PLOT: 3/5 CHARACTERS: 2.5/5 WRITING: 2.5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 2.5/5
“He is not your usual serial killer; this man is an artist; he is a collector of dolls, and he won’t stop till his collection is complete.”– Anuj Tikku, Finding Manmeet
It hasn’t been many days since I last picked up a book by author Anuj Tikku. The last one that I read was Hanging Pallande, a real-life crime thriller cum memoir that he had written as a sequel to his bestselling book Yes Sir I Killed my Dad.
This latest book, however, is a fictional crime thriller about a rather twisted serial killer who is wreaking havoc in the streets of Brooklyn, New York. But it is not just that. Finding Manmeet has much more to offer to its readers.
Read on to know more about the book and about my experience of reading the same.
What to expect?
Expect a book about a woman Smita and her journey from India to New York. Expect a book that captures the transformation of a woman emerging from her tragic circumstances to become a leading name in her field. Expect a book about a serial killer who is out for blood for anyone who dares to remind her of her nightmarish childhood. Expect a crime thriller that takes a whole new look at the way crimes are solved.
Summary of Finding Manmeet
Smita Dixit works as the Chief Manager at the Hawa Mahal hotel in Delhi. She took this position after a nasty divorce from her husband Naresh. Naresh, a commercial pilot whom she had met and fallen in love with while working at her previous assignment at the Dilli Darbar restaurant in South Delhi.
After the divorce, a dejected Smita decides to take charge of her life and goes on to become a financially secure individual, loving and nurturing her young daughter Manmeet with all her heart.
Everything is going smoothly, until one day Smita meets with a deadly accident and ends up in a coma. She wakes up not long after but soon discovers that she has now transformed into a completely different woman.
She has become a woman who can see, hear, and talk to the dead. Her sixth sense has developed to a heightened new level wherein she can now work as a medium and help people reach out to their dead ones. To establish herself in the field, she forms her own company Soul Miracles, and rebrands herself as Soul Smita.
Another twist in her life comes when her fame reaches far and wide and she is asked to fly down to New York and help the NYPD in solving the gruesome crime involving three teenage girls who went missing from the city, leaving no clues behind.
Soon it is discovered that a serial killer, who leaves Barbie dolls as his signature, is at play and this time he ends up taking Smita’s own daughter Manmeet.
Will Smita be able to help her own daughter?
Or will she be too late?
Will the infamous and ruthless Barbie killer strike again?
There is no doubt, that the author has cooked up a premise that blurs the boundaries between the criminal and the mythical. To add to this mix, there is also the element of family drama and a bit of nascent half-baked romance that adds another dimension to the genre of the book.
However, that being said, individual elements of the book have neither been given proper respect nor a proper place to flourish. Almost everything, except the end where the serial killings are introduced, seems half-hearted and lacking in depth.
The book starts on a particular note and suddenly takes an entirely new turn, with the readers left clueless as to the direction where it is headed.
To top it all, the book has quite a number of printing errors where a large part of the text is often copied and pasted again and again. This not only creates confusion but also is very distracting and spoils the reading pleasure.
The serial killer angle is a winner though, and I wish that the author had explored it in much bigger and greater detail. The end is satisfying and I am sure this premise of a psychic solving crimes can be explored in future books as well.
All in all, an okay read.
Buy your copy of Finding Manmeet using the link below.