Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review- Barnabas

It is very bad that we tend to apply halo effect when we read Detective Novels. Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, etcetera have had an immense effect on us and that is why we find it hard to digest any other kind of detective novel. But then still, there is always a first time to like something. And I actually liked the effort of the writer to make Barnabas, a very good detective novel.  ( Nothing beats my dear Feluda, though.)

Thanks to Blogadda, I got a chance to read and review "Barnabas"- by Sangeeta Nambiar. I liked the description of the story a lot, and that is why I was intrigued to read it. But alas! The first 20 pages failed to make an impression. I found myself finding excuses to read it afterwards. But then, after some few 40 pages, the story gets a grip and it is racy and very swift. But still, it is very obvious at many places, and by the time you are nearing the end, you can write your own conclusion. And your conclusion won't be any different from the real ending.

As the story-line reads, Barnabas is set in  British India. The summer of 1942. Bombay.  Rose Stanton, a British woman is missing and her husband, Thomas, likes to keep things quiet and does not want to expose his wife's sudden absence. Barnabas, son of a cook of a "firang" obsessed with Kipling and many other British, is hired by Thomas to look into the matter. And this search for Rose leads him to various findings of deceit, secrets, evil et cetera.

Though sometimes you do not understand the sheer need of setting the book in colonial India, the very backdrop interests you at the same time, even though the writer fails to illustrate the whole freedom struggle properly.  

The culprit is a very complicated man, and Sangeeta has created characters that you can actually picturise in your mind and feel yourself in Barnabas's place. But this very reason, makes you understand what is what and what is going to happen next in the middle of the story.  

I rate this book 2.5 stars. Sangeeta Nambiar has tried her best, and she has delivered a good book. And a detective can have many cases ahead, so we await many other parts, many better parts.

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