Nobody’s Child – Book Review
Nobody’s Child – Book Review
Book: Nobody’s Child
Author: Kanchana Banerjee
Reviewed By: Manas Mukul
Publisher: HarperCollins India (28 August 2019)
Pages: 340 (Paperback)
Price: 299 INR
Genre: Crime Fiction
My rating: 3/5
Indian Television over the past decade has seen a plethora of reality shows, genres ranging from singing shows, adventure shows, dating shows, etc. but hardly have we come across a scenario where any of the shows have been marred by a murder mystery. They are usually spiced up with petty politics with accusations of some of them being scripted but nothing of this grave nature.
Kanchana Banerjee’s crime fiction, ‘Nobody’s Child’ explores the marriage of suspense thriller with reality show as it’s backdrop. I would like to express my gratitude towards Blogchatter’s Book Review Program for considering me this book review. This is my favorite genre and most of the reviews are from the same.
About the Author
Kanchana Banerjee lives in Gurgaon with her husband Sandeep and her three boys Rohan, Archie & Casper. In another life she used to write for various publications and companies, now she is a full-time author. When not writing, she enjoys gardening and playing with her dogs. Nobody’s Child is her second book.
The cover of the book is nicely done and gives a spooky feel to the book. The title and those haunting eyes of the cover definitely increase one’s curiosity to go for the book. The back cover has a detailed blurb telling you about the characters and the premise of the plot.
The story revolves around Five main characters; Asavri, the winner of the Indian Koel 2016 who meets a car accident and was declared dead, soon after her victory. Avniel, a struggling film journalist who catapulted to success after he wrote a biographical bestseller following Asavri’s death. Kamini Devi, a glamorous MP portrayed as a vixen who wants to win at any cost. Monty, the failed gangster (lover) who loved Asavri and for whom Asavri developed the Stockholm syndrome. Tanya, who is declared winner and benefits the most post Asavri’s death.
The story is set in present day Mumbai with a timeframe of three years in the past. The chapters keep alternating between past and present. It begins when a skinny traumatized body (alive) of a girl is discovered that claims she is the famous winner of Indian Koel 2016 who was declared dead after a car accident. Until this point everyone thought that it was a mere accident but after her re-appearing in this terrible state the conspiracy angle high lightens and the rest of the book is about uncovering those events that led her to this state and what all circumstances she survived during her captivity.
The character sketching has been done nicely. Each character has been given ample space to develop. The story moves at a fast pace that has been ably aided by a non-complex vocabulary. The buildup is good and it definitely keeps the reader hooked on. Though the book is in excess of three hundred pages one would be easily able to finish it in a couple of sittings. The book is crisp and the editing is sharp and I must compliment that it definitely has the swift legs that a thriller requires.
Some of the scenes have been masterfully described especially the ones of Asavri’s captivity, which add to eerie effect and might make you cringe if you are a person who gets affected by gory details.
You don’t have to read carefully to even know who would be behind the gruesome plotting, which takes the fun out of a mystery if it becomes predictable. Some sub plots are over stretched without them adding to the story and some of them were not even touched upon in spite of being referenced at several occasions throughout the narration.
Every character has grey shades which reminded me of the movie, ‘Ugly’ by Anurag Kashyap where everyone has a hidden motive behind their actions. Here it too feels the same but the end isn’t as good as the movie.
If you are a hardcore lover of crime fiction or suspense thrillers, then you can definitely give a try at this fast-paced mystery. I am going with three out of five for Kanchana Banerjee’s Nobody’s Child. If you want your character-sketches to stand out, give this one a read.
Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul
This review was done as part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program. Please sign up if you are a bibliophile.