Strangers with Known Faces – Gautam Dutta

Title: Strangers with Known Faces
Author: Gautam Dutta
Paperback: 257 pages
Publisher: Invincible Publishers (2016)
Language: English

Rajat, Meenakshi, Sadaaf, Amol, and Shanaya are five University students with nothing in common- who should never have met in the first place. They meet after winning a lucky draw- the prize of which was to take part in a puzzle game. Though the game was engrossing, they were unable to solve the puzzle in the stipulated time. However, this lead to the beginning of a deep friendship between them. Their friendship blossomed. But ego and misunderstanding led to an acrimonious break up. They meet again- two decades later- when Shanaya is murdered, and the other four are suspects. The four soon realize that in spite of being estranged for so many years, there were unknown ties that bound them- ties of treachery, deceit, and subterfuge. Ties that have led them to come together in circumstances that no one could have foreseen. And the game that they had left incomplete two decades back has to be played yet again – on a much bigger canvas. Now they have to trust each other, clear their names, and get to the bottom of the mystery, which threatens not only their lives and relationships, but also the fabric of democratic India. As their travels and travails continue, they discover hitherto unknown facets of the people around them, as well as their own selves. Can they succeed in resolving the puzzle this time? Or is history doomed to repeat itself? As hidden aspects of the human personality are revealed, they realize that no one is what he or she appears to be. For the world comprises of ‘Strangers With Known Faces’.

My View:
This is one of the most interesting crime/ murder mysteries which I have ever read. Story of five Friends whose friendship has been forgotten over time. The plot proceeds with death of one of the friends Shanaya Mishra in an illicit act eventually getting the rest into the murder.

Will the other four break the mystery?

Novel starts with explaining the faces of every human, It also has an interesting zohari window which feeds as a teaser to start the book. When it comes to writing futuristic stories it is a challenging job for every author. Novelist is successful in third person narration and bringing in time ahead plot. Every flip of page has its own thrill and a mystery feel, which makes the readers to wait for the next twist.

I rate “Strangers with Known Faces – Gautam Dutta” a 3.5/5

Title perfectly justifies the plot. Clumsy climax, author would have taken additional care. Book definitely needs reedit as some mistakes outfocus the readers. The cover page could have been better to support the title and the plot. I will recommend this book only to the readers whose favorite genre is crime and mystery. The author definitely needs to rethink to include the movie/song lyrics. Decent language flow. Avid readers may find the essence of film influence in many place. Overall it has equal weightage of love, affection, friendship, mystery and thrill.

Kiran K Adharapuram

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