Supernatural or paranormal genre books usually bring, for me, the expectation of a tale that creeps me out. Horror is about feeling the chills, rather than being told about it. In a way, I think this book The Clockmaker by Paromita Goswami manages to do that.
It’s one of the few times I’ve not gone to the blurb before reading, and gone purely because of the genre. Perhaps a look at the blurb somewhere might have helped me to adjust my expectations slightly, because while there is a horror aspect, The Clockmaker is also a family drama. In the final moments of his earthly life, Bauji, a clockmaker, gives a timepiece to his son Ashish, who ends up taking over the clockmaking business from his father. Years later, Ashish is married to Lata, who is competitive in society circles and wants a life that Ashish might not always seem to give her. His son Vicky has no interest in the clockmaker’s legacy, instead pursuing his passion for speed. Ashish also gets recurring nightmares he can’t quite explain and hallucinations of the black hooded man from his nightmares. And he discovers the power of the old timepiece, inadvertently. Will using that power help him?
The prelude of this book is spot on. It brings a sense of foreboding and that’s good. A reader is intrigued by that, especially given the genre. After that, from chapter one, the focus shifts to the drama. The son, lying to pursue his passion that his parents might not understand. The wife, who wants to be the best in her social circles, competing with a jealous rival. The clockmaker, who is unable to sleep because of his worries and nightmares. The characters are few, but they have their own shades. They don’t necessarily wow you, but don’t fall flat either. I liked the twist once the power of the timepiece is revealed. But that’s about it.
The drama kind of overwhelms the supernatural/paranormal experience, and it is a tedious read. It is a curiosity to know what happens to the character in the end that actually helps keep the pages turning. I wish there was more instances of the hooded man, which was interesting. There was an idea here that may have worked out better. But sadly, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I might.