Intense, suspenseful, and fiercely gripping, the narrative opens in 2018 with a blonde woman’s dead body that has fallen off the building named Blue Heights in Goa. The watchman immediately reports to the police as the mystery intensifies. The watchman’s body is found in the apartment on the 8th floor that has been locked since the past 6 years. The narrative immediately moves to London and revolves around Rachel who is trying to get to the bottom of a crime. But a few moments later it turns out that Rachel is also being manipulative to some extent. Things only seem to get murkier in a plot that shifts quickly from location to location and appears to be useful for filming a Hollywood movie. Things seem to pan along the lines of suspense and horror but most of it seems spine chilling and brutal. There are a lot of loose ends in the beginning particularly the India connection is hard to understand when most of the narrative seems to unfold in London. The plot is also written with the date and time and location. For example 3 December, 7:09 am Chestnut, London. Initially, it may seem to be confused to a diary entry but the third person narrative voice should clear any doubts about that. It is more of a script for a movie.
The knots are untied rather slowly but the overall pace of the narrative is moderate though in the first few pages the plot may seem to be move from incident to incident in a rather quick succession. This haphazard manner is tamed and the deeper the plot takes the reader into its abysmal mystery, the more interesting and shocking things seem to get. The characterisation is vivid and the plot is mainly centered on women characters each of who seem to give a new twist to the already suspense-filled tale. However, most of the events in the story take the reader back to Rachel Andrade. Everything relates to her and she seems to be the central pawn in a very big mind game that is being played on her.
It places the fateful event of a lone woman being cautious at all times yet getting caught in the web of a dangerous predatory circuit. The agent dealing with the case of Rachel is Nyra Malik who is a described as a fierce agent in Mumbai. The India connection to this international crime scene makes the book relatable to Indian audiences as well as those abroad. The cover page is well done with half the visage of a young woman with dishevelled hair while the photo is dog eared that hint at the subtitle of the book. Nonetheless, it is the writing style that keeps readers on the edge at all times.
The vocabulary is kept simple though appropriate words are used at all times. The density of the plot is brought about through the story within the story pattern and also the idea that multiple stories of different characters run parallel to one another makes for a wholesome read. It calls for the reader to be thoroughly active and keep in mind the myriad twists and turns. It engages the senses of the reader fully.
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The constant shifts in time frame of the narrative can be a bit difficult to follow initially but once the reader gets a hang of it, then it makes for a pleasurable read. The subtitle hints at this dark and murky aspect of human personality that is usually hidden from the world and states that everyone has a dark side to them that they may not show or even maybe they are unaware of. They tend to exhibit this side when they are triggered and that brings out their hidden dark secrets or a side of them that is shocking to the rest.
The subtitle takes away the aspect of trust that people place on each other and makes readers want to question everything and everyone around but in a scientific and positive light. Efa Fakira never intends to arouse suspicion in the minds of readers. It is more of a call for cautious behaviour, for understanding of the deep dark web of criminal activity that is spread around and functional through systemic loopholes and that can target and put anyone to prey.