Among the many new Indian authors who are regularly publishing books in the thriller-related genre, Shubhan Balvally tops the chart as one of my favourite. Why? Let me tell you. I got to know about him through Arihant trilogy. It was an amazing android robot series, futuristic thriller packed with action, adventure and what not…
You must try that series, it was so deserving that it won many prizes and awards worldwide. You can check all the reviews and summary for Arihant here. The trilogy was based on an android robot named Arihant, he was much like a human being, but his invention was done for far superior purpose, he was nothing less than a superman for India.
However, Shubhan’s new book is a hardcore crime thriller cum murder mystery, it is one step beyond that whodunit type crime novels. What’s the name? Noctambulism: Flood of Blood. By the title you could guess that it has something to do with sleepwalking.
What’s the plot? It’s a family saga. Lazarus and Lawrence Pinto are brothers. They saw misery, poverty, and bad days. Both worked hard to amass fortune in the form of export-import business and much more. In fact, in Goa, there is no one better and bigger business tycoons than them. The novel is placed against the sublime nature and rich culture of Goa, it was quite apprehensive from the author’s world building and character sketching. He at length talked about decorations, cuisine, wine…everything that matters in leading a super luxury life.
I have had read this book on Inkitt App first, it was then a participative in a thriller contest. There it received over 400 short reviews. But I reread it on Kindle and this time the experience was amazing.
The Pinto family is big, around 17 family members. Lazarus has three wives and many children. Lazarus has domination over everything like home, property, and business. Both brothers have also bought an island called Bat Island and there they have a mansion named Nona Nuvem.
Every year the family meets for get-together for ten days. This time the venue is that island and that mansion. There they will celebrate Christmas and New Year together. Much initial part of the novel was about self-indulgence and hootenanny of the characters. What is it like to lead a luxury life, better go through the Pinto family? The real game begins when on 26 December Lazarus Pinto reads the Will of the Family. It didn’t go well with many, there was commotion about being unfair and injustice and disparity. Now I can say that this murder mystery has Will at its centre, kind of a contention bone.
Soon the lawyer Martin is murdered and a few more killings take place in a span of six days. The island is cut off from the mainland due to heavy rains and storm.
On the island, other than the Pinto family, there is a large team of servants and some guests. From the others, three characters Melwyn, Anil and Anita take charge of the investigation. As they trail, chase, and connect the dots. It comes out that triplet Sylvester, Salvador, and Samantha are the main suspects. Their mother Magdalene was divorced by Lazarus Pinto for other wives.
There are many characters, the author introduces them all right at the beginning but initially it seems a bit confusing but as I settled down comfortably in the plot, all things were crystal clear. It is a 400 + page murder mystery, no one can jump to the conclusion. The way Melwyn, Anil, and Anita investigate, makes my day. They were brilliant. Though the killer is caught towards the end but who was behind it and why… it is then another story altogether.
The novel not only deals with personal confrontations but it also looks into the corporate politics and to what extent people can go to get their things done. However, I was befuddled upon knowing that sleepwalking twists the plot of the novel in an unimaginable way. There are great revelations on homicide noctambulism.
Noctambulism: Flood of Blood by Shubhan Balvally is another Hollywood type material. It can be made into a crime thriller/murder mystery web series. The author’s narration was simple, credible, real, gullible, and lucid. The only thing was that it was way lengthy but I didn’t feel the pinch once the black hoodie killer comes to scare away us all. Amazing reading experience, highly recommended to discerning crime thriller readers.
If you liked the review, please don’t forget to buy your copy from Amazon/Kindle.