On the Verge Author: Nikhil Uprety
|On the Verge is a collection of five short mystery stories namely Diabolical, House of Insanity, Mirrors are Guilty, Moron and Retrospect.
Pub. Date: 2013
Price: INR 170
Overall ratings: 3.2 |
It may not be in the best of interest to narrate them all. I would rather say that every story has its own charm. While Diabolical may fall into a medical-thriller genre, House of Insanity may be well described as an emotional-psychological drama with a social message as an added attraction (quite rare for mysteries!). Mirrors are Guilty may remind one of the Hollywood caper-I know what you did last summer, but has been handled quite well. Moron is a psychological thrillerwith a good deal of shock factor while Retrospectis a family drama with a twist in the tale.
The author’s style of writing is different for each story, though sometimes certain situations may seem to be quite repetitive; for example existence of a detective agent and a murder in almost every story, the usual motives of revenge, love and greed etc. The author does not try to create a superficial layer in order to describe situations or events and rather choses to be point blank and sometimes even seems to be in a rush to end a scene that may have potential to create a lasting impression in reader’s mind. This may sometimes prove detrimental to establish a strong and memorable character that is essential for anymystery writing. The only exception to this is Mirrors are Guiltywhere almost every character is described quite well and succeeds in creating a lasting image in the reader’s mind.
Highs and Lows
The most memorable character(s) from the book are Mr. and Mrs. Sethna from the House of Insanity. The mysterious aura surrounding them is definitely the saving grace for the otherwise predictable storyline. The pick(s) of the lot is Mirrors are Guilty and Moron. A love triangle, a college reunion, murder and more murder takes Mirrors are Guilty into a wonderful yet deadly joy ride. The author succeeds to create a feeling of nostalgia when the friends reunite after ten long years. The love triangle is handled with good dexterity. The murders that follow only heighten the drama and the investigators show good deal of expertise.Moron on the other hand deserve applauds for its bold characterization and the narrative style. The transformation of the lead protagonist is mysteriously endearing. The brutal ending is just an icing on the cake. The most disappointing story is Retrospect may be due to improper characterization or lose thread connecting the storyline. Certain words/terms like sinister smiles, fathom, etc. are used more than often in all the stories and could have been avoided.
Plot: 3.5 |
Overall Rating: 3.2 |
Language and Style: 3 |
On the Verge deserves to be read by readers who appreciate ‘Investigative-style’ of storytelling where clues, evidences and motives are the most essential ingredients. As a first time writer, Nikhil Uprety has done decent job and definitely shows the required spark of a master story-teller.