How well do we actually know the people, who we claim are close to us? Can we ever know a person completely or are there always few remanences of a person’s life buried deep inside? These are some interesting questions that the crime thriller book Farside presents to the table. Written by a husband and wife duo, Farside is the debut novel of Jaishankar Krishnamurthy and the fifth of Krishna Udayasankar. The crime thriller book has both ups and downs but in totality, it is thriller which will keep the reader glued and absorbed.
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The Novel at a glance
The novel revolves around the life of a young MIT student named Charulata Srinivasan, who returns home to the news that her brother, Ravi, has died after a drink-and-drive accident. It is later that it dawns upon her that the accident was in fact staged and that Ravi was purportedly killed by someone. In her quest to find the murderer of her brother, Charu takes the help of David, Ravi’s best friend and a retired police officer, Anand. It soon dawns upon Charu that the world isn’t as simple and trustworthy a place as she had imagined. It is difficult to trust anyone, no matter how close you are to them.
Strong points of this crime thriller book
The portrayal of Mumbai was one of the strongest points in the novel. In Farside, Mumbai doesn’t only come across as a city and geographical location but also as a character itself. It is deep within the belly of Mumbai that Charu investigates about her brother’s murder and it is in the heart of the city where shocking events and activities are unveiled to the reader. With a realistic depiction of the chawls, taxis, the underground and the goons, the novel can easily win the heart of any Mumbai dweller.
What is also interesting in the novel is the growth of the character. Each and every character in Farside starts of as a two-dimensional figure only to attain a third dimension during the investigation of the murder. For instance, in the beginning Charu might appear to be a rather dull character. However, as the reader progresses into the novel, Charu’s character starts getting stronger and bolder. It is as if she has been disrobed of her innocence and has gained wisdom in the course of the novel. The Charu we see in the later half of the novel – standing fearlessly in front of the goons and commanding power over Jitesh – isn’t the same Charu that we saw in the beginning of the novel. The same can be said about the character of David. It is at the end of the novel that the reader gets the biggest blow in terms of the character of David. He emerges to be someone that the reader could not have expected. The character of Anand, however, doesn’t seem to grow as much, but it surely reminds the reader of a good old cop helping Charu in her time of distress.
Weak points of this crime thriller book
It will be unfair to say that the novel had multiple weak points since it only lagged in one or two areas. For instance, there was some things which were over-described in the course of the novel. Charu’s mental turmoil was given a bit more attention and description than it demanded. Her constant questioning of her “dark side” could also have been avoided and left to the reader to ascertain. Moreover, it also seems a little unbelievable that Charu, an ordinary student, suddenly turns out to be such a genius detective. It seems a bit unreal.
Overall, the novel is well-written in a clear and simple language, which everyone will be able to appreciate. The novel binds the reader and keeps them gripped to the book till the very end. Farside meets all the requirements of a crime-thriller and is hence a good read for anyone who loves this particular genre.
“Can we ever fully know a person?”