Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Book Review: Fear is the Key by Juggi Bhasin

I'm not a fan of crime thrillers but I enjoy it when it has psychological elements in it. Basically, I have (recently) developed a keen interest in Psychological Thrillers.

Fear is the Key by Juggi Bhasin (Penguin Random House India) is a psychological (crime) mystery. It's about Rahul Abhyankar, a fairly successful businessman, his greatest supporter Suhel and his fiance, Simone.

One controversy and everything jumbles in Rahul's company --- Yummimages. Rahul throws a party in his house to calm things down. Also, Suhel and Simone --- two most important people in Rahul's life --- are at loggerheads over the unexpected controversy. Rahul badly wants to get things right for he can't choose between his childhood best friend and his love of life.

The party is in full swing, things seem under control, and suddenly Simone is nowhere to be seen. Rahul gets a bad feeling about Simone's disappearance. When all the investigations seem to fail, Rahul takes the command; tries to find the suspects and connect the dots.

What happens next? Where is Simone? Is she alive? Who is the culprit? You will have to read this book to know the answers.

'A bitter winter wind blowing outside spoke to me. There was no one else. And then it struck me. She might have truly disappeared! Sometimes, you get a sense of these things . . .'

The story starts well. Some odd incidents that Simone experiences before her disappearance create intrigue (but they remain unexplained). That eerie feeling that Rahul gets as some weird voices, visions and familiar smells disturb him right after Simone's disappearance has been described well.

But then, the story sags in the middle. The annoying investigator seems to be doing nothing. There are so many characters, so many points of view that I got confused. It gets complicated, and I was not able to connect the dots. However, I can't say they were unnecessary characters as I believe crime thrillers require a number of characters. 

Thankfully, the story picks up and gets really gripping towards the end. The end --- the disclosure is something that you can't predict easily. And, as a reader, it was a good thing for me. 

The writing is neat and main characters are well-crafted, however, there are no strong female characters except Simone, but she has apparently nothing to do in the story. I liked the character of Tanya, the psychologist and her interaction with Rahul. 

One thing that I really disliked was several erotic elements. A particular reaction in an official meeting seemed totally unrealistic and odd. Plus, I did not like the character of Fredo and Janki. I thought these elements were completely unnecessary.

Overall, it was an interesting read. If you enjoy reading crime fiction, if you like psychological elements in a story, you can pick this book.

I received this book from Writer's Melon for an unbiased review.

1 comment:

  1. I love this genre. I'll keep your recommendation in mind. Thank you.