Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Review: Catching the Departed by Kulpreet Yadav

The Indian literary scene seems to have a lot of thrillers off-late. Some based on stories of the past interspersed with the current age, others focusing on a particular sector say Banking, and yet some others who have not carved a niche for themselves yet have a promise of doing so.

The book I am reviewing here is yet another piece of crime fiction. The author has tried to differentiate himself though by giving us a new detective – Andy Karan.

Like some books I have read recently, whoever is out on a killing mission or on a saving mission in India, must have an army training and Andy Karan is no exception, except that he is no longer serving the military directly, but posing as a journalist but is really an undercover agent.

The Story
Set mostly in Delhi and a village near Delhi, we hear that a villager has been killed under suspicious circumstances. Andy Karan’s boss, Monica (obviously female and obviously single and good looking like she would be in all Indian novels) at the magazine sends him on a mission to find out after getting a tip off from a random source she doesn’t bother to verify about. Andy Karan lands up at the village and without much ado raises hackles without bothering to do anything cautiously and gets beaten up. His boss, Monica is apologetic about sending him there but Andy wants to go back.  Why, because there is this mysterious old man boss who shows up, and says that he is Andy’s boss and Andy wants to do as he commands him to. One would think, someone with an army training would be more cautious, but no, apparently the secret investigation cells of India work so secretly that detectives like Andy don’t know who they are working for!
The story however far-fetched, was believable till this point in time, till it revealed the villain who according to me bordered on insanity although he should have been a really astute person. If you read it, you will realize how inane the villain is and even less believable are his plans that follow to unleash terror in India. And then I have my pet peeve..the story is interesting but it seems to be written for a film with its unnecessary heroine, good looking army jaawan, and multiple locations of Delhi, Mumbai and a rural village near Delhi.

I would say the effort by the author is not too bad. While I like the idea of Andy Karan, the promising detective, I would have been happier with a better execution of the story
I will give this book a rating of 3 stars on five.

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