03 August, 2018

#BookReview - To Hell and Back by Anurag Anand

To Hell and Back by Anurag Anand
A mindless road-rage incident leaves a young and promising entrepreneur dead. Is it an accident, or a cold-blooded murder, planned to absolute perfection? 

Namrata, a young professional, is enveloped by all the quintessential elements of life in the fast lane—a staling marriage, an extramarital affair and eyes full of dreams, until a fun evening turns into a chilling nightmare for her.

Renu, a girl living in a world marred by regressive customs and dated practices, has resigned to the patriarchal ways of her world, until they begin to cast their malicious shadows on her unborn child.

Their worlds, although separate, intersect each other in a single strike of tragedy that none could have imagined. It is then that this story begins and sends everyone’s life on a dizzy tailspin…

Will they be able to get back to their safe and secure lives?

To Hell and Back is a fast-paced thriller that will not only keep you on tenterhooks till the very end, but it shall also rattle your beliefs on how ‘crime-proof’ the world that you live in truly is.

First, a road rage situation that claims the life of Akash, an entrepreneur, and makes the headlines on every major media outlet in the country. Second, a dreamer and a professional girl in Namrata yearns for more from her life. Third, a quiet and submissive girl in Renu turns to a rebel when another life dependent on her needs her to fight. Three lives, three personalities and three very different fates. After Akash’s life is cut short, the focus lands on Namrata and Renu… what threads can bring them together when they live such different lives at all levels? And does fate truly control everything?

The book had me intrigued right from the blurb. A male author writing about two very different lives lead on by two very different female characters... Can he do justice? Or would it end up feeling like every other male voice that stereotypes women? Also, the burning question in my mind while going into the book was how the ‘death’ of Akash could bring these two women together?

It turned out that I quite enjoyed reading the book. Both Namrata and Renu had their quirks and charms. Namrata is a bold and independent woman who likes to question everything. Renu is a self-conscious housewife who is used to having the patriarchal norms run her life. Their individual stories ran parallel to each other giving each of them the time and space to grow till it is time for their stories to intersect. And when it does, the readers are taken for a ride. While I wouldn’t say that the characterization of the protagonists has been done to perfection, it was quite close. There are some secondary characters thrown in to provide not only a variety in characters but also help provide different perspectives on the same situation.

The author has done a great job in setting up the plot. It is done perfectly to keep the readers guessing. At no point did I lose sight of where the story was headed. For some of the readers though, there are a bunch of twists and turns waiting in these pages that a more experienced reader may be able to spot early on. But I have to say, I was expecting more from the climax. With the kind of build up the book has right from the beginning, I was expecting goosebumps at the final revelation. Instead it fell a bit bland when compared to the rest of the book. That is the only point where the book did not meet my expectations.

All in all, an entertaining read…

Review Copy received from the Author

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