Book review | Runaway by Proteem Bhaduri
Author: Proteem Bhaduri
Genre: Suspense, Crime Thriller
No. of pages: 184
Published by: Half Baked Beans
Published on: 3rd July 2018
My rating: ★★★★★
Indraneel ‘Neel’ Ray is an ex-advertising man who has recently bid farewell to his successful career in advertising to embark on a writing journey. Except, life in the fast lane is keeping him too busy to get started.
One morning he is seen on the streets of New Delhi, disheveled, nursing a huge hangover, and with no memory of what transpired the night before. Soon he is wanted by police for allegedly killing the son of a prominent politician. He himself doesn’t remember killing anyone and can’t think of any reason why he would have.
Now Neel is on the run, from the police and a bunch of murderous goons. His friends have deserted him and the only person he can turn to for help is his none-too-happy ex-girlfriend. All Neel has going for him is his dogged instinct for self-preservation and a devilish streak of good luck that aids him in rather unexpected ways.
Runaway is a fast-paced tale of Neel’s frantic attempts to stay ahead of his pursuers, to uncover what really happened on that fateful night, to establish his innocence, and to stay alive while doing all of that.
This book surprised me all too much. I didn't expect a debut novel to be this good and written in such a mature way. I'll come to the writing style later. Talking about the plot of the book, it is a bit clichéd indeed where an wrongly accused fugitive is on the run for his life from the police and some goons. But the chase is too exhilarating and gripping in this novel. I think that is the most substantial part of the book.
Other than this chase-and-thrill part, the book does justice to all the characters of the book. The author Proteem Bhaduri gives colour to each of his characters. The protagonist Neel as well as other significant characters have their back story that will give the readers a proper explanation as to what made them the way they are. And most importantly, the characters are strongly built and they have their unique characteristics.
Another thing that I liked about this book is that it gives a very small yet transparent perspective of the political influence in India and what can power make people do. It also touches another sensitive issue but I won't be able to tell more about this since it will totally spoil the book for you.
The book is a short read. A little more than 100 pages and I could complete it in one sitting. Also the fact that the book is gripping helped me read it as fast as I could. This is a perfect summer thriller or a travel companion for those addicted to thrillers.
The writing style is completely flawless. I don't have a thing against the author's writing. It's simple yet sophisticated and the way he described Neel's inner turmoils and his self-doubts made me feel his emotions. The angst, rage and fear that Neel feels throughout the book are perfectly penned for the reader's benefit. Though there were 3 editorial typos in the book, it was a surprisingly good read and I highly recommend it to all thriller addicts.
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I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.