Birth of a Duo by Chandrayan Gupta
Publisher: Notion Press
Price: Rs. INR(Paperback), Rs. 49 INR(Kindle Edition)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/3bCTTuJ
Aditya Gokhale, a cynical, clinically depressed teenager, and Radha Bose, a former soldier who quit to become a private investigator due to PTSD, end up working together. Their first case — to determine whether the death of a television actor’s son was a murder or suicide. Will the unlikely partnership flourish, or will it crash and burn? Will Aditya and Radha grow closer through shared pain, or will that very pain ensure their failure?
About the author:
Chandrayan Gupta is a young law student and author. Possessed of an insatiable need to read and write, he published his well-received debut crime fiction novel Birth of a Duo at the age of 19. He is currently pursuing a law degree in Kolkata, and spends almost all of his free time working on his Radha Bose series of detective novels.
My take on the book:
Aditya Gokhale is a depressed young guy who would not let people around him sympathize or pity with him and is also bitter because of the ways of the society. After a lot of persuasion by his mother, he finally agrees to see a counselor whom he vouches not to meet again; the counselor instead suggests him to meet Radha Bose, an ex-soldier who now works as a private investigator.
Radha battles her own demons of a dysfunctional family, living alone and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from her army days. Aditya joins Radha as an assistant, and for their first case together, they are approached by Harish, an old family friend of Radha and a famous television star, to help find the truth behind the death of his son Yuvraj. Will this duo, who are deeply troubled by their own issues, be able to work as a team to unearth the harsh truth behind a young boy’s death?
The story tries to address multiple topics like Aditya and Radha’s mental traumas and issues, the reason for Yuvraj’s sudden death, while slowing unveiling the mystery behind it and those involved. As the story progresses, at places, the suspense takes back seat as the unconventional bonding between Aditya and Radha is explored more. Aditya’s witty dialogues, edgy sense of humor and Radha’s mature response to the situations around them will keep the reader engrossed in the narrative.
The author’s approach to handling mental health issues using two strong characters is highlight of the story. However, the way mystery of Yuvraj’s death is revealed and the facts behind it are not convincing. If the author worked more on building a gripping and realistic backstory for Yuvraj, then the story would have been wholesome.
Pick this one if you are looking for a quick read with interesting protagonists.