Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Book Review: Patang by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay.




Book: Patang

Author: Bhaskar Chattopadhyay

Publisher: Hachette

Pages: 226

Read On: Kindle

How Long it Took Me To Read: 3 hours

Plot Summary: ‘I HATE THE RAIN…I HATE IT, HATE IT, HATE IT. BUT THE RAIN CAN’T STOP ME. NO ONE CAN…I’LL GO OUT AND PLAY TONIGHT…I WILL KILL ONLY FOUR. NO MORE, NO LESS. JUST FOUR.’


In the midst of one of the worst monsoons in Mumbai, a man is found brutally murdered, his body posed like a kite on the tallest cell tower in the city. As one corpse after another turns up in the unlikeliest of places, each gruesomely killed and carefully arranged in a grotesque manner, the Mumbai Police realize they have more on their hands than they can deal with. Enter Chandrakant Rathod, a maverick investigator the police turn to in times of need, who plays by his own rules and lives for the thrill of the chase.


Pitting his sharp instincts against the machinations of the sadistic, ruthless killer, the detective succeeds in nabbing the psychopath and putting him behind bars.
Then, three months later, the killings begin again.

A deadly game is afoot – one that will challenge Rathod to the utmost, for it is a game that he cannot hope to win
Things I Didn't Like: I recently read and loved Penumbra by the same author. We reviewed it here. I really loved that book and wanted to immediately read more from the author. So, I immediately got it on my Kindle. My expectations were kinda high given how much I had loved Penumbra.

Sadly this book didn't quite live up to my expectations and by the end of the book I was kinda livid. Let me explain, I have a Masters in Clinical Psychology. So, when I say I know my shit about mental illness and psychosis and sociopathy I am not kidding. I have studied that and more and nothing, NOTHING irks me more than a shoddily researched and poorly executed depictions of mental illness.

Patang was decent up until the ~40% mark and then the author thought that having one serial killer was not enough. No sireeee! He decided to add another serial killer into the mix, making it seem like the new murders were the work of a copycat killer or the first killer's apprentice. That was a BIG mistake! The author took something good and in an attempt to be all smart and oh-plot-twist did something so utterly and ridiculously stupid!

The first half of the book was quite nicely done. The crimes were grisly, the investigation was smart and fast-paced and the writing was very atmospheric. The killer's motive for committing the murders was also nicely crafted and it makes it easier for the reader to feel some kind of empathy for a cold-blooded murderer.

SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ AHEAD IF YOU'RE PLANNING TO READ PATANG

The characters were also decent, though a bit more character building, especially, of Chandrakant Rathod would have been good because later when {SPOILERS BEGIN} Rathod SUDDENLY develops DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), very often and very wrongly called Multiple-Personality Disorder, you have to assume it is one of the two things:
a) Like it happens in cases of DID, the patient develops it in childhood due to a traumatic experience and so, what happened in Rathod's childhood that was so traumatic?! We never find out. We never get to learn anything about his family or even if he has a fam

b) Did the author not even consider doing basic research into DID?! Blaming killings on DID is so badly-done 80s crime fiction-Sidney Sheldon-esque nonsense!

Anyway, this book was a massive let down in the second half! I want my 200 bucks back, man!

Rating: 2/5 (Solely for the first half!)





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