Author: Prashant Sharma
Publisher: Sristhi Publishers
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If i pretend i am sorry! is a thriller set in the maximum city of India, Mumbai. It traces journey of three men who are connected to each other in a way and their path intersects. Here is the excerpt from each of these characters:
"I was sitting in a room with four of the most dangerous men in Mumbai. All four had a gun in their hands. I has a single malt in mine. And I was the one who was going to dictate the terms.” Rajvir Singh
“That day, I understood the importance of money. That day, I got a new reason to live. That day, I knew what I had to do in life and for what. I had to kill, and I had to kill for money.” Ranvijay Singh
"I felt relieved, I felt scared, I felt guilty. I had finally made the deal. I had paid for my first murder.” Viraj Singh
To put things in right perspective (and this is a spoiler!), Rajvir is the father of Viraj and Ranvijay is the prime henchmen of their illegal underworld business. So we follow their stories differently, all in first person, till their paths collide into a thrilling climax.
The author keeps the pace of the book brisk, unraveling the narrative in the dark underbelly of Mumbai. There are murders, kidnapping, drug dealing, smuggling, fraud and deceit happening between the 'grey' characters. Honestly, all this silently reminded me of the movies of 1970s. The book is a hefty mix of the haves and have nots in the Mumbai society and delve into their psyche of rising above the ranks.
The only issue here is all this even though all this concept is decently executed, the basic story is hardly new from any angle. There is a liberal dose of convenient coincidences and creative liberties thrown in to get out of difficult screenplay situations. The writing does not add any nuances to the characters, so most of them become one-dimensional and screenplay starts reeking of predictability. The twists and turns comes flying from all the directions, but all of them are far too familiar and too 'filmy'.
I am going with generous (2+0.5)= 2.5/5 for Prashant Sharma's second book. It is fast paced and it is unlikely you will be bored with the narrative. But if you are looking for anything extraordinary in terms of concept or execution, you will be disappointed. Read it if you are fan of simplistic storytelling.