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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Many thanks to the author for introducing this book to me. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
OK, I really am not sure if I am ever gonna walk the streets of Bangalore without thinking about this crime story. Tejaswi Priyadarshi’s debut novel The Psychopath, The Cannibal, The Lover is a dark and gritty psychological thriller that can probably be classified in the horror genre on account of its gruesome content.
First things first, this book is incredibly well-written with a story that may seem hither and thither but is an absolutely cracking thriller if one has the patience to stick with it.
The prologue is itself horrifying and from then on, the macabre and grim tale never lets out steam. The conversation that occurs hardly feels like one coz of the plain and paragraph type rendering of it. The 3 segments of the story focused on the psychopath serial-killer, the cannibal and the naïve lover for whom curiosity comes at a heavy price takes its time in hooking a reader in as we follow the psychopath’s journey from a young 11year old boy forced into a boarding school to how he fights against his bullies in monstrous ways, the anger demon that makes him feel victorious to the killer he turns out to be. The background of the cannibal is utterly revolting, parts of it actually had me skipping sentences to get thru them. The tale of how these 3 individuals come in contact and how their lives get entangled along with vicious murders causes spine-chilling moments.
The author succeeds in weaving the story thru the technological development of the 90’s as we get to see glimpses of how the Walkman give way to CD’s and mobile phone messaging gains popularity and I had solid fun relating with them. The use of alcohol and drugs may feel excessive especially towards the end but it provides an authenticity to the college life and adds to the sense of an unreliable narrator. I had guessed the surprising twist at the end but it never spoiled the thrilling ride for me.
I am all for the use of local language in this case Hindi, that provides a particular flavor to the character but only if used moderately. But here the usage is a bit more than usual and the intensity feels lost in translation. There are a few editing errors in the book but it certainly doesn’t take away the frightful atmosphere of the novel. It is a commendable effort by the author to create a story that transcends all genres and create a thriller that is guaranteed to knock our socks off!
An excellent debut which is highly recommended. Fair warning to readers who have issues with blood, gore, cannibalism, alcohol and drug abuse.
“There is nothing scarier than living every moment with the fear of your very existence being snatched away. To save my existence, I must kill.”- The Psychopath
“You know why I love to hunt? My mind interprets a human’s final breath as his apology: an apology of existence.”- The Cannibal
“Can love and friendship push you to the brink of a murderous crisis? ”- The Lover
Raj, an aspiring writer, and a full-time engineering student in Bangalore is given the chance of a lifetime; his best friend Ajay asks him to write the biography of a real-life serial killer based on a set of lost and found leather-bound diaries. A few months later, Raj meets Aaina, an accomplished marketer six years older than him, and falls in love. Things take a bizarre turn when the serial killer strikes again after years; and this time, it is in an engineering college in Bangalore.
Welcome to the unruly world of The Psychopath, The Cannibal, The Lover. This story is about people who find joy and purpose not in life, but in death. Nostalgic, dark, gritty, and non-stop, The Psychopath, The Cannibal, The Lover takes you through the mangled life journey of two best friends, two lovers, and two serial killers. What happens when their lives coincide at a point from where is no turning back?
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This review is published in my blog rainnbooks.com, medium.com, goodreads, Amazon India and twitter