Book Review: Brutal
I first heard of the ePublishing venture – Bloody Good Book (BGB) on Twitter (through the tweets of the founder herself – Rashmi Bansal). BGB is a unique eBook publishing venture where the power of crowd sourcing & crowd curating is used to find the book that is considered for publishing by BGB & Westland Books. Brutal by Uday Satpathy is the first book to come out of BGB which makes it India’s first crowd sourced & crowd curated book! A book that was published because the first three chapters were loved by the reader community of BGB – I thought that makes it very interesting. Boring proof too, maybe!
I love intrigue. And so undoubtedly I love the genre of thrillers. When the publishers sent me a mail to review Brutal the reader in me was thrilled. The blurb & cover pushed me to pick up a review copy after long.
Brutal is the journey of ace journalists Prakash Sinha and Seema Sharma as they search for the truth beyond the obvious. A gang of four boys from Forest Institute of Science & Technology, Jabalpur go bonfire partying in Bandhavgarh National Park. And they never return. Seven years later three headless skeletons were found in the jungles with no clothes on them. A year after the skeletons were found in Bandhavgarh, a schoolteacher in Allahabad gets a creepy warning in his mailbox. Seven days later, he murders eleven on his students inside his classroom, in cold blood. Two months later, he is gunned down in broad daylight in the court by an obscure militant outfit. Justice served. The case is closed. But the protagonists don’t think so!
Prakash coming back to journalism with memories of a nightmarish past and Seema coming to terms with a great personal loss start investigating this case which has reached a conclusion for the world at large. Both get leads that connect these two remotely different cases through thin, hardly comprehensible strings. But they are on different paths, in different geographical and investigative directions for their individual employers yet they have to come together to show the reader the real picture. Jumping into this deadly cauldron is a doctor conducting illegal clinical trials & an organised gang of goons with national prominence. As their personal memories haunt them and danger looms large on not just them but their beloveds too, for Prakash & Seema it is hardly a choice between run to the finish line on time or run out of time to end up finished!
Brutal in my opinion is a well-constructed crime thriller. The story moves at the right pace, the characters are well developed & reveal themselves to the reader at the right time. They come out to the reader both to relieve as well as to confuse. There are a few typos but since I read the uncorrected bound proof copy of the book, I will assume that these will be corrected in the final copy. Where the book disappointed me is the climax; the build up was such that you just know everything is going to be all right. And it does. There was no tension as the book climaxed. And that is where I feel this thriller fails. Thrillers HAVE to intrigue you; Till the very end!
It is an interesting read though not really un-put-down-able. It stresses you but doesn’t leave you breathless towards the climax.
Browse through the full list of book reviews in the depths of the Pensieve.