Fear is the Key
Author: Juggi Bhasin
Publisher: Penguin Books
Blurb (as on Goodreads):
‘A bitter winter wind blowing outside spoke to me. There was no one else. And then it struck me. She might have truly disappeared! Sometimes, you get a sense of these things..
It’s been one hell of a tough week at Yummimages, a digital infotainment site, with controversies seeping into the politicking within the office. To calm things down, Rahul, the founder, plans a party at his home. His goal is to set things right between his fiancée-to-be, Simone, and his business partner and close friend, Suhel. With the party in full swing it’s time for Rahul to have ‘the talk’, but suddenly Simone is nowhere to be found.
As all investigations come to naught, Rahul takes matters into his own hands and soon has a few suspects lined up. It’s just a matter of time before he knows the truth. But reality can be so twisted, so bizarre, so utterly unbelievable.
Rahul Abhyankar, the founder of ‘Yummimages’, finds himself grieving over his missing girlfriend, Simone. He is drifting towards depression and hallucinations, and the only way he can save himself is by unraveling the mystery behind Simone’s disappearance.
But the path to salvation isn’t as easy as it looks. Over the next few days, and as a part of his master plan, Rahul finds himself meeting with a bunch of people who redefine the word ‘pervert’. Secrets start spilling and we are shown a world full of sex predators and people who would go to an unimaginable extent for money and fame.
But will Rahul be able to bring out the truth without casualties?
The plot has been planned pleasingly, and there a hint of thrill that exists throughout the book. Its faced paced and the characters are complex and unpredictable in both good and bad way. There also a mention of the psychology of different people and how they work, in a particular pattern. It’s all about connecting the dots, but you are bound to go wrong somewhere. The dialogues lack the thrill. So you’ll just have to trust the flow of the plot. There’s no connection that I felt with the plot, mostly because I wasn’t expecting this storyline. I expected the plot to be driven by fear and thrill and give you the chills. Also, I would have loved it if Simone was the main character. ‘Fear is the Key’ is just a name, the plot has nothing to do with it. Especially at the end, there are monologues, and I don’t understand why the author tried to put in this sort of ‘poetic justice’ when the thrill was long gone.
If there’s one thing I have tried to ignore (and failed) is the portrayal of women as sex objects. There are instances where the character demands it but during certain scenes, it could have been avoided. I say this because the book begins with that particular note and it gives a very negative impression. The book is full of surprises and I advise you not to use logic (Elaboration would only mean more spoilers).
I would rate this book a 2.75-3 stars (I don’t know how to rate this book) because of the plot. It’s not overwhelming or out of the box but decent enough. Also, I did a slight comparison with a book I had read last year: ‘You Never Know by Akash Verma‘, and this book is so much better.