Book Review: Stand By Me – By Sudeep Nagarkar

Lockdown has made it possible for me to get back to my love of reading. With Amazon Kindle’s convenient E-Book downloads, I have been able to access a lot many novels, both fiction and non-fiction, which otherwise would have been difficult. I have read a total of 25 E-books in the last 3 months and I wish to reach at least half a century.

The last book I managed to finish within a day was Stand By Me, no, not the one by Stephen King. This one I read for free due to my Amazon Prime membership. The Stand By Me novel that I buried myself in yesterday is authored by Sudeep Nagarkar. I haven’t read any of his books in the past and therefore, I was quite oblivious to his writing style so had no expectations. As I am quite excited about the mystery/thriller genre, I gave it a try.

A fast-paced intense whodunit with an immensely interesting protagonist who would stop at nothing to reveal the identity of her sister’s killer.

Stand By Me is a thriller about 3 near-perfect siblings who live together under one roof post they leave their father’s house. Reason? The same old one. An arrogant, with no grey shades whatsoever, disgusting step-mother, whose only purpose in life is to create a wedge between the father and his children.

Due to these unfortunate circumstances, the siblings – Deepika, Karthik and Ruhi – are forced to leave their home and rent another apartment. They share a very strong bond and love each other unconditionally. However, their flawless life turns into a nightmare when the youngest sister Ruhi, is found dead in her bedroom on her 25th birthday. The rest of the novel takes you through the post-death wretched lives of everyone connected to Ruhi and the mysteries surrounding her death.

Let’s talk about the negatives first. The climax was too simplified and I did not get the required satisfaction on knowing the killer. I know that is a big criticism but hey, maybe someone else would find it more real. Besides, I felt two characters, Ruhi’s friend Pooja and Ruhi’s dad, could have been more fleshed pout. At the end of the novel, they were still strangers to me and I couldn’t relate to them at any level.

Now let’s look at the positives.

I fell in love with the Prologue section with its intrictate detailing about the tussle between mind and soul. Adding to my delight was an expaneded version of this continuing philosophical mind-soul combat in-between chapters. The most striking aspect was Karthik’s character, unreliable and disturbed yet so raw and interesting. His character kept me at the edge of the seat at all times. I wish the author would have delved more into Karthik’s psychology and connected it to the events of the murder night. Nevertheless, the character was one of the best written amongst all.

As you read through the chapters, you also come across engaging, eloquent quotes or descriptions penned down to draw intense emotions on paper.

Emotions are like the tides of the sea; they have their ups and downs. And you never knew when calm waves would churn in a storm.

My favourite quote from the book

If you harbour an interest to read fast-paced thrillers that will take you through an amazing roller coaster of what, when, where and who, Stand By Me is perfect for you. You can finish it in one sitting and would not regret it. But if you happen to be a fan of classic thrillers with long, picturesque and mind-boggling descriptions of everyday moments and experiences, then this might not entertain you much. But either way, you can give it a try.

In a sentence;

Stand By Me is gripping, fast-paced and a thought engaging whodunit.

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