Thursday, 24 November 2016

Book - Strangers with Known Faces - Murder, Mystery and Dangerous Endeavours


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Title: Strangers with Known Faces
Author: Gautam Dutta
Publisher: Invicible Publishers
Pages: 257
Price: Rs. 185
My Rating: 4/5

Rajat, Meenakshi, Sadaaf, Amol, and Shanaya are five University students with nothing in common- who should never have met in the first place. They meet after winning a lucky draw- the prize of which was to take part in a puzzle game. Though the game was engrossing, they were unable to solve the puzzle in the stipulated time. However, this lead to the beginning of a deep friendship between them. Their friendship blossomed. But ego and misunderstanding led to an acrimonious break up. They meet again- two decades later- when Shanaya is murdered, and the other four are suspects. The four soon realize that in spite of being estranged for so many years, there were unknown ties that bound them- ties of treachery, deceit, and subterfuge. Ties that have led them to come together in circumstances that no one could have foreseen. And the game that they had left incomplete two decades back has to be played yet again - on a much bigger canvas. Now they have to trust each other, clear their names, and get to the bottom of the mystery, which threatens not only their lives and relationships, but also the fabric of democratic India. As their travels and travails continue, they discover hitherto unknown facets of the people around them, as well as their own selves. Can they succeed in resolving the puzzle this time? Or is history doomed to repeat itself? As hidden aspects of the human personality are revealed, they realize that no one is what he or she appears to be. For the world comprises of 'Strangers With Known Faces'.

Overall the book is pretty good however I am not sure why it is listed under Romance... It is not a romance novel instead it is a crime/thriller/mystery kind of book.

The current time zone in book is 2030, and the story jumps between our present and 2030.
The plot revolves around 5 characters who meet accidentally through a lucky draw system and then are bonded for life. The story revolves around Rajat, Meenakshi, Sadaaf, Amol, and Shanaya where primary focus is on Rajat and other characters are given due importance respectively.

They become good friends in University but breakup due to various circumstances. After two decades they are at the peak of their careers when Shanaya is mysteriously murdered and somehow remaining four are the primary suspects. Apart from these four another name that keeps on popping up is a name of International organization. Now it is upon these four to prove their innocence and find the culprit.

What I really liked about the book is its plot. It is very well written and it has various twists. The author has made a good attempt in gelling past and present together and you can actually feel the necessity of solving the mystery. Given the book is rather long (comparatively), you just can't wait to reach the end.

Additionally I also liked the entanglement of various characters and plot lines. Every thing seem so fragmented and all over the place initially but as we reach the climax it just makes sense - something like you see in so many movies.

Also the writing style of the author is mature. You can sense that a good quality book and writing is in your hands. Entire book is broken down in many small chapters. By looking at them it might feel too much but they actually make sense when you read. 

What I didn't like about the book is editing. Yes, it always is the first point I make when I read the book. Initially it is less but as the book the progresses so does the mistakes. I would highly recommend a good proof read as it is pretty good book.

Another thing that I didn't like is various additional characters that were added randomly. I understand characters are needed but it is the duty of the author to introduce each one and not just bombard the reader with new names. 

Also, certain aspects were dragged out which made me forget the original essence. I forgot certain characters as they popped up a few chapters later. Re-intro (one liner) in such cases could have been good. Especially the flashback of Rajat was a little to dragged... it could have been shortened.  

Lastly the climax, honestly it didn't do justice. I felt that author devoted his everything to the entire story and then was left with nothing in the end - LOL! I felt the importance of the foreign organization that was (kind of) involved was ignored completely in the end, also the eventual coup was a little too much. I don't think that it is ever possible or say probable but I would still say kudos to author for a vivid attempt.

My overall rating to the book is 4/5. You should give it a try, it is tad on heavier side (not weight but content wise) but it is worth a read.

You can buy a copy here.

The review copy of this book was shared with me by Kalamos Literary Services

Love & Cheers


  1. Nice and interesting review...

  2. The ending does matter... !

    Nice review...:-)

  3. Good review..... dealt with the both positives and negatives. But it seemed to me that negatives are more and yet you rate it 4/5. Humn..

  4. Seems like a good book- Good review!

    1. Dear Sir
      It indeed is a decent book.
      do give it a try.

      Cheers :)


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