Sunday, April 24, 2016

Review: After the Crash by Michael Bussi

Detective fiction is glorified by the likes of Sir Doyle, Madame Agatha Christie and readers tend to lose the connect often in the modern day fiction. The theatrics involved in the modern detective fiction tends to lose charm at times rather the subject becomes shallow after a point of time. The pull is not all stories muster nowadays. Author Michael Bussi in his first translated work "After the Crash" has tried to break the shackles and let the readers take control the direction of his book and the story. How far, thus is he successful in assembling the biggest jigsaw puzzle of all times? That's the readers need to find out. 

On the night of 22 December 1980, a plane crashes on the Franco-Swiss border and is engulfed in flames. 168 out of 169 passengers are killed instantly. The miraculous sole survivor is a three-month-old baby girl. Two families, one rich, the other poor, step forward to claim her, sparking an investigation that will last for almost two decades. Is she Lyse-Rose or Emilie?Eighteen years later, having failed to discover the truth, private detective Credule Grand-Duc plans to take his own life, but not before placing an account of his investigation in the girl's hands. But, as he sits at his desk about to pull the trigger, he uncovers a secret that changes everything - then is killed before he can breathe a word of it to anyone.

There is not much to delve hard and deep in the cover. The title speaks itself. The interesting part which can lure a reader is the blurb where the crux of the story lies. The innocent philosophy works charms to pull the reader into reading the book. 

The story is set on the France-Swiss border where a plan crashes. No one survives except one. A 3 month old child. But what looks a case of miracle turns out to be the talk of the town as two families come forward to claim the child. Whose child is it? Vitral's or De Carville? One question but no answer. Will the mystery be solved? In the age of science and technology what will set the case apart? Grand-Duc, what role will he play and 18 years later will he finally solve the mystery? Truth be told. 

Strange is the book, stranger the story and strangest are the characters. It is a combination of probabilities, delusional chase, guts & glory and above all faith & determination of mankind. The pursuit of happiness is not a short one in this case. The more you probe, the more it rebels. The story is dark, demented, tormented by aspects which can squeeze the best of the brains. It is not a gallop. A slow poison which can indulge the reader, take them for the spin and drop them back to square one. The lesser is applied, the more complex it is. It is an art form and trickery with skilled illusions. The book is not the aftermath of a crash, it is the aftermath of maths, science and fiction. 

Negatives!! Good question but found none. 

Overall impact the book is beyond comprehension. There is so much to it that it will take sometime to grasp the nature of it. There are aspects to be explored, leads to follow, subtle hints, mysterious, brutal, quiet at times yet marveled by the brains behind it. There's dollop of charm with the divide between the society portrayed and pursued with a definite direction. The characters, the story and the sadness of the situation are the winners in the entire drama. But who's the ultimate beneficiary. The reader and their thirst to devour the best. 


5 OUT OF 5

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Review: Forget Me Not, Stranger by Novoneel Chakraborty

The final part was always crucial. The crux was to deliver what has been a constant phenomenon till now. Inner cores have screamed loud to let the hair down and finally establish what has been elusive for the longest time. Author Novoneel Chakraborty in his final part "Forget Me Not, Stranger" closes down the door on what can make and break the entire journey. So has the ends been tied up cleanly? Are all the questions answered? Let the book answer and settle all the replies. 

"I'm Rivanah Bannerjee, 23/F/Mumbai. Some of you might already know how my life is on a razor edge. Those of you who don't, just know this: I may be killed soon . . . by the Stranger. I don't know who or what he is: a ghost, a person or a figment of my imagination? All I know is he isn't just one thing: he is sexy and scary, terrific and terrifying. What I don't understand is why a young, harmless girl like me, who works in a big city, stays away from her parents and has a screwed-up love life, would be of any interest to him. Unless there is something about my own story that I do not know In the hotly anticipated final installment of the Stranger trilogy, Rivanah will learn the answers to her many questions. What is it that binds her to the dead Hiya? Who is the Stranger? Why has he been following her all this while leading to an intense, breathtaking climax.

The trilogy has already seen two parts. The cover is bland for the tastes and the way story has been belted out in the first two parts, the cover is a huge let down. The title carries the good old tradition from the previous installments rendering mystical and a dead end approach. The blurb carries the same old question. But the question has become larger than life and Rivanah dreads and fears about her life. The eerie intonation to the story continues to haunt and lure the readers. 

The story picks up from where it was left off in the second installment. Rivanah still pursues the stranger, there are questions to be answered, her past is a mystery, present is a mess and an uncertain future looms large. Fear is her best companion. As she oscillates between her past and present will there be an end to this never ending mystery? Who's the stranger? Why is he part of her life? The final part will answer it all. 

Consider this. Rivanah the soul of the story is struggling, And her struggles are far from over. What pleasure can you derive out of her misery? The only sadist pleasure a reader gains out the story is satiated answers to a lot of questions. The noose and the grip tightens around with every page as every word, every line adds to the irresistible yet insomniac amount of detailing involved in the story. There are places where a reader can feel Sherlock but the story always has a bit more to throw you off the radar. It is deep, dark, meaningful, engulfing and twisted at a balanced scale. Patience of a reader is tested throughout yet the journey is a slow death with a tinge of holy grail which is the key to the stranger and Rivanah's misery. The book can change the perception and challenge the inner sanctum of your existence. It is an unbelievable yet believing mystery. 

There are couple of parts which look little clumsy and scatter the immense attention in between the readings. Apart from that a naked eye is good for nothing to pick and point loop holes. 

All in all a befitting end to the trilogy. Expectations were at an all time high and the output is picture perfect. Perhaps there are too many knots to untie and too many scars to be healed. But the story holds true and has retained the essence right from its inception. The bar of the anticipation a lot of notches higher with a justified imprint on the minds forever. It is telltale which will be considered a perfect representation of a thriller. A ride into nothingness yet an urge and a wish to find out what lies in the end. Surreal and a rousing fantasy worth all the wait. 


4 OUT OF 5