Books

Catching The Departed: Book Review

Andy Kanan Series #1

Author: Kulpreet Yadav

Catching the Departed (Andy Karan, #1)

Book Blurb:

The dead don’t speak. But sometimes they leave a trail. Andy Karan, an investigative journalist, is tasked to probe one such – the death of a local lawyer.
He ends up grievously wounded. His new found love Monica’s life is in danger too.
It’s not that Andy wants to live for ever. But to die at the hands of enemies of the nation will be a shame that will transcend even death.

 

My Review:

I received a copy via Goodreads’ First reads program.

The cover of this book was excellent! Dark, Glossy and promising a good mystery, it was also said that this is a ‘four hour read’ which meant one can read it in a short span of time.

The start of the book was gripping. A girl opens the door to find her drunk father murdered, a magazine editor gets a tip that there is more to the murder than what meets the eye, so she sends Andy Karan to sniff around. With such a fabulous start, I was all set to get pulled into an intriguing tale.

But, alas, everything just went horribly downhill from there.

The characterization is poor. All characters are classified in the good and the bad side. No points for guessing which side a particular character is on as you would know within a few minutes of his introduction if he is for or against the hero. At one point of time the negative person was even referred to as a “Bad Man”, I had last read these words in secret sevens where the kids referred to the negative character thus.

The plot is too simple, and the dead guy we see at the start is conveniently forgotten for the most part of the book.

If the male characters are black and white, the portrayal of female characters is just plain horrible. Even the females of Twilight are a million shades better than the females of this book.

The book fails the Bedchel Test horribly.

And the misogyny in the book, had me in gags.

Let me get down to the facts:

1) Monica, Andy Karan’s boss, who sends him to this investigation in the first place, is reduced to waiting for Andy’s phone calls. I kid you not, throughout the book, she sits by the phone waiting for Andy to call her and “pacing about the room full of worry”.

2) There is a total of one sentence on Andy’s previous relations where he admits to using various females for their bodies and not wanting any kind of commitment, but every time Monica’s character is mentioned, there is a mention of her two failed relationships. Because, ya know, a man can have numerous non commitment relationships and can still have a personality, but a female can just be identified by the number of her past relationships.

3) At one point in the book, Monica is thinking ala Bella Swan how unattractive, worthless she is and how Andy brings happiness to her by his attentions. This is what her character description is in the book:

“Her lovers had dried out. It was clear – she had reached a dead end. She was 32 then, and ‘old’ model, whom  no one in the world wanted to associate with. She felt pathetic, ugly and unwanted”

I can write an entire novel about the millions of things wrong in this one sentence. Please remind yourself that this is the editor of a magazine, we are talking about.

In my life I have spent a few years in Girls hostel, living with hundreds of other girls. So, take it from me, NO GIRL IN THE WORLD THINKS OF HERSELF AS AN OLD OR A NEW MODEL. WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS NOT CARS.

I can not even go deeper into this sentence, it’s just too horrible.

4) Monica goes into a Cyber cafe and asks the young guy there for some information. The guy gives her that information, but calls her an “Aunty”. so she gets “offended” and flirts with him. Because….dunno.

5) There is this character of a police informant, who was included in the story, JUST so that it could be highlighted that women are gold diggers and stupid. No other reason for this character.

Here is how it goes:

This man has two wives and ten children starts to feel that his wives were not giving him satisfaction, so he goes to a village and tells everyone he works for the government and marries a 17 year old. He spends time with her while making sure his other wives could listen to them and regret that they could not give him what he wanted.

Now this was portrayed as the most normal thing in the world, and we should empathize with this guy, because obviously, he is just a guy with needs and what he did was what any guy would do!

Now the girl that he married, was told he was a rich guy comes to Mumbai with dreams and hopes and ends up in a small, dingy cramped place. She had married him just for his money, this is bad (While he married her for her body is normal). She was beautiful and wanted to dance in Bollywood movies, but her husband crushed her ambitions. So she started resenting her husband, which was wrong (But lying about wealth and crushing someone’s dreams, was ya know, the most natural thing in the world).

Totally unhappy with the lies of her husband and his refusal to even acknowledge her dreams, she is attracted to a guy who supports and encourages her. And tells him about her husband’s activities as her husband and she never talked, but obviously a lady just needs to shut up and give her body, why would she want a confidant and someone to talk to? So obviously she is bad (The fact that her husband has two other ladies and ten children, is somehow never an issue, and his morality is never judged!)

6) Towards the end, the negative character compares bombs to women in this way:

“He had fallen in love with the bomb. It was better than falling in love with a woman. It was absolute, selfless and unconditional”

Please excusebanging my head against the wall.

7) Also a random statement from the novel:

“He liked her, not like a man likes a woman, but as a human being”

Because you know a man seeing a woman as a human being and not an object is such a strange phenomenon, that it had to be mentioned.

8) The dead guy’s wife was there again as a decoration with no significant part to play. You’d think that with the dead guy’s wife and daughter left on their own, they’d talk about something, but nah! Who wantsta read about women talking to each other, when they can be a background decoration in a man’s world?

9) There is a scene where Monica tells Andy she loves him, and he does not respond (RUDE!) and wonders if he feels for her or just wants her. But because she is a woman, she knows that he really, truly loves her, and becomes very happy.

ermto my female readers, I ask you to let me know if you guys also have this strange magic that you can tell if a guy really, truly love you (even when the guy himself is not really sure)? If you do PLEASE let me know, i‘d have a word with the almighty on this, as clearly I or any of my friends were not given these powers. :/

I liked the last chapter, not sure whether it was because of what was written in it or because I was glad there would be no more woman bashing. Also, the book needed one more round of editing, there were spelling and grammar mistakes.

 

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