Strangers With Known Faces by Gautam Dutta – Book Review

Strangers With Known Faces

BY: GAUTAM DUTTA

Synopsis:

Rajat, Meenakshi, Sadaaf, Amol, and Shanaya are five University students with nothing in common- who should never have met in the first place. They meet after winning a lucky draw- the prize of which was to take part in a puzzle game. Though the game was engrossing, they were unable to solve the puzzle in the stipulated time. However, this lead to the beginning of a deep friendship between them. Their friendship blossomed. But ego and misunderstanding led to an acrimonious break up. They meet again- two decades later- when Shanaya is murdered, and the other four are suspects. The four soon realize that in spite of being estranged for so many years, there were unknown ties that bound them- ties of treachery, deceit, and subterfuge. Ties that have led them to come together in circumstances that no one could have foreseen. And the game that they had left incomplete two decades back has to be played yet again – on a much bigger canvas. Now they have to trust each other, clear their names, and get to the bottom of the mystery, which threatens not only their lives and relationships, but also the fabric of democratic India. As their travels and travails continue, they discover hitherto unknown facets of the people around them, as well as their own selves. Can they succeed in resolving the puzzle this time? Or is history doomed to repeat itself? As hidden aspects of the human personality are revealed, they realize that no one is what he or she appears to be. For the world comprises of ‘Strangers With Known Faces’.

Book Review:

“Strangers With Known Faces”, the title itself is enough to generate curiosity among readers to pick the book. The cover of the book is also very catchy. This is a thriller novel with an interesting plot, sudden twists and turns. The beginning of the novel is quite intriguing. However, after a sudden point, the book felt a little draggy though it did not diminish the urge to read further. The setting and backdrop of the story is interesting. One of the most interesting aspects of this book is that it is set in the year 2031. The narrative is very good at places that present a vivid description of the scenes. However, at some places the narration suffers from repetitions and towards the end it seemed a bit rushed.

The character building is good and the best part is that they seem quite realistic with their own shortcomings and weaknesses. Every character has a unique personality. The language is lucid and easy to understand. Sentences are well structured with suitable choice of words, but there are some editing errors. The dialogues seemed a bit unrealistic.

The climax is fine but it could have been better. Overall, the book is a onetime read which is similar to a typical Bollywood masala movie. Recommended if you are looking for a light mystery or thriller novel.

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Plot & Concept
Writing & Character Development
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