Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Story about a Bank Robbery - Elephants In The Room by Suraj Laxminarayanan - A Book Review

The first thing that hit me when I took this book was its sheer volume. Three elephants surrounding a crate of (former) 500 Rs notes in the cover and the descriptive chaos of the plot involving a bank robbery and more than one team of robbers piqued my interest and I started this crime thriller, curious to what twists and turns awaited inside.

Book Blurb
A ragtag group of friends are planning a bank heist to end their cash crunch. Novices to crime, they are driven more by emotions than skill – their plan seems fool proof, or so they think. 
In another part of the city, a gang of seasoned dacoits has botched up a job and now owes money to the local crime lord. They have to either pay up or pay for it with their lives – and time is running out.
In a bizarre twist of fate, both these groups are brought face-to-face. Trapped in a situation beyond the realm of their planning and experience, they must think on their feet, form quick alliances and rally behind an unlikely leader. 
Set against the backdrop of Chennai, where men sing gaana songs in kuppams (fishing hamlets) nestled against swanky glass-fronted buildings and life-size cut-outs of film stars and politicians, a story of love, greed, friendship, fate and the absurdity of the human condition unfolds. 
“Elephants In The Room” involves around a group of petty thieves who plan to rob a bank and the utter mayhem that ensures when they come to face with two more groups during robbery each of them who try to get one over the others, all of whom have a plan of their own.

The novel is written in third person narrative and in switching perspective of the characters inside the bank and the cops outside handling the situation. The mutual distrust, temporary alliances, frequent disharmony, sudden deaths justify the cover of the book where each elephant is one group and every movement taken creates a tremor throughout the story and pushes the plot in a different direction.

Of all the characters, I felt Neog’s character was most well written and depicted. He thinks rationally, doesn’t lose his head and tries to look for a good opportunity to strike. Of all the robbers, I felt it was Bada and Chota who leave a certain impact. Nari, Vel and Dhanta feel more like quick thinking go-with-the-flow support cast. Others characters like Sid come and go but again feel as a support cast. The book ensures there is no main protagonist and most of the characters role remain situational.

Personally, I felt the story line has a lot of potential but could had even been better with a good editing. Too much time is take to set the plot and the end lacks a proper closure. The love story/fantasy of Sid many a times feels out of place and too much detailing drag an otherwise well set pace of the story. The book is a treat for heavy readers as one can easily put down the book and resume it at their own pace.

For Suraj Laxminarayanan’s ruckus criminal thriller, my overall rating would be 3/5.

Overall Verdict:- Good concept, but too much detailing

The book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart

Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

We would like to thank WritersMelon for providing us the review copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.


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