Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It Cant Be You by Prem Rao

It Cant Be You is a murder mystery.

It Can't be You

The premise of this book is really interesting - I love how the plot is weaved and the story structure. The story begins with a scene where Col. Belliappa, a major character, is killed. Then we go into flashback mode and are told about the lives of three family members of his who were in his house at the time of the murder - Shefali, his daughter, Pritam, his son, and Elena, his second wife - and we are told, in the next three chapters, that all of them may have reasons to kill him. After this the story deepens into a character sketch of each of the main characters as we trace all their lives (from childhood to the point of the murder) - and each of them reveals the deepest part of their psyche in the form of first-person narratives. Finally, we get to see who committed the murder. 

I love the plot. I like the way it is, and I found the ending really shocking (it was by the character I least expected, but then my friend says I dont read enough suspense and I should always expect the one I'd never expect). I also love the characters. Actually, I dont love the characters, I just like how they've been etched, they are deep and have loads of flaws, and frankly they're all immensely unlikeable, but also really well-etched. I like how they're deep and have loads of psychological disorders (especially Col. Belliappa, but frankly you can see it in all of them) which seems to be a strong point of the author who is highly interested in Psychology. 

For me, the lows of the book are all on technical aspects. I do not like how the book doesnt use punctuation before quotes, with all text ending up like this: "I don't like this" said Character 1. This might not be a problem for most people, but for people like me, it can be very jarring. I also feel that the book involved too much telling (ie, summarziing stories) instead of showing action - which will not appeal to all readers. Also I did not find all the parts equally interesting (I'm sure most people wont) - I liked the stories of Pritam and Shefali more than the Col. and Elena, for example, but this might just be a generation gap. But even in the stories that were less appealing, some aspects, like Belliappa's relationship with Dinaz (with such chilling implications later on in the story) - and more importantly how the childhood development of the character affected later behavior - were very interesting indeed. 

Final thoughts: A deep, moving, thrilling book with an unexpcted ending. Really interesting read. 

Other thoughts: I'll be posting an interview with author Prem Rao soon. Also, this is another book for the Book Reading Challenge 2011!

(Financial disclosure: Book source is the author.) 

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