TBF : The Book Files : Second Lives by Anish Sarkar 

Hi guys!

I’ve really been very lazy or very tired, which is why I have to go back to the books I’ve read during the past 2 months and post reviews about them. It’s a TBF avalanche, you can say!

For TBF today, I’ll be posting the review of Second Lives by Anish Sarkar. I won this book in an Instagram giveaway hosted by Westland Books and I was beyond ecstatic when I received it because it was a thriller. Having given up on Chetan Bhagat years ago after the Revolution 20/20 fiasco, I was beyond excited to read an Indian author that hadn’t dabbled in the romantic genre. On to the review then!

Second Lives follows 3 friends, Neel, Omar and Sara who get together to solve the mystery of their murdered 4th friend, Rachel, a journalist. Despite being written off as a suicide, they are sure that their friend couldn’t have ended her life just like that. Determined to get to the end of it while duelling their personal demons, they get caught up in a ring of danger with their investigation. Convinced completely that their hunch is accurate, they land themselves into the clutches of a killer loose among them. Terrified, determined and battered, it’s a story of their childhood which hides terrible secrets and paves the way to their current lives and the various tumultuous situations they share between themselves. 

The book is divided into four parts and is told through Point of Views of different characters. The discernment between them is also made by the author with a change in language use and statements. For example, Neel, who has recently lost his family in an accident, speaks in cut off sentences, preferring to use ‘And’ again and again and to be honest, it gets annoying after a while. The other characters are okay and even though the author has put in a lot of work to detail them through their behaviour and language but at times none of them stick out. 

The story starts out slow as the characters leave little teasers of their own past, fears and relationships while flashbacks are thrown in here and there to string in the story. I kept waiting for the story to pick up and it did, almost as an overload of action and information after the 3rd part. 

This is my first Anish Sarkar book and I have to say I’m  Intrigued though to pick up his first book although I don’t think rereading this one is in the plans anywhere near in he future.

  • Overall rating : 🌟 🌟 
  • Characters : 4/10 (I understand the change in language to differentiate between the characters but I’m almost sorry that they didn’t exactly stand out except for Neel’s short speeches getting on my nerves.)
  • Storyline : 4/10 (A good effort to use the point of view format but it somehow limits the story if the characters are not strongly built. The mystery is pretty predictable and any thriller buff can easily predict what would come next.)
  • ✔ Writing Style : 5/10 (It’s not too good and it’s not too bad; Just in the middle somewhere. Meh.)

That’s all for today, folks!

Happy Reading! 


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