Book Review|Strangers with known faces | Gautam Dutta

“Blurb”

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’.

“Review”

Title, interesting and suspenseful in itself develops curiosity about the book and how it’s going to be, though giving us the hint.
📖 Strangers with known faces by revolves around five university friends Anmol, Rajat, Shanaya, minakshi and sadaf. Connected by fate and drifted away by misunderstanding and ego. But the fate has other plans. They met once again but this time as a crime suspect of Shanaya’s murder.

▶️When I tried to structure my thoughts to write this review, I don’t know how to write the review of this book with so many plot twist, characterization, good old-fashioned murder mystery solutions like CBI interrogation, people blaming each others into few words but I tried my best in writing this review.
Firstly, true to its title the book is deeply layered duel between truth and lies. Every character is hiding behind the mask, dual faced. It is the murder mystery/thriller book which takes us to 2030 and it’s hi-tech technology. This is what set it apart from other book of similar genre.
The book is full of thriller that will keep you on your toes, written intellectually with great vocabulary to keep you guessing and full of suspense but the human element and psychology is forever etched in mind.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book setting, the CBI interrogation and the truth unrevealing every interrogation.

▶️The book do complete justice to its genre in the old fashioned definition of characters development, even side characters, contemporary CBI settings. However the book does exhibit a fair amount of clichés and a sense of predictability.

▶️I do find the book to be tad too long because backstory of characters seem to stretch on. I understand that it helps to build background of the story but it could have been made shorter to me. I find some chapters hard to engaged that made me skip the paragraphs to move along quicker but still able to follow the story. Despite the length and slow paced the plot seems disorganized. The climax seems in rushed, like author is trying to wrap up the plot after initial slow paced. Apart from all this flaws it is a great book that didn’t let me put it down till the end.

Ratings :- 3/5

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