Book Review: Catching the Departed

Book: Catching the Departed
Author: Kulpreet Yadav
Number of pages: 255
Price: Rs. 299

Catching the Departed by Kulpreet Yadav is a gripping tale of an investigative journalist, Andy Karan, probing the death of a local lawyer in a small village outside Delhi. On the face of it, it appears to be a fairly isolated case but Andy is advised otherwise. And he sets off to solve the mystery of the death of a seemingly ordinary man, putting his own life in danger, not once but on a few occasions. His worst challenge is that he doesn’t who he is up against. The clues are scant; the risk, mounting.

While Yadav does a fantastic job of etching Karan’s character, his strengths, his inadequacies and his skeletons in the skeleton, the other characters are quite sketchy. They make hasty, fleeting appearances, leaving the reader bereft of a complete picture.

The language let me down on more than one occasion with awkward syntax, spelling errors and just mediocre writing in some instances. I love the precision with how the book began but somewhere along the way it simply began to unravel in terms of the language and plot, with some glaring errors.

It is a promising plot, with some interesting twists and turns but something about it left me wanting. Perhaps, it was non-inventive, too simplistic and too linear for my liking. All the crescendo led to a dull ending. But Yadav did a brilliant job of highlighting the inadequacy of our politicians to take responsibility for their roles. They are forever looking for scapegoats to push into the forefront.

Catching the Departed has its moments. But it needed a stronger editor to weed out the discrepancies and errors and pull it all together.

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