A Three Faced Coin – Bhalindra Singh – Book Review


AThreeFacedCoin

Book Blurb: “We are moving back to India.” Leaving a highly successful corporate career, Zubien convinces his wife Mehak to move back to India where he could concentrate on his long awaited dream of becoming an author. They move to a town near Dehradun chosen for its serenity. However, the house they buy has a history of its own.

A few days after moving in, Mehak hears some noise from the attic. And soon, they realize that the noise was only the first of their worries! Zubien and Mehak meet Adeeb and in a chain of events, their anticipation of a tranquil life is shot to pieces!

What makes Zubien resort to even shooting Adeeb, a person he has barely known for a few weeks? What secrets has Adeeb been holding with him? Is he the person he says he is? Or is there something more to him than meets the eye?

Can one person be at two different places at the same time? Does déjà vu exist?

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As a reader, and an especially voracious one of Indian writers during the second half of 2014, I have always been a little wary of self-published books and tend to avoid them. But when somebody from my alma mater, IIM Indore, Bhalindra Singh wrote a book and approached me to read and review the book I couldn’t refuse. But sadly enough, this book, A Three Faced Coin suffers from all the usual pitfalls of a self-published book; shoddy editing, lack of a crisp narrative and relatively poor scheduling of the various plot points in the story.

As the blurb states, the book begins with a relatively well-settled couple Zubien and Mehak deciding to move back to India from the US, with Zubien deciding to author a novel. They settle down in a small sleepy town Welham near Dehradun when their troubles begin. They stumble upon Adeeb, a mysterious man who has made the attic of their neighboring house his home and learn his sad story.

This sets in chain a motion of events which culminates in Zubien chasing Adeeb down and trying to shoot him. What leads to this forms the crux of Part 2 of the book which chronicles the life of Charlie, his small little frauds, his tryst with Rambo and his gambling den and how he gets into trouble with the authorities.

Part 3 of the book deals with how these two seemingly unconnected threads of the narrative converge and lead to the ultimate climax.

While I give credit for the author for having dared to come up with what seems like a relatively unique and interesting storyline, I have to admit that I had more than my fair share of issues with the book. Part 2 especially seems very verbose and goes into unnecessary details such as the nitty-gritties of poker games, cricket matches and the entire business of gambling. The author completely lost my interest with this part, and I have to also say that I found the character of Charlie extremely unconvincing. Why would somebody supposedly as ‘smart’ as Charlie do the things he does in the book was something that I found entirely unconvincing.

While Part 3 has the  mandatory convergence of the two parallel narratives, the climax itself and the epilogue for the same are also extremely under-developed and in my personal opinion, a lot more thought and craft needed to be devoted to this portion.

I would safely give this book a miss, and not feel bad about it at all.

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Disclaimer: I was provided a review copy of this book by the author in return for an unbiased review. All the views and opinions provided above are my own and have not been influenced in any manner.

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