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Book Review: Patang by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay

A deranged serial killer, a cop with an impeccable record and media frenzy to make the case more complicated. Patang by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay has every ingredient right for the perfect crime fiction concoction. And then, there is something extra as well. And that extra, the climax is something that makes you go “Mind Blowing”!! As his debut novel, Bhaskar has shown immense talent when it comes to captivating a reader’s mind and creatively making you fall in love with the muse of his book.

Patang is a story of a number of murders happening in the Mumbai city during a grotesque monsoon. A famous builder is found dead on top of a Cell Tower by a labor worker. His body was found hanging like a Kite ‘Patang’. A few days after, another victim is found, with same MO, hanging like a Patang. On the other hand, Mumbai Police receives a letter from the killer, sharing that he will kill only four. No more, No less, Just four.

Soon, Mumbai Police realizes that they have more on their hands than they could take on. Media has also gotten into the case, increasing pressure on cops to catch the Patang Killer. Enters Chandrakant Rathod, a cop who can sniff out Serial Killers. With an impeccable record of closing cases on such serial killers, Rathod is the only hope for Mumbai Police to catch the Patang Killer.

Patang

After chasing numerous leads and losing three more lives, Rathod manages to catch him. The city takes a breath of relief, Mumbai Police pats each other backs. But Rathod somehow knows that things have not just ended yet. And the puzzle cannot be so simple to solve. And his guess turns out to be right. Even when Patang Killer is in jail, Mumbai witnesses another murder, another victim hanging like a kite. But who is murdering these people now? Is it a copycat? Or an accomplice of Patang Killer?

The more Rathod tries to grasp the situation, the more it slips like sand from his hand. The more he tries to catch the Patang Killer, the more he feels defeated. In the end, the Patang Killer is caught. But who is he?? Is the same one who is rotting in Arthur Jail?? Or a new monster is born while hunting the real one??

Patang is a book that will keep you hooked since the very first page. There is hardly anything in this book that you won’t like. From the characters to the MO of the Patang Killer, everything is a creative genius. The ways in which murders are conducted is also something grotesque yet so beautiful if you think in context intelligence application. Chandrakant Rathod stands out as a cop. He doesn’t like media though he was once a reporter, he doesn’t think like cops and believes in quick and swift action. And he is sharp, his senses like a spider. He doesn’t believe in glamorisation of serial killers by the media. But then, I should congratulate the writer for creating such genius characters.

And the climax, I mean when you will come to the climax, you will begin to think that yes, finally the Patang Killer is caught. And then, a bomb of reality is dropped on you which is like mind blowing! You will never the see the climax coming and that is something that has made this book so brilliant to read. Now, another thing that I would like to share that if you compare this book with other international crime fiction writers, you won’t enjoy it as much. Bhaskar has ensured that the essence and reality of Mumbai reflect in the story. And the reader should not have preset expectations from the story. Just open the first page and keep going, you will be amazed.

All in all, Patang is a book that is like “The Indian Crime Fiction” book that you simply cannot miss. For serious readers, for non-serious readers or for metro readers, it is a book that everyone can read and enjoy.

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