I give ‘three stars’ to ‘The Nidhi Kapoor Story’ by Saurabh Garg. While the book didn’t fulfil my expectations on certain fronts, it was well-written and featured some likable characters. As the title of the book suggests the story of this book revolves around Nidhi Kapoor, a leading Bollywood actress. Her father Nishant Kapoor was also a top Bollywood actor in his own time. He was even known as the undisputed king of Bollywood. While Nidhi Kapoor was to start her much expected film, strange events start to happen around her. These unwarranted incidents go together with anonymous letters threatening Nidhi Kapoor and her family members. Though ACP Prakash Mohile and Rujata Singh (a photojournalist) take charge of the case, the anonymous assaulter is unyielding. On the other hand, he is getting bolder day by day. Who is this unknown assailant and why is he targeting Nidhi Kapoor and her family? This is a passionate tale of falsehoods, disloyalty, deceit, adultery and even homicide.
The book is not a page turner but readers will definitely want to complete it in one go. If you have read lots of detective novels, it will be very easy for you to identify the unknown attacker. At least, I was able to identify that person quite early. I felt that the author tried to jump in and cram a bit too much information up front. It probably wasn’t essential as most of it came out later in the book. For me, this process not only made some scenes a bit repetitive in the book but also revealed a lot up front. A good mystery thriller should be able to keep the readers in dark as long as possible. Additionally, I found the manner in which the climax of the mystery is done very disappointing. It could really have been done in a much better manner. Turning our attention to various characters of the book, we find that some of the characters have been developed really well. Especially, the characters of Prakash Mohile and Rujata are sketched well. The two of them have great chemistry and readers will definitely love reading them together in the novel. Same can be said for Nidhi Kapoor whose character certainly touches the heart of the readers. The characters of Nishant Kapoor and Tambe have also been done quite nicely. However, one should remember that characterisation, setting, story and style – all of these are functionally interrelated to each other so as to create an artistic unity. And, to be frank, I missed that artistic unity in this novel.
As mentioned in the beginning of this review, regardless of its weaknesses, the book is not a bad read at all. The extreme clarity of the language brings home to the psychology of the characters very well. The absurdities and bleakness, imaginations and hindrances, and illusions and ironies of daily life have been presented well and readers can relate with these easily. Additionally, the author successfully creates ‘the world of Bollywood’ and its shades. The story moves with a good pace. The switch between past and present has also been done nicely and this switch does not obstruct the flow of the story.
(I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review.)