Until I Find You by Kanchana Banerjee
My take on the book:
At a construction site in Jaipur, Crime branch inspector Shashank and his friend Virat, Inspector of Bannod are called when the workers dig a decomposed leg. The triangular nail polish pattern on the toenail and the bulging bunion on the remains of the leg remind Virat of Sejal, the spunky young woman he met in Bannod few months back. Before he can investigate the case further, Virat receives instructions from higher-ups to drop the case.
After living under a pseudo name and identity for ten years, Jenny reaches Bannod after seeing a boy’s photo in a magazine, a kid who has stark resemblance to her friend who died ten years back; a friend whom she could not save and regretted till date.
How is the chopped leg related to the green-eyed boy’s story and how do Virat and Jenny connect the dots, without having any formal support to investigate the case, forms the rest of the story.
The author begins with a brief on cults and a notorious real-life incident from the 70s which is the inspiration for this story. The theme of cults is weaved into the story by the author while maintaining the suspense around mass suicides that abruptly ended a certain cult a decade ago. The highlight of the narration is how the author connects all the seemingly disconnected characters and their stories at the end.
Halfway through the story, the author shocks the reader by revealing true identity of the antagonist, at which point I felt disappointed on how the suspense is not sustained till the end. However, the story takes unexpected turns from then on, with more and more details from the past revealed, with a thrilling pre-climax and a shocking climax.
The author sticks to the story at hand and does not include any unwanted tracks, there isn’t even a forced romantic angle to the main characters, hence focusing on the storyline all through. I previously read two thrillers of the author — along with the common element of suspense and thriller genre, the author always comes up with a unique element and backdrop that is well researched and captivating.
The story and narration take the front-seat instead of glorifying the characters and I liked it that way. There are sequences which can be guessed by the reader, but the shock value kept me hooked till end. Though the second half has the most action and feels a bit rushed towards the end with too many truths revealed, I enjoyed the overall adrenaline rush.
Pick this one if you enjoy reading thrillers, especially those set in rural India.