PLOT: 4.5/5 CHARACTERS: 4/5 WRITING STYLE: 4.5/5 CLIMAX: 4/5 ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4.5/5
“I felt that familiar but dreaded tingling sensation in my spine. A feeling that had visited me every now and then starting from my childhood, a feeling that someone was watching us.”
Brinda S Narayan, No Trespassing
I came across this book on a kindle flash sale. The blurb looked promising, the publisher was a good one and the cover too was tempting enough. So, I quickly found myself giving in to that familiar urge of book buying and ended up reading the book within a very short span of time. Read on to know more about my thoughts on Brinda S Narayan’s No Trespassing and why I recommend it to all my readers.
What to expect?
Expect a book that is much different from your usual dose of mysteries and thrillers. Expect a book that takes its own sweet time for the plot to come together and the mystery to reveal itself. Expect a book that is a rather eccentric mix of a social message, a pseudo-dystopian vibe, and unconventional suspense. Finally, expect a book that has a message for everyone.
Who can read?
The book is written in a simple and easy to understand language and hence can be picked up by any beginner level reader. However, the length of the story and its pace might deter potential readers from giving it a go. Hence, I would suggest you make an informed choice here.
Vedika, a modern housewife raised in a modest environment moves into the ultra-luxurious uber-posh community of Fantasia along with her family. Fantasia is a gated community, a Shangri-La in a never-ending concrete jungle which comes with some unbelievably posh features like a Zen garden, a golf course, a private forest, and a private lake. Around these, eighty Spanish styled villas are designed for the country’s richest and ultra-elite members.
It is an invite-only society and Vedika and her husband Manas are beyond happy that they have been considered for the exclusive club. Vedika, who comes from a much humbler background is only too eager to gain inroads into the world of her elite neighbors.
But something seems to be amiss. There is something going on in Fantasia which affects Vedika’s son, Sajan and many other children of Fantasia. But before she could take her son to consult a doctor for his behavioral oddities, Sajan dies in a freak accident. Soon Vedika finds out that Sajan was murdered.
So, what’s going on in Fantasia? Will Vedika decode the mystery of her son’s death? Will she figure out the ugliness that lies beneath all the glitz and glamour of Fantasia?
How good are the characters?
No Trespassing is a book with many characters. Some of them are critical to the story and some of them are mere embellishments. Vedika’s character is a very complex one and it takes some time for the reader to fully appreciate her instincts and penchant for investigations. Her emotions as a mother often rule most of her decisions and yet sometimes, she ignores the most basic of motherly instincts.
We also witness Manas, a hardly present husband and father who is too engrossed in his start-up to bother with what’s going on in his family. For me, he is one of those characters I can never bring myself to like. Other characters are also interesting albeit in their small own ways.
What about the author’s writing style?
First of all, kudos to the author for having come up with such a gripping plot. The execution could not have been easier but Brinda has done a wonderful job of it. I love how the narration is peppered with motherly emotions, bouts of self-doubt, and mini detours along the way. Vedika’s character is so realistic and relatable and yet her mettle is a force to reckon with. Her strength of character is subtle and understated.
I also liked how the mystery unravels layer by layer by taking us to different places and different time periods. The whole point of the book is a message that the author wishes to convey to its readers with utmost urgency and it’s a message that doubts the very sustainability of the so-called modern way of life.
What did I like?
I simply love how the book manages to give out different vibes throughout the story. At some point, it appears to be dystopian, at others a murder mystery. Sometimes it reads like a psychological thriller while at others, it effortlessly becomes a period drama cum mystery.
What could have been better?
Though every single one of those 350 odd pages was a treat to read, I do believe the pace of the story could have been better. There are times when the story moves too slowly, with the next leg of the mystery revealing itself in its own sweet time.
It all boils down to the entertainment quotient
No Trespassing has no dearth of entertainment. It is one of those books that are hard to put down until you get to the very end of the mystery. It does get slow every once in a while, but there is no denying the generous amount of entertainment that it promises the reader.
In the end
In the end, No Trespassing is a book that only comes once in a while. With such an intriguing theme, a decent array of characters, some nail-biting and toe-curling narratives, a befitting climax and suspense laced writing – it is a really good book; one that I would certainly recommend to all my readers.
The final verdict
Go for it!
Pick it up
- If you like to discover new authors.
- If you are looking for a rather unconventional thriller.
- If you like challenging yourself as a reader.
- If you are looking for an almost 5-star entertainer.
- If you like books with a message.
- If you like the idea of a thriller in the garb of a pseudo dystopian novel.
- If you don’t like books laced with mystery and suspense.
- If you have a taste for only conventional thrillers.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of No Trespassing using the link below.