Thursday, 12 January 2017

Book Review: Penumbra by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay.

Book: Penumbra

Author: Bhaskar Chattopadhyay

Pages: 282

Read On: Kindle

How Long it Took Me To Read: 1 day...I breezed through this book.

Plot Summary: In the middle of one of the worst storms to hit the city, a mysterious letter arrives for Prakash Ray, an out-of-luck journalist, inviting him to a quaint, suburban bungalow, to celebrate the 60th birthday of an uncle he has never heard of . . . As Prakash reaches the venue, he is introduced to a motley group of people, all gathered there for the old man's big day: his son, his reticent brother, a dignified middle-aged lady who once owned the bungalow, a listless lawyer who manages his legal affairs, a mild-mannered young man who works as his secretary, his beautiful, young biographer, and his mysterious friend, who has never lost a game of chess to him. As the storm lashes on through the night, one of the people in the bungalow is murdered! In a game of cat and mouse that follows, Prakash soon finds out that under the surface of apparent warmth and friendliness, nothing is as it seems and that the bungalow holds one shocking secret after another! In a bid to save his own life, Prakash hunts for the truth, which lies in a mysterious penumbra of shadows and lights, covered in a sheath of deceit and guile, only to realize that the worst is yet to come! 

General Thoughts: Another book I read via my Kindle Unlimited subscription and one I read in one sitting. I just couldn't put this book down.

Things I Liked: 

1.  I really loved the writing and the story telling style of the writer. There was something very comforting about the way in which this story unfolded.

2. This book reminded me of the classic Feluda stories. No, I am not saying this book or the writing is at par with the excellence of the great Satyajit Ray. But this book and this story in particular had very strong Feluda vibes. A house in the middle of nowhere. An unknown long lost relative. Murder. Mayhem. And an intelligent man solving the mystery. I loved being reminded of the stories of Ray and I immediately connected with this book. I was hooked from the very beginning. All of the Feluda vibes made me very happy.

3. The setting of this book was fantastic. A secluded house in the middle of nowhere. A rainy winter's night. A perfect setting for a murder mystery. Also the essence of a Calcutta winter were captured very aptly.

4. There are quite a few characters in this book and the author does a commendable job of making each of the characters stand out and give each of them a decent backstory.

5. The murders themselves are pretty fantastic.

6. Prakash Ray- our main lead, so to speak was a little lost and a little alone and a great blank canvas to see this world through.

7. Almost all the characters at some point or another seem like the possible culprit and it made guessing so much fun.

8. The resolution of the crime was pretty great. I don't want to spoil anything but it was very satisfying and very plausible.

Rating: 5/5

I really enjoyed this book and made my sister read it the very next day and she loved it too and read it in one day! I highly recommend it if you are in the mood for a quick and immersive thriller.

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