I was totally floored on reading the first half of Supriya Parulekar’s Diabolical. I vouched that it was the best novel I had read after the Da Vinci Code. The first half is edgy with raw characters. An actress with a step sister who loves her more than her life. A step mother who has got a layered personality. In its first half Diabolical breaks away all the stereotypes and comes up with a strong story with a fast paced narration. I was reveted to my seat as I read it. I had never read anything like this. I felt I wouldn’t be unsurprised if a bigger publisher takes it up or it is made into a movie.
Unfortunately it does not hold the promise in the second half. After the first half, more particularly after Sonya’s death it falls flat and takes up the same old route. We have the beau of the actress who is charged for abetting her suicide. We have a cop with a past and a mystic who leads to the clue which comes as a breakthrough in the investigation. The paranormal angle steals away all the raw, edginess of the first half. To say it in one line, Diabolical dies with Sonya’s death.
The writing is sharp as razor. No time is wasted in describing unnecessary details. The characters are well etched and the dynamics of their relations comes up with interesting, dramatic scenes. Supriya is magnificent writer for sure.
This is a self-published book. Yet the quality of paper and print is simply superb. These days I find spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in books published by big names as well. Compared to those this book is better edited.
There are some flaws as well. Do we have Spring in India? On page 114 nephew’s wedding is written as nephews wedding. Also the line on page 121, “He was a cop who did not base his opinions on allegations but took a thoughtful and logical approach and then arrive at a conclusion.” I believe it should have been ... then arrived at a conclusion.
In spite of the shaky and disappointing second half Supriya has impressed me. I will count her amongst my favourite authors. I look forward to read her other titles as well. Doesn’t it sum up all?