There are, I believe, two types of thrillers. One that slowly develops over the book, with some dull parts to compliment the thrill parts; and one that starts off with a bang and keeps us hooked from page to page, making us feel that even the dull parts are thrilling. This murder mystery thriller is something like the first one.
End of Story begins with the narrator and protagonist Shukrat Ali recollecting the events that eventually led to the death of Satya Sengupta (Shh). The narration is done in a different way, like the question-answer sessions of a testimony in the investigation/case in the matter of his death. The recollections start from the day Shukrat Ali’s daughter went “missing” to, well, the end of the story I suppose. The recollections are complete, and hold the key to help solve the murder. The story has been set in Vidarbha, where Ali is sent for an investigation, and that what he unearths there is a very important turning point.
What I liked in the story is the narrative style. The language is quite flowing and helps to retain the interest in the story. This isn’t an out and out thriller, but a mix of thriller and family drama I think. The author’s attention to detail can be seen easily, and the research he has done to make the book a little factual when it comes the setting. The characters are vibrant and different, each of them lending a little more beauty to the book itself. Bengali is used in some places, but I felt it worked because it offers more authenticity to the narration, it makes it seem like that’s the way it was delivered in court.
The first thing that I see is the cover. It didn’t pique my interest. It may be relevant to the story, but still felt very odd. What works as a positive sometimes takes on the negative too. That’s applicable in this case. The family drama mixed in sometimes feels irrelevant to the story. It is entertaining, but not something that can be read in one go, or very quickly.
On the whole, I feel it’s good book, but not an excellent one.
In A Gist:
Positives: Narration, attention to detail, vibrant characters
Negatives: Odd cover design, some parts feel irrelevant, slow for a thriller
About the author:
Arjun Shekhar is co-founder and chief volunteer of Pravah, an NGO that builds leadership and social responsibility among youth by connecting their individual identity search to the society around them. This is his second novel.
Title: End of Story
Author: Arjun Shekhar
Publisher: Hachette India
Price: INR. 350
(3rd April 2014)