The dark twist

Anamika Nandedkar
Saturday, 5 May 2018

Victims For Sale, a thriller by Nish Amarnath, takes you on a whirlwind journey that Sandhya Raman (Sandy) experiences in London.

When the whole country is talking about sexual abuse and our inability as a society to curb this heinous crime — specially when children are involved — here’s a fiction novel that portrays the story of a woman who never gave up her fight to bring the villains out in the open.

Victims For Sale, a thriller by Nish Amarnath, takes you on a whirlwind journey that Sandhya Raman (Sandy) experiences in London. Sandy quits her job as a journalist in Mumbai and moves in with the Sawants in London to pursue further studies, doing a fair bit of freelancing for her college TV network in her free time. 

A chance meeting with a BBC producer brings her a golden opportunity to work on a project about the special children and care homes in England. While staying as a paying guest with the outwardly modern but extremely traditional Sawant family, she enters into a relationship with their son Nirmal, and strikes a beautiful friendship with his sister, Asha, who is a special child. But as Sandy starts researching for her project, she gets entangled in the dubious events happening in the care homes. What’s worse, she unearths a sinister connection between these homes and the family she is living with. 

The novel moves at a good pace, but somewhere down the line, its hard to keep up with the sheer number of characters in it. Amarnath, a journalist herself, has stuck to the standard template of a crime novel, parts of which are reportedly inspired from real life. 

She takes the reader through London’s alleys and tube stations with fascinating ease. The cover photo of the book is one such alley with a teddy bear on the side walk. And yes, it has a significant part in the story. 

The most cliched part of Victims for Sale is its climax. Why does the villain have to explain the loose ends of the plot to the hero, before getting arrested? While this explaining business looks funny enough on the television, it reads funnier in books. You would want the bad guy to kill the good guy asap, wouldn’t you?

VICTIMS FOR SALE
Author: Nish Amarnath
Publisher: HarperBlack
Pages: 324 
Price: Rs 299

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