- Title – Catching The Departed
- Author – Kulpreet Yadav
- Publisher – Tara India Research Press
- Genre – Thriller (Fiction)
- Pages – 255
- ISBN – 978-81-8386-066-6
- Price – 299 INR
Blurb on the Book – The dead don’t speak. But sometimes they leave a trail. Andy Karan, an investigative journalist, is tasked to probe one such – the death of a local lawyer.
He ends up grievously wounded. His new-found love Monica’s life is in danger too.
It’s not that Andy wants to live for ever. But to die at the hands of enemies of the nation will be a shame that will transcend even death.
Review – The book has a dark cover in tones perfectly suiting the thriller plot and manages to pump excitement and anticipation in the reader. I’d like to point that on first impression from the title, I felt it would be a horror novel. Though the blurb of the book hints the reason (death of a local lawyer) as the starting point of the plot and also the inspiration of the title, I believe the title isn’t very apt, failing to capture plot’s true essence.
The cover states ‘Catching the Departed by Kulpreet Yadav’ was shortlisted for the DNA-Hachette “Hunt for the Next Bestseller” prize. This did have a positive influence in pumping my expectations from the novel, however, what I discovered reading through the pages printed in an eye-friendly font, lies ahead.
This book is #1 in a thriller series with Andy Karan as its protagonist where Andy investigates a murder to end up being sucked into a threat for national security. The book has a fast paced, intriguing first half that builds the suspense and Andy’s character as an investigative journalist with a past in the army, well.
I particularly liked the attention for detail trying to portray Andy as a real, believable hero who fails, makes hasty moves landing in trouble yet has the determination to keep going. His undying spirit pumps life at many points when the story gets predictable and slack.
I wish to congratulate the author in the use of wonderful analogy of the protagonist’s Mahabharata namesake, Karan. Though the analogies are few and far between but they come across as well thought and well-fitting in the novel as well as it’s timing in Mahabharata.
The language is simple and the narrative lucid with one very distracting flaw. The timeline comes across as a bumpy ride with disturbing inconsistencies (especially when trying to gel scene transformations). The author has tried to paint scenes giving picturesque details of the surroundings, but I felt he went a bit overboard in doing the same in the climax.
Monika (Andy’s love interest) in the first half comes across as a smart, secretive, glamorous woman but as the story progresses, she falls victim to no-room given for her character to grow. Without spoiling the suspense or spilling the beans on the plot, I wish to convey that the sequence of events in Murud did portray Monika behaving as a romantic heroine readily sacrificing her entity (and more) just to appease the protagonist. That disappointed me leaving a bad taste.
The second half of the story is disturbingly predictable without delivering a twist in events in the climax, as was hinted on a number of occasions. The master-mind too could have done with more room in the story. I believe, the plot called for bigger, politically sound and powerful accomplices than that have been shown to carry out a mission of this magnitude and gravity.
In the next book (s) of the series I hope to see due care taken to edit the book better to eradicate the roadblocks of grammatical errors and inconsistencies in timeline. The brilliantly drafted plot would evolve as a masterpiece if the author could include more dialogues in the plot, to ‘show more than tell’ and gift the climax sufficient length for impact (to avoid coming across as abrupt).
I recommend the book to everyone who loves reading a fast paced thriller, in a breezy read. The book would make a good one-time read during travel.
About the Author – Kulpreet Yadav the Founder-Editor of Open Road Review, an international literary magazine that has published over 130 writers from 20 countries in the last three years. As a Creative Writing Mentor, Kulpreet has conducted several workshops for aspiring writers in India.
Shortlisted numerous times in literary contests, Kulpreet’s stories and essays have appeared in over 30 publications, in India and elsewhere.
Rating – 3/5