I have read some (not all) of Ravi Subramanian’s books, and I have liked them. Often revolving around the ‘Banking’ sector, his books have a good sense of thrill and suspense to them. The author’s personal experience in the domain also adds a flavor to reading-one can feel an insight into the real business world through his books.
Ravi’s latest book- “The bestseller she wrote” features a bank too – but only in its backdrop. Straying away from his forte, the author has attempted to intersperse romance and relationships with a thriller like story and has managed to do a commendable job given the first attempt of this nature.
Beginning on a slow note with several scenes featuring the protagonists- Aditya and Shreya, the book picks up pace and ends rather in a cliché like twist! Let’s take a brief look into the characters of this plot before delving into the review!
A quick introduction to the main characters:
Aditya is a successful professional in a bank, and a superstar author. He is happily married to his love Maya, and the couple have a son. Things are good between the couple until Aditya meets Shreya, a wannabe writer who seduces him and creates a rift between the couple. The story also features
Sanjay- Aditya’s close friend,
Diana- Sanjay’s lover,
Tim- the bank Chief,
Sunaina-Shreya’s close friend and some others.
What was good?
The author has the knack of getting inspired by the events around him, while weaving his story. It feels like a simple medley of various ‘Times of India’ articles with a sprinkle of creativity. Why is this good? Because it is relevant to the reader’s thought process and has no frills to it.
The episodes that follow Aditya’s ‘oops! I made a mistake’ moment are racy and intriguing. The scenes of ‘romance’ feel good at some parts too!
What could have been better?
The book feels long- especially during the first few pages that involve conversations between Aditya and Shreya. As a reader, I might have liked shorter and deeper interactions, rather than the umpteen text conversations between the duo. While the text conversations are realistically done, one might have expected a tinge of dreaminess to them; romance is best portrayed in a dreamy, syrupy and a heart-longing manner. This, however is a personal preference, rather than a short-coming of the book.
What is however glaring in the story is the sudden appearance of Ebola virus! Of all the possible conditions, one is unable to understand why the author picked this one to infect one of the characters with. Given the intensity of this virus, it is unsettling to read it disappear as abruptly as it appeared! The recovery is also portrayed rather shallowly making the reader wonder if this segment was introduced by the author forcibly to add a little more drama to the story, rather than to add substance to it. Clearly, this could have been avoided!
One other instance where the story feels rather superficial is during the sex scenes. One could describe these scenes as a little ‘thanda’ (cold)- something that is mentioned in the book itself – albeit in a different context! These scenes need a certain level of fluidity, and that is missing in this book.
In all, this is a good book; a time-pass; a one-time read.
Ravi Subramanian is a very good thriller/ suspense writer whose earlier books showed great promise. I would like to see him write more of the thriller genres with crime and intrigue rather than on romance. However, this is not to discourage him from his maiden(?) attempt; who knows? He could be India’s famous thriller romance writer, but, that is a long journey from here I suppose…
I would also like to see him write short crime stories!
On a different note, Indian writers are continuously following a typical path to success- keeping it simple in language and weaving the sequences right out of a normal Indian’s life. There’s no deep literature, but, I suppose this is another new trend in writing coming up in modern India. Authors should, however keep to writing stories that inspire them, rather than succumb to mass commercialization. One can always point to the difference in writing- between an inspired story and a forced story, and it is always the former that enthralls the audience! A book also needs to be done with that inspiration in mind, and not the idea of seeing it made as a Bollywood movie- we probably have enough masala in movies to not see them in books!
Of course, this has nothing to do with the book I just reviewed, but rather an observation of a voracious reader who would like to see many new things and styles of writing coming up…. Ravi is an author who can lead this trend with a difference just as he started with!