Author: Ankita Verma Dutta
There has recently been a trend of movies, telenovelas and books which are set against a backdrop of the corporate world, political power struggles and the mafia nexus. Such is the craze and popularity of this genre that it has led to very successful movie and book ventures, including series like trilogies, prequels and sequels. The popularity stems from the fact that they include a plot set on contemporary realism, where the likes of power-hungry politicians, corporate organisations, mafia rackets, powerful overlords and crime syndicates rule the roost. The author Ankita Verma Dutta comes up with such a book “Trust Me Not”, a socio-political thriller which has all these components.
The plot follows Reeva Rai, a rising corporate star who works in a top-notch PR agency. Working with an enigmatic billionaire Kunaal Kabi, she develops feelings for him but yet is determined to prove herself. However, she has to make a high-stakes choice when an activist friend turns to her for help with a real-estate scam. As she digs deeper to find solutions, a nefarious scheme unravels with unexpected connections. A no-holds-barred race ensues, blood is drawn and Reeva is trapped in the eye of a political thunderstorm. Can Reeva retain the credibility of her prominent clients while helping hundreds save their homes? Will she be able to bring powerful people to the book? For if she succeeds, these people in the higher echelons will have much to answer for. The storyline is riveting and will keep readers engrossed till the very end.
In the book, we also have a rendezvous with a bunch of amazing characters. We meet Arunabh Roy, a media professional; Manek Vir, the ex-military operative and Rishi Uttur, the politician. There is also the quintessentially mysterious fixer, who is ever the more elusive, in line with various other thrillers to keep the suspense alive and kicking.
The narrative, incorporating all the characters, has been weaved so realistically to bring out various facets of this fast paced and cut-throat contemporary corporate society. Apart from Reeva, out of the coterie of characters in the book, I also liked the media man Arunabh Roy, who came out as a strong and appealing character and readers will certainly not miss both the overt and covert similarities with Arnab Goswami. The talk of investigative journalism and the way he handles his journalistic pursuits is amazing. The inner functioning of newsrooms will also amuse readers. However, as the narrative progresses, a lot of new characters get added up and the general reader can have some difficulty in catching up with all of them.
Also, although the book’s name is “Trust Me Not”, but we should certainly trust the author’s account of the corporate world, for she has brought all its nuances and originality in her writing. This is because of the author being in the corporate sector herself and having spent more than a decade in the advertising industry, she has painted a very authentic portrait of its workings.
This is a book that should be read for its gripping storyline, with equally exhilarating elements of suspense and the incorporation of relatable characters, who are both powerful and vulnerable at places. A book which has a narrative having acerbic asperity and gritty realism, and by delving into the genre of socio-political thrillers will be loved by readers for a delighting fiction read.
WRITTEN BY: CHIRDEEP MALHOTRA