Synopsis: Karen Lakshmi, the only grandchild of Air Commodore Mathew Williams is struck by a strange illness. Is she the victim of a supernatural phenomenon? Or is her affliction something entirely natural? Mathew undertakes the journey to unravel the mystery and snatch his granddaughter from the jaws of death.
Danger lurks at every step. He has to tread warily for one false move could spell disaster. Join Mat as he slowly unravels a web of deceit, treachery and obsessive mania in his quest for the chilling truth. Is Mat able to save his granddaughter? Is he able to come out of this journey alive? Only time can tell…
Review: “The times they are a’ changing,” as the Bob Dylan song goes. We have kids as heroes, adult men and women as heroes, even spirits, sometimes. Well, why should retirees be left behind? As a sample of this idea, Eighty Hours To Save Karen presents retired Air Commodore Mathew Williams in a race against time.
Part of the fun of thriller books is in the chase. This book, which dabbles in supernatural, thriller and horror genres, does succeed in keeping the thrill and the mystery part of the story intact. The characters and their motivations are fleshed out well, and we know who our heroes are almost from the beginning. There are red herrings too, which is again, a plus point in this genre.
It’s a small book, coming up to 86 pages on the ebook I read, which means a good few hours’ reading would be enough to finish this in one go.
What I found funny about the book was a couple of product placements, a travel website and an airline. That quirky bit apart, I liked the lean efficiency of the protagonist, as also the story. Threads that don’t have much to do with the story are either absent, or only provided as crisp info bits. This keeps the story in the here and now, by and large, while not allowing the urgency of the situation to slide to the backseat.
The title of the book mentions “eighty hours,” but oddly, we have no time stamp or follow up of the limited time anywhere in the story. We do feel the rush, and the story keeps reminding us that time is at a premium here, but there’s no face value for that premium.
This is a fast-paced thriller, of course. But the language, while being smooth, sometimes feels like rushing through a bit too much. It isn’t important to savour every line in a thriller, yes, because the plot and the twists are supposed to take up primacy in this genre, but it’d have been nicer for me if the language and the paragraphs took a tad more time to look at themselves.
The red herrings that I mentioned above, they’re good. But the best bit is reserved for the final twist, which might or might not leave you shocked. It did surprise me, for sure. But what that also did was provide for exposition, which took some of the sheen away from the reveal for me.
But in the end, unlike the aforementioned Bob Dylan song’s lines,
“As the present now/Will later be past,
The order is/Rapidly fadin’,” our protagonist refuses to let his old age come in the way of his heroics
Verdict: Eighty Hours To Save Karen is a breezy read for lovers of the thriller and supernatural genres.
Genre: Thriller, Supernatural, Horror
Reviewed as part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program. Click here to know all about it.
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