WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4.5/5
“Everyone can be corrupted, even the great and the good.”
A happy change that I have only recently started noticing in Indian novels is that an increasing number of authors are now exploring diverse genres. There was once a time when every second Indian book that I read spoke about budding college romances and of the beauty of friendships. So, as you must have already guessed, I am quite happy with this positive change.
Let’s talk about the story, shall we?
A pornographic film finds its way into a video store. Soon, whoever watches the film starts ending up dead. As the number of mysterious and unnatural looking deaths increase, a renowned psychiatrist Dr Mitra, his assistant Gopi, private detective Shukla and police Inspector Feroz are drawn into the circle of ambiguous events and supernatural deaths. The struggle to unravel the mystery will take them on a dangerous path; one which may even prove fatal for them. The journey by no means is an easy one – it is what one may call The Evil Trance.
The plot is tantalizing
The plot of the book is nicely conceptualized. There is action, suspense, thrill and drama at the turn of every page. The way the concept of the cursed porn film is introduced is also nice. I loved how the story moved from one location to another and new developments kept happening in the story after every couple of pages. The mythological and supernatural elements were nicely done too. I liked the way the story connected a small town immersed in superstitions and a modern day psychiatrist to the evil pornographic film. There were also a few elements of Metaphysics included in the story.
Characters are pretty decent too
There are a lot of interesting characters in the book. From the diabolical and evil seductress to the handsome and suave police officer, from the beautiful young receptionist to the astral walker Shalini, the characters of this book will wow you with their charisma and diverse personalities. The only thing that could have been better was the back stories of these characters. There wasn’t sufficient time given to developing the backgrounds of these characters. But since the author managed to accomplish so much in under 200 pages, I won’t complain any further.
Loved the undertones of thrill, dread and suspense in the writing style
The book is what you would call a classic page-turner. From the very start till the very end, it is gripping and compelling. The build-up to the climax was excellent and the underlying element of spookiness added to the feeling of suspense and thrill as the mystery unravelled slowly pages after pages. There was a new development every now and then and that is what made this book a racy and fast-paced thriller.
The climax could have been better
Though the book was, on the whole, a great read, one thing that could have been better was the climax. It did not do justice to the huge build-up of suspense that preceded it. I am not saying that the climax was bad. It was indeed good and unpredictable but I would have loved it if the end was a little more detailed (and less abrupt). In my opinion, the character of the Professor which was an important element of the climax deserved a little more space (in the form of a backstory or some interesting subplot).
A thorough entertainer
The Evil Trance, by all means, is a great entertainer. The beauty of the author’s writing is reflected in the ability of the reader to finish the book in one go. There is no way one can put the book down before getting to the end. Only 178 pages long and with such a compelling story, the book has surely all the ingredients of a great entertainer.
Pick it up if
I would recommend The Evil Trance to anyone who loves thrill and mysteries. People who enjoy supernaturally themed fictions will also find the book appealing. The concept of lust intermingled with dread and mystery will also excite many readers.
Skip it if
Skip reading the book if you don’t enjoy short reads and/or if you don’t like supernatural elements in a fiction.
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