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Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Review: The Faceless Saldirgan

Simply put, it is not your regular story of two people falling in love and the killer trying to avenge some long gone mishap that happened in his life and all this for the sadistic pleasure he gets out of killing and hurting people. That is what you expect out of a murder mystery. Not when you are talking about the new book on the shelves - The Faceless Saldirgan.




Written by a cool kid in glasses who looks like Vishwanathan Anand and you might think has a cool brain that is worried about maths and science or his next exam, this psychological thriller is quite manipulative, layered and a puzzle that lures you in and makes you helpless. The style is contemporary and pleasant. Quite a fast read and the events in the book hurl at amazing speeds though the story unravels itself over the official timeline at Greenwich.

The Faceless Saldirgan is a breath of fresh air in the growing stories about murder, rape, pain and abnormality as it doesn't just focus on the murder but is quite a lot about the psychology of the killer or the killer instinct, if I must put it that way. The ease with which the Saldirgan executes his meticulous plans and reaches his goal is amazing. While you would be intrigued by what happens in the end and are clueless in the puzzle about who the killer might be, very few could actually guess who the killer is and understand the grand finish the plot is reaching out for. I could :)

I usually get bored if the details are more and are not related to the story or, how do I put it pleasantly, not actively contributing to the story, but this was an exception. I actually read through the passages where biology, chemistry, psychology, quotes of religious texts were mentioned verbatim. This was because these small trinket of information was more to do with the story than to show off the knowledge the author had about the topic or pointed out how lazy you were for not checking that on Google. The Faceless Saldirgan could comfortably bring out the beauty in the characters and build the plot effectively.

The characters are lovable and reasonably delightful and are good in what they do. You are given a good detail about how they go about in their day and don't waste any time to become friendly with the characters. Jack, Ralph and John live an interesting life to say the least and Jack has the best of everything happening to him along with the beautiful Danielle who adds the jing to the story. Danielle is unfortunately killed off in a horrific manner right in the beginning and the Saldirgan makes a grand appearance albeit being faceless. From then on the story picks up pace and is a good read till you get to know who the killer is and how and why he was hell bent upon ruining Jack's life. Alec, Lucy and all the other characters play their roles pretty well in the shadow of the killer while you search for some clue that the author might have left in there somewhere.

Towards the end, I wished it was faster but you can never get a perfect pause to the explosive end. While the deaths were dealt clinically, I would have preferred slightly more effect to the process. Overall a good read, especially if you like murder mysteries and love a quick read. Sahil Loomba has a winner for his first book.


Rating: 2.5/5
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