Trust Me Not by Ankita Verma Datta (Published by Jaico Publishing House) is a socio-political thriller, an interesting genre especially for a debut by a woman author.
‘Good news and positive PR have the power to bury any bad news.’
Reeva Rai is single (and obviously, her mom is desperately looking for a suitable boy for her talented daughter) and smart, and works in a reputed ad agency. His boss offers her a higher, high paying, designation in his new PR Company that is supposed to work for political parties. It’s a golden opportunity for Reeva, but accepting this offer would mean working with charming and suave Kunaal Kabi.
But, that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that she is inexplicably attracted towards this enigmatic man. As she takes up this designation, her life goes haywire. There are constant encounters with Kunaal. There’s arrogant Shalini who absurdly dislikes Kunaal. But, thankfully, there’s Nihaal who is a friend. A friend who is unable to express his true feelings.
When Reeva and the new PR team start working for JBP, the leading political party, she comes to know about a real estate scam. She meets Nandita Sahay, a social worker who fights for people’s rights. Reeva couldn’t stop herself from go deeper in the matter, and then the journey becomes a bumpy ride. Would she be able to expose the scam? Who is behind this? What about her relationship with Kunaal? What about Nihaal’s feelings? And why does Shalini hate Kunaal? You’ll have to read the book to know the answers.
Trust Me Not is packed with all the necessary elements — power, misuse of power, greed, dark secrets, shocking revelations, filthy tricks to beat each other, and intriguing love affairs — that this genre requires. When I think about the characters, I get confused a little as apart from these main characters, there are several other characters. The story has been told from multiple points of view. Some chapters open with a new character, and it takes some time to understand the character. However, I understand the need of multiple characters and points of view in this genre. The good thing is that the characters are well defined and they seem real.
Kunaal is indeed charismatic and enigmatic. There are three prominent women characters, and for me, Reeva seems weakest. Even though she seems to be involved in everything, almost omnipresent, she often sounds tired, unsure and confused. Also, her relationship with Kunaal seems forced in the beginning, but as the story grows, their relationship takes a nice shape. There are some beautiful moments between them.
‘While time slip away, my love will always be there for you. Now and forever.’
I liked Shalini’s character. She is confident, and her dislike for Kunaal does create intrigue. Nihaal is adorable. A true friend.
‘Friendships are never by accident. There’s a reason why people come into your life. Sometimes, we don’t realize the purpose right away but eventually we do.’
Writing is good, and it reflects the good research behind the story. The situations are convincing and somehow replicate the reality of the dark world of politics and quirky world of Media. The secrets and revelations would keep you hooked, however due to multiple points of view, some readers might feel distracted at times.
The end of a story is really important because it stays with you for some time. The end of the book is unconventional and satisfying. Interestingly, it leaves a vast scope for the sequel.
Overall, Trust Me Not is a promising debut. Handling such a complex theme as a debut author is commendable. It’s not a light read. It’s dark. It’s intense, a little complicated. If you are interested in politics, if you like thrillers, go for it!
Author(s): Ankita Verma Datta
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Release: October 2017
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