PLOT: 2.5/5 CHARACTERS: 3/5 WRITING: 2.5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 2.5/5
“There is no profession more noble than being a nurse look at Florence Nightingale, she saved so many people, and mother Teresa she too is just like a nurse. Healing people and saving lives is a very noble thing to do. I want to save babies nurture them and heal them, that is why I am into pediatrics, I want to work in a babies’ ward and save premature babies.”– Anuj Tikku, Madam Nurse
I had immersed myself in numerous spiritual and religious texts in recent times, so when the chance to read and review Anuj Tikku‘s latest book, “Madam Nurse,” presented itself, it served as a refreshing change of pace.
Everything, from the intriguing blurb to the captivating cover and the enigmatic title “Madam Nurse” with the subtitle “Now Your Babies Are Mine,” is skillfully crafted to evoke a sense of spine-tingling suspense and fear in the reader. This is an area where the book excels, as its aesthetics are executed masterfully, instantly capturing your curiosity.
What does the book entail?
This concise narrative, spanning fewer than 100 pages, delves into the chilling tale of Lata Nair, a serial killer who tragically targets the infants she’s pledged to safeguard. In this brief read, you’ll encounter elements of drama, unreciprocated love, and, to some extent, grisly events.
The Unfolding Narrative
Lata Nair, hailing from Kochi, Kerala, embarks on her nursing journey in the child and infant care unit at Ganga Shyam Hospital in Mumbai. Here, she finds herself working alongside the dashing and skilled Pediatrician Sandeep Kumar, as well as the experienced and silver-haired Dr. Anupam Sharma, who has dedicated over three decades to the hospital.
However, an ominous turn of events suddenly casts a shadow over the hospital’s child ICU unit. One by one, infants succumb to mysterious heart attacks and seizures. Some of these babies are mere weeks old, weighing less than four pounds. The escalating mortality rate among these infants instills fear and alarm among the hospital staff. They initiate an internal inquiry and, as the tragic deaths continue over a thirteen-month period, eventually involve the police.
Mumbai’s renowned detective, Suraj Kumar, is summoned to lead the investigation, accompanied by his unconventional assistant, a former psychology professor who goes by the name Zen, despite his struggles with alcoholism. This dynamic duo, renowned for solving high-profile murder cases in the past, now sets its sights on capturing the elusive serial killer haunting the corridors of Ganga Shyam Hospital.
Drawn from Real Events
Madam Nurse takes loose inspiration from actual events, mirroring the chilling crimes of Nurse Lucy Letby. Employed by the National Health Service in Manchester, Letby tragically ended the lives of seven infants and made unsuccessful attempts to harm six others entrusted to her care within the hospital.
The Writing Style
The narrative in Madam Nurse follows a fairly straightforward path with a linear progression. Undoubtedly, the book possesses a certain allure, and the story holds significant promise. However, given its thriller genre, the writing falls short in a few critical areas. It notably lacks the twists and unexpected turns that typically imbue such tales with a sense of impending danger and an overarching air of mystery.
Regrettably, the writing maintains a rather monotonous tone, failing to do justice to the otherwise promising plot. While the characters boast intriguing backstories, they struggle to captivate the reader and leave a lasting impression. Here, it’s worth acknowledging that the book’s brevity may have limited the space available for robust character development and compelling character arcs.
The narrative introduces a fair amount of drama, including interpersonal conflicts involving Lata, her boyfriend, and her colleagues at the hospital. Additionally, some dramatic elements are interwoven into the backstory of Lata Nair.
Professor Zen makes a comeback in this latest thriller, but it takes a considerable portion of the book for his return to count. Unfortunately, the limited space dedicated to his character fails to fully showcase his quirky genius.
Furthermore, numerous editing mistakes, punctuation errors, and proofreading oversights diminish the overall quality of the reading experience.
In the end, Madam Nurse unfolds as a mystery thriller, delving into a reprehensible crime committed by a nurse who, tragically, takes the lives of those she has sworn to protect under her care.