Trust Me Not — Ankita Verma Datta
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Price: Rs. 450 INR(paperback), Rs. 265 INR(Kindle Edition)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/2VXVu8h
An excellent account of today’s cut-throat world, told through an intense love story. The complexity of the characters and the story keeps you riveted until the unexpected end.” — Madhur Bhandarkar.
Rising corporate star Reeva Rai is offered a prestigious position in a top-notch PR agency. It is the opportunity of a lifetime. But working with Enigmatic Billionaire Kunaal Kabi was not going to be easy. Even as she develops feelings for him, she is determined to prove herself.
But when an activist friend turns to her for help with a real-estate scam, Reeva has to make a high-stakes choice. Can she retain the credibility of her prominent clients while helping hundreds save their homes? As she digs deeper to find solutions, a nefarious scheme unravels with unexpected connections. A no-holds-barred race ensues, blood is drawn and Reeva is trapped in the eye of a political thunderstorm. If she succeeds, powerful people will have much to answer.
About the author
Ankita Verma Datta is an Economics graduate from Mumbai University and is trained in advertising communication and marketing at the Xavier Institute of Management/Communication. She has spent more than a decade in the advertising industry, handling a wide range of clients from finance, insurance, education, food industry and also government sector and political campaigns, before starting her own communications consultancy in 2003. Apart from marketing and advertising, she has interests in various other fields, including curating antique Portugal houses in Goa and ‘hobby-breeding’ the exotic dog breed of Tibetan Mastiffs. An ardent nature and animal lover, she spends her time between Mumbai, Lonavala and Goa.
Trust Me Not is her debut fiction novel and she intends to continue writing socio-political thrillers with current relevance in future too. She writes to evoke and entertain.
My take on the book
The story starts around a media firm which soon launches its PR wing and the talented Reeva Rai is made AVP for this PR firm. The suave Kunaal Kabi takes over the PR agency with their first assignment to promote the JBP political party in the upcoming elections. While there are other stakeholders, businessmen, and politicians who want to destroy JBP’s chance at the upcoming elections, there is a mysterious ‘Fixer’ and his henchman who try to manipulate this scenario for their own advantage.
Amidst this complicated media and political setup, comes up story of Nandita Sahay, a social worker who wants to prevent illegal demolition of a certain residential complex. Reeva and her colleagues from the PR agency, Nihaal and Shalini slowly get involved in this whirlwind which reveals multiple dark secrets towards the end.
To this political thriller, the author added the media angle along with a love story of Reeva and Kunaal. The author succeeds in making the narrative a very gripping one without confusing the reader. There are multiple clues left at regular intervals which can be easily gasped by a keen audience.
Reeva who is supposedly a smart professional in a high rank in her career, comes across as naive and unsure when it comes to her relationship with Kunaal. Other than the intimacy and attraction she has for Kunaal, I couldn’t find the emotional connect from Reeva; she never bothers to ask him the right questions other than either love or hate at extremities. Even her involvement with Nandita and her cause seem sudden; being in media and PR business she fails to avert the inevitable towards the end, which makes Reeva the not-so-smart woman she is portrayed to be. Most of the other characters are also cliched, lacking the required depth.
While the author has a good story and characters at hand, she falters in execution. What could have been a more interesting and gripping thriller falls flat due to the unwanted drama towards the end. The characters seem to behave instinctively rather than being thoughtful. If the flaws can be overlooked, and logic not questioned, it makes for a good one time read.