Until I Find You by Kanchana Banerjee: A Book Review

"Until I Find You" by Kanchana Banerjee is a captivating fiction thriller set in the charming town of Bannod in Rajasthan. The narrative revolves around two key characters, Jenny and Virat, each on a personal quest for redemption and truth, respectively.

Jenny finds herself tirelessly searching for the son of her deceased best friend, while Virat, a determined police officer, is driven to solve the mystery behind the sudden disappearance of Jenny's crush. As fate would have it, their paths cross, and they find themselves reluctantly joining forces to achieve their individual goals.

The plot of the story is peppered with both expected and unexpected twists, leading up to a climax that will leave readers in shock. The author skillfully crafts well-defined characters who grapple with themes such as cults, rape, and the vulnerability of victims. Through their experiences, the story delves into the profound impact that people's susceptibility can have on surrendering their lives to others.

While it may not be the best crime thriller ever encountered, the chosen themes add depth to the narrative, making it a worthwhile read. The introduction of the three highlighted characters, Virat, Jenny, and Harsh, is beautifully executed, emphasizing their significance in the novel. Properly introducing the characters is essential for readers to fully immerse themselves in the essence of the writing.

This crime thriller explores the inner guilt of a woman who feels she has failed in certain aspects of her life. Despite her attempts to overcome her dark days and find new paths, life takes an unexpected turn, giving birth to a new suspenseful tale that seamlessly blends with the rest of the story.

While there is an abundance of thrillers available today, this book stands out for its clever narration and ability to hold readers captive until the very end. The moment Jenny sees a picture of a boy in a travel magazine, her world is shaken. The boy bears a striking resemblance to her friend Rubina, who is supposed to be dead. A decade ago, Jenny failed to save Rubina and her child from the clutches of a charismatic cult leader, leading to a mass suicide.

Jenny's journey to find the boy leads her to a quiet village in Rajasthan, where she crosses paths with Virat, a police officer investigating the discovery of a decomposed leg at a construction site. Are these two cases connected? As Jenny's past threatens to catch up with her, she and Virat become entangled in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game that escalates to a diabolical climax.

Drawing inspiration from the notorious Peoples Temple mass suicide led by the charismatic Jim Jones, "Until I Find You" presents a grim and brutal thriller where the arid landscape of Rajasthan becomes as much a character as the shadowy dramatis personae. The author's skill lies in her ability to introduce characters against richly detailed backdrops, making readers feel as though they are sitting alongside the players in this macabre tableau, breathing in the dusty heat of Bannod. Her writing allows the characters to come alive, daring readers to fully engage with their lives.

The story itself is captivating, presented with a cinematic gaze. The presence of an unreliable narrator adds to the shock value of the finale. This novel delves into the cult of Jim Jones, exploring the mass massacre and contemplating an alternate ending. What if the cult leader had survived? What if there were other survivors?

Set in the fictional village of Bannod, the author creates an ideal setting for a wolf to infiltrate a tranquil community, assuming the role of the deceased wealthy Thakur's prodigal son. Despite Manjeet's efforts to maintain a low profile, his assumed identity is disrupted by Sejal, a blast from his past. As she questions the authenticity of his fatherhood and threatens to expose his carefully concealed secrets, she goes missing, with her foot turning up at a construction site. However, she is not the last dark secret from his past to resurface. Jenny, a survivor of the supposed cult massacre orchestrated by Manjeet, appears, determined to unveil the truth.


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