Half A Shadow Paperback – 2016
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Three deaths - a beautiful bride, a young businessman, and a famous doctor. Crime arises from its protracted slumber in Udaipur, and the City of Lakes finally sheds its veil of tranquility. Trapped in the heart of the mayhem, is Dr. Aditya Deshmukh, a quintessential loser. In order to redeem himself and wrench his soul free of the guilt of a ‘murder most foul,’ he has to find the missing links between Abraham and Sarasvati, Abhimanyu and Sumitra, Yasser Arafat and Vladimir Putin. The body count continues to rise as Aditya gropes in the darkness. Hunted by an enemy he can’t see, devoured by a love he can’t consummate, and guided by a friend he can’t trust, he is caught up in a race against time where he can’t afford to be the runner-up……………………..
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The author seems to have a pretty good command over the English language but perhaps some words could be simplified for better flow of the text. Though too many characters were introduced right at the beginning of the novel (in the first few chapters especially) it is commendable that the author built the characters with such intricacy that the readers wouldn’t be confused. The book gives you exactly as much as you need to know about them, neither more nor less. The writer should be applauded for having exposed current medical malpractices. This book in the first part makes one ponder over the ‘loss of humanity’ in today’s world!
The book crosses genres, namely medical thriller and mythological fiction, but the 2 could gel better for this book. The plot was great and had the developmental edits been paid attention to, this book could’ve been one of the very firsts of its kind. Never mind, because as a debut, this is truly much better than what most authors produce. Also, the refraction of light through the glass on the cover image could’ve been better portrayed; the position of the injection needle could’ve been better portrayed by the designer. But the concept was indeed innovative. It looked beautiful with the black and white background. Anurag has a long way to go. Waiting for the day when he’ll become a full time author.
Author: Anurag Shourie
The title of the book ' Half a Shadow ' is mystic, mysterious and so different. I found it hard to guess the storyline with the title.
The cover image of the book is a glass of whiskey with a syringe in it hinting the story might be a doctor's or something related to the field of medicine. Or another line of the story that struck my mind is someone who is an addicted drinker and often punishes himself\herself with abusive ways of life.
The story starts with the witnessing of three murders of three different people under three different circumstances in the same city, Udaipur. There are two main protagonists. One is Dr. Aditya, a successful anesthesiologist in one of the leading hospitals who is also a person facing many challenges in his personal life and an addictive alcoholic. The other is Police Officer Vijay Raj who also happens to Aditya's uncle. When carrying out the study of the murders taking place in the city, both sense quite a resemblance and thus a thorough study leads them to a great mystery that they unfold.
Read this story to know how the duo has chased the mysterious murder mystery in the city of lakes, Udaipur.
What I like:
1. First and foremost thing that I want to highlight is the rich language used in the book.
2. The second point that I wanted to highlight is the book's quality. The cover, the font, the print, and the beautiful presentation made me read the book without keeping it down. Yes, sometimes the physical look of a book does win hearts.
3. In the story, themes like mystery, murder, suspense, disappointment, vengeance, greed, and inhuman thinking are intertwined into one thread making it an interesting read.
4. The language used in the book keeps up the spirit of reading, though at places the story may fall flat due to many reasons. The same is what I have experienced when reading this.
5. Though the character Aditya in the story looks like inspired by some movies where doctors though are successful in their profession but face various personal issues, yet, when the duty comes forth often chase it elegantly.
6. It is quite wondering how the author thought about adding an interesting thread of mythology in between a murder mystery with a medical background.
7. Though the book at one point looks like a platter of different subjects, the author has very successfully interlaced everything.
8. The combination of a doctor and a cop who also is the detective in chasing the mystery is interesting.
What I didn't like:
1. I understand that the author has complete liberty in defining the characters but what I have observed in Indian Authors is that when it comes to the portrayal of a female character, very few describe her as a stout or obese or short or brown skinned. This point in the book of mentioning a female character based on physical look is a thumbs down.
2. At some places, I felt many characters and events described one after the other in a fast pace created a little confusion.
Strong and commendable characters with a meaning of every deed are found in the story.
This is where the author has won my heart and mind. Well, when the author himself who is also a Doctor by profession, his prowess in using a great language is icing on the cake. A wonderful narration with many subplots and twists in the story is handled with great efforts.
Language & Grammar:
Great language and rich vocabulary are used in the book.
My Final Verdict:
Read the book for some very great narration and interesting story.
Book Title: 4/5
Book Cover: 4/5
Language & Grammar: 5/5
Final Rating: 4/5
In Half A Shadow, Anurag Shourie investigates the power and perils of the medical world in a consistently absorbing narrative.
In the city of lakes, Udaipur, when three dead bodies turn up at different locales but within a very short period of time, it leaves the investigators wondering: were these instances of accident or murder. The unrelated victims – a young businessman, a beautiful bride and a famous doctor – share a common connection. They had gone to the same nursing home before they died abruptly. Vijay Raj, the chief investigator helped by his nephew Aditya Deshmukh, covers most of the investigatory components, which ultimately bring to light the gloriously elaborate connections to the death. A week is all it takes for the otherwise tranquil city to get caught up in a mayhem that is a result of greed and power play.
The setting of the story feels vertiginous and shiny, but this lushness is described in matter-of-fact observance. Medical procedures and facts are described in details. A lot of hard work and research has gone into the making of this novel and it is evident in the way the story unfolds. Anurag Shourie has indeed penned a medical saga that packs a sizable number of plot twists and characters without getting tangled.
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