders. Inspector Mathur is put in charge of the case with a little help from CID. On the other hand, we have Virat, who is a student of a well-known boarding school in the idyllic town of Shimla. He is in a way a typical teenager with angst that he needs to channel. When he finds a picture of a girl in a book, he gets sucked into something that is more dangerous than what he can perhaps handle. How are these two separate storylines connected? Will Virat be able to handle the scandal that he uncovers? Will Mathur be able to solve the murders in time?

My main problem with the book lies in the characterization of the main players in the storyline. Virat’s problems were understandable at the beginning. Having lost his mother and having an ever-absent father can be tough on a kid. But I could not really stand by some of Virat’s actions that could not be justified in anyway. Add his unhealthy obsession about a random girl he doesn’t even know to it, and it was near impossible to care about the kid. Inspector Mathur, another prominent character in the book, also failed to make an impression. In his case I felt that the author failed to flesh him out.

The plot of the book felt interesting enough to keep me turning the pages. While there are a few places where the author has opted for easy solutions which may not be feasible in real life, there are certain elements in the book that has a certain hook. For instance, I was curious about the psyche of a ‘certain character’. Even though I did not completely agree with the thought process of this character, I could however kind of understand where it was coming from. 

All in all, this is a pretty fast read. While I would not recommend readers to go out of their way to pick up this book, I would not discourage them to pick it up if they get an opportunity to read it.


Review Copy received from Srishti Publishers


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