Last weekend I sat down with debutant writer Saurabh Garg's thriller "The Nidhi Kapoor Story" which had just arrived. I found myself putting it down even before I had finished the first chapter. A couple of hours later I picked it up again,without giving much thought and within 24 hours I was finished reading the whole book. If this sounds odd you could just order your copy and see for yourself but I had rather prefer you go through my review !
The Nidhi Kapoor Story is a crime thriller set in the fantastical world called Bollywood, where dreams and nightmares interweave to form a tapestry both exquisite and macabre. Or so I am told! The reason I didn't like the first few pages was because I could relate the fictional characters to real people,at least as they are portrayed in films and media . In retrospection, I think the author deserves the credit for taking these seemingly predictable characters and turning them into complex, enigmatic personalities as the story progresses, the intensity pulling the reader into the racy thriller.
The plot revolves around a highly successful Bollywood actress Nidhi Kapoor, daughter of the now wheelchair bound superstar of yesteryears, Nishant Kapoor and rest of her family facing threat from an unknown assailant who seems to possess detail information of not only her plans and schedule but also the layout of their iconic residential complex, Ronak.
After the grotesque killing of their pets, the case is appointed to ACP Prakash Mohile,known for his no-nonsense attitude and efficiency to investigate the crime as well as provide security to Nidhi Kapoor. Rujuta Singh, a photojournalist from an international firm currently assigned to Mohile for her project finds herself becoming more involved in the investigation but nonetheless the identity of the stalker remains an enigma. With a city like Mumbai as drop back, Saurabh does not meander into the irrelevant but enticing characteristics of the city as many established authors do,instead he sticks to the central plot while fleetingly giving glimpses of the many faces of Mumbai.
Here I must confess I have almost developed an irrational dislike for the swarm of newbie Indian authors who have mushroomed in the past few years. In fact, at least from a couple of established authors I would like a refund and if possible,compensation for having to go through their writing. The fundamental flaw I find with these authors is that their narratives seem artificial, meticulously planned effort to impress newbie readers, writing more like salesmen than authors.
However,this is exactly something the author doesn't do. The Nidhi Kapoor Story may not be written in magniloquent form, there may be a few malaproprism but it is undeniably an earnest effort by the author to tell a story in his own language and style and to an audience that can enjoy the story and not just be impressed by self-congratulatory passages. Also I haven't come across new Indian authors experimenting with non-linear narration which Saurabh does even if sparingly. But most importantly, the author excellently builds up the tension and keeps the element of mystery largely intact which makes the book difficult to put down until the end. If you like murder mystery and a good story suits your literary taste, I would strongly recommend The Nidhi Kapoor Story