PLOT: 3.5/5 CHARACTERS: 4/5 WRITING STYLE: 4/5 CLIMAX: 3.5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 4/5
Sometimes we come across books that are difficult to compartmentalize into categories. When that happens, the book usually caters to the taste and preferences of multiple categories of readers, who are lovers of different genres.
To pen such a book is not an easy task. But over the years, I have come across many works that have managed to transcend such genre bounds and become bestsellers. Two names that immediately come to my mind are Ankita Verma Dutta’s Trust Me Not, and Grady Hendrix’s The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires.
As fate would have it, I came across another such read that I find difficult to categorize. Author Naveen Kundra’s Night Watchman Pvt. Ltd is a combination of drama, political revenge thriller, crime fiction, social commentary, and satire. Read on to know more about my thoughts on the book and why I recommend it.
What to expect?
Expect a book that is a lengthy read (more than 400 pages). Expect a book that, despite its length, is racy and effortless to read. Expect a political revenge thriller cum drama that also has elements of romance, satire, and social commentary.
Who can read?
The language used in the book is simple and mostly conversational English. Due to this fact, it can be easily picked up by a beginner-level reader.
The story as it goes
A killer is on the loose in the city of Dhan Nagari. The residents are scared for their lives, and there is mayhem in the Chief Minister’s office. The pressure is mounting on Yudhisthir Sanghvi to set the house in order or to step down from the post of Chief Minister.
Somewhere in the same city, Sanjay Dhingra is aware of his eventual arrest. His dreams of making it big in this megacity may just remain that – mere dreams. People are plotting against him, waiting for him to make a mistake. They are laying the trap to steal his invention and reap windfalls at his cost.
The love of his life has turned out to be a deceitful conniving woman, serving her love to all and sundry for favors big and small. As person after person, turns against him, trying to plot his downfall and revel in his misery, Sanjay decides to play the last gamble.
So, who is the dangerous killer reigning terror in Dhan Nagari?
How is Sanjay to be blamed for this mishap?
What is Sanjay’s path-breaking invention and why are people after it?
Why are there multiple agencies plotting Sanjay’s downfall?
Will the Chief Minister succeed in bringing the state back to order?
How good are the characters?
The characters are a wily bunch. Crafted with careful thought and deliberation, they are dynamic and shrewd. Every character has its motive and hidden agenda. Deceptive and manipulative, they are always trying to outsmart everyone else. In short, they play a never-ending game of fraud and subterfuge, often resorting to unethical and immoral means.
For the reader, it would be difficult to find characters who are guileless and sincere. That being said, it isn’t a bad thing that the characters are all duplicitous. It’s just that the reader, sooner or later, starts hating all of them with a fervent passion.
Their scheming, however, makes things unpredictable because their hidden agendas and conniving ways are always adding fodder to keep up the mystery.
A good start to a racy read
One aspect where the book manages to score brownie points is right at the beginning. In the very first chapter, there is a high-level political meeting regarding an urgent matter which has abruptly put an end to an entire state and its commercial activities. But the matter and the reason behind the mayhem are all hush-hush which immediately generates intrigue. The reader gets curious, and looking for answers, she is forced to turn pages after pages.
Life lessons to be learned
There are many practical life lessons that one can learn from the characters and the situations that they often find themselves in. Lines like the one mentioned below frequently grace the narrative.
“His father had taught him that if people believed that you have money, then you are best placed to drive bargains.”
What about the writing style?
The author writes the book with characteristic wit and caustic sarcasm. The kind of political and societal humor one sees in the book is rarely seen in debut works of authors. The book draws special attention to the absurdities practiced by politicians and media persons in today’s world. By serving these in generous doses, the author makes some striking social and political commentaries.
Teasers after teasers after teasers
A major aspect of the story is the Night Watchman Pvt Ltd’s invention JB. What is this product, what problem does it solve, why is everyone after it? Why do people want to sabotage its patent application? These are some of the questions that get answered very late in the book.
Further, the nature of the meeting covered in the first chapter and its cause and effect are revealed after much wait and deliberation. In releasing answers in a painfully slow manner, the author gives only teasers, saving the best of the mystery for the last. Inadvertently, this leaves the reader hooked and hungry for answers.
What did I like?
I love how effortless the entire book is. The story moves quickly, and there is hardly any dull moment for the reader. The introduction of teasers and plot twists after every couple of pages assure that the reader is hooked and hooked well.
The concept is also a novelty, and I enjoyed the whole fiasco around JB. The conniving characters take the mystery and thrill quotient a notch higher. The overall effect is good and makes the book an entertaining read.
What I didn’t like?
Night Watchman Pvt Ltd is unnecessarily lengthy. Many chapters had needless details that could have been done away with. Certain repetitive sections could have been avoided because that is where the monotony (however small) creeps in. Trimming the book short by fifty pages or so would have done wonders to an already racy read.
What could have been better?
The language and the grammar need a little polishing. But overall, the few editing and grammatical errors that remain do not spoil the reading pleasure.
Is the climax good?
The climax is neither great nor bad. It is unpredictable but, at the same time, gives a decent conclusion to the story.
In the end
In the end, Night Watchman Pvt Ltd is a racy entertainer that offers a packaged deal. Essentially a political crime thriller cum drama, it also serves romance, humor, and sarcasm in generous doses.
The final verdict
Go for it!
Pick the book if
- You are looking for an effortless read.
- You enjoy political crime thrillers cum dramas.
- You are looking for an easy read for beginners.
- You enjoy books that are entertaining.
Skip the book if
- You are looking for a more polished and refined read.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Night Watchman Pvt Ltd using the link below.