“Messiah of the Scarlet Silence” is Arun Chaturvedi’s first writing attempt. Interestingly this book is available only in very select bookstores across the country. Maybe the author decided that he wanted to see the crowd reaction before printing more copies. Nonetheless, I bought it because crime thrillers are something which greatly interest me. Does it work?
The blurb goes like this –
There has always been a conflict between justice as a temporary phenomenon meted through a procedure, and the eternal conscience embedded deep within every subconscious state. Justice delayed, or even denied has had reverberating repercussions prompting individuals to mete out justice in a manner they deem as justified.
Molestation and rapes are rampant, and very few woman get their true justice. Many shy away from the courts fearing the stigma as well as the caustic remarks from the society. The trauma is intensified in court when the accused defense attorney attempt at character assassination to belittle the victim or make the incident look like a consensual act. The outdated legalities and the legal process itself are too slow, while the punitive punishments hardly serve as deterrents.
In this fictional incident based at Mumbai, a young girl is raped and murdered. And extraordinary situation demands a different remedial, and down the line, a bereaved sympathizer is created, who takes on the role as the messiah of the silent death, the scarlet silence.
While the story remains focused primarily on the police, the plot weaves into place the role of the judiciary, media, politician, underworld, and the public. It questions the role of these external elements that transform an honest person into a hardened killer. It raises hard questions on a crime that is rampant and continues unabated. It speaks of the core of the system that needs to be transformed. By including factual incidents, readers can co – relate those with this story that links the facts and fiction, to give it a realistic dimension.
The concept of the story is interesting. Rapes, Molestations, Murders, A chase between the hunters and the hunted – it’s all there. Though the writer isn’t a policemen or a lawyer, he does seem to know his stuff well. He has described each character and situation in complete detail so much so that you can feel it happening right in front of your eyes. BUT, good concepts don’t end up as good stories all the time. There are problems aplenty here.
First things first. The publishers have done a pretty shoddy job. The paragraphs are not properly spaced out. The font size makes the reading experience cumbersome, dreary and dull. Every new chapter doesn’t begin in a new page but instead continues with the rest making it all the more confusing for a reader.
The editors have also done a pretty shoddy job. A lot many situations and characters are explained as additions to the story based on the writer’s interests. But then most of the stuff doesn’t take the story forward. But instead it makes reading a very cumbersome experience which gets on one’s nerves. The language frequently oscillates between the good and the bad. Extremely long sentences in many places makes the reader lose quite a bit of interest. Below is an example –
During his earlier up – down train rides, he had pointedly focused on the same crossword without actually any intent to solve. To the well – read man, the particular puzzle was too easy to tease and tempt, not that he was overly concerned or anxious about completing it in a hurry. The puzzle was a mere ruse and the paper his decoy to accentuate his focused attention, allowing him to keep his head down and detract inconvenient interaction with inquisitive co – passengers.
In the above paragraph, the crossword isn’t important at all to the story. But the writer needlessly spends three lines on the same.
The climax is shocking and surprising. But the fact that the writer takes so much time to reach the end that you start to get irritated at the slow pace of things and wait for it all to end.
There is a killer(s). There are police officers. There is a news reporter. There is also a DON and his henchmen. But the problem lies in the fact that none of them are described in the way you would hope them to be described. Quite a bit of importance and novel time is given to their family lives when its not even required.
Hope the writer can re-release this book after editing it with a professional editing agency and also bag a good publisher. Its made with good intentions but sadly falls flat on its face.
Rating – 1/5