Review of “Nobody’s Child” by Kanchana Banerjee

Title: Nobody’s Child

Author: Kanchana Banerjee

Publisher: Harper Black- An Imprint of Harper Collins Publications

Publication Date: August 25, 2019

Genre: Crime Fiction

Pages: 323

Purchase Link: Amazon

Review_ Nobody's Child

Let me begin this review by stating that I love crime fiction. Detective novels are my absolute favourite, and general crime fiction is a close second. Hence, I was quite excited to receive Kanchana Banerjee’s second book, “Nobody’s Child”, to review as part of the Blogchatter book review program.

THE PLOT:

After winning the national reality TV show “Indian Koel”, Asavri Bhattarcharya dies in a car accident. Many people benefit from her death including Avniel- the ruthless biographer, Tanya- the glamorous runner-up in the TV show and Kamini Pratap Singh- Tanya’s mother who wins political favour on the basis of her daughter’s success.

All hell breaks loose when Asavri turns up drugged and badly beaten but alive, almost 2 years later. Where was she? Who was responsible for the state she has been found in? Why did someone fake her death and keep her alive?

THE COMMENTARY:

The basic storyline of the book is interesting and novel, especially the concept of using reality TV as a backdrop. However, most plot points are stretched to the hilt, and many are built on highly unlikely coincidences. In fact, the story continuously becomes more implausible as it unfolds. I had many eye-roll moments while reading the book, which is a never a good sign!

The story gives the main characters ample space to develop, yet they remain flat. Constantly highlighting certain traits over others, makes them one-dimensional- either too evil, too selfish or too naive.

The writing and editing is crisp and the storyline moves fast, which is to the book’s credit. However, personally, I find the staccato first-person narrative a bit annoying. The reader learns about the personalities of the characters through the characters’ introspection of themselves. Though the self-introspection technique is often used in books, Banerjee’s characters repeat their own stories to themselves as if someone else is relating those stories to a third-person. The overall effect is jarring and even ridiculous at times.

While the ending is pleasantly satisfactory (always important in a mystery novel!), some interesting points could have been explored more. These include the improbable sexual relationship between the MLA and the failed film journalist, as well as the mysterious death of the MLA’s industrialist husband.

While reading the book, I was often reminded of Vikram Chandra’s “Sacred Games”. I felt the description of the gangster’s activities and hideout, as well as the story of the legless woman were inspired by Chandra’s masterpiece.

Overall, I feel Kanchana Banerjee’s “Nobody’s Child” would have been infinitely more interesting, had its execution not been so amateur.

THE VERDICT:

Having read plenty of excellent books in this genre of literature, I feel “Nobody’s Child” by Kanchana Banerjee is just average. However, people looking for an easy, fast-paced book about Mumbai’s murky money-politics-crime scene, may enjoy the book.

Rating: 2.5/5

Buy the book on Amazon here

 

Reviewed as part of the Blogchatter book review program

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*I’d like to thank Blogchatter and Harper Collins for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. The post is not sponsored, but it contains affiliate links. When you purchase a copy of the book through my link, I earn a small fee at no extra cost to you. Please support my blog by purchasing through my link!

**Copyright in all pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla and cannot be republished or repurposed without permission from the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.

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41 Thoughts

  1. I might skip reading this book as I didnt connect at all with the content of the book. Will try another book thanks for the review.

  2. After reading your review I agree that the novel could be more interesting instead of being flat in between. I wish the author incorporate the points in next book.

  3. Going by the plot you shared, I too think it’s quite average and predictable while I am hungry for high voltage suspense and thriller. Thanks for sharing the review.

  4. I have checked your post on this on Insta and heard a lot about this book …but now your honest review made me more curious to grab and read this!!

  5. I am a huge huge fan of Detective novels and I totally love the thrill, twists and turns. I am going to surely read Nobody’s Child, this seems like a super interesting read.

  6. While i havent read many crime fictions ; reading your blog review got me excited and tempted to know more& yes im picking this one for my next read

  7. Being a fan of crime fiction and thrillers myself and being addicted to the likes of Robert Ludlum and others, I read with interest this review. But I guess it is a big letdown of expectations.

  8. PS> I love your copyright statement!
    Now, the book review – is very well expressed – i agree with you that ‘eye-rolls’ are never ever a good sign while reading a book.
    While I obviously understand coincidences, but ridiculous ones leave a story lose and with threads which dangle irritatingly for a reader!
    I liked the blurb of the story and would have read it, if it would have been well written.
    I no longer waste time beyond 50 pages on a book which doesn’t catch my interest with its narration and plot!

  9. This book seems interesting although it could be better. Thanks for sharing detailed review will suggest this to my cousin as she loves reading.

  10. I have not read mystery books much and I feel this book is quite so so… Thank you for your honest review… I will give this a miss…

  11. I just finished reading this book. I wanted to stop in between because of the vivid descriptions but I was curious to find out how it ended. I quite liked the ending. Other points I agree, characters could have been more layered

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