The Pawn by Punit Patel
Publication Date: June 16th 2018
Publisher: Notion Press
Read Date: September 12th 2018
Genre: Mystery / Thriller / Crime Fiction
Like every other town, Scandicci too has its story. In fact, there are multiple stories woven around the web of lies, deceit, hate and, above all, vengeance. All these stories revolve around one particular person, Dimas Romero, a drug dealer who considers himself a tyrant. Among these stories, one involves an orphan boy named Logan who leads an ordinary life. A change of events take place after the mysterious disappearance of Dimas, and Logan has to get himself involved, because of his love Abigail, who happens to be Dimas’ wife.
A murder is suspected and the suspects are numerous. It becomes really hard for the police to determine the culprit from among a gardener, an angry father, a madman, a lover, a wife, a revengeful neighbor and a person who has lost his love. Upon interrogation, they all have only one thing to say, “I would have killed him if given the opportunity.”
As the story unfolds, it reveals many long lost secrets which provide an even stronger motive for each of the suspects. Amidst this chaos, it becomes a challenge for Logan and Abigail to prove their innocence and fight for their survival.
The Pawn was the crime fiction thriller, a debut novel, revolving around the drug world and terrifying drug dealer of Italy, an ordinary orphan boy and an abused wife. It was about vengeance, love, power, and a murder mystery that put all the character on suspect list.
Logan, 24, living with Uncle who could not afford to pay for education but was nice and they both earned enough to live. There was more to this character than it seemed initially. He was smart, caring person a great friend and lover. I like the way he supported his friend when he needed and how he had been patient for his feeling towards Abigail.
Abigail, neighbor of Logan living in abusive marriage and was wife of Dimas. They secretly harbored feeling for each other ever since Logan moved into the neighborhood. I felt pity for her after knowing her part of story.
Dimas, cruel powerful drug dealer working under drug lord Miro. His introductory chapter was crude and terrifying. I could see why people feared him so much but looking at his security free living, it felt bit silly that those who wanted revenge were still afraid of taking action.
Salvatore, rich and non-corrupt inspector general was working on the case of Miro and Dimas. His entry made the story more interesting and I was fully invested in book. I wanted to see how he going to find evidence against him. He was strong character and I liked to read chapters related to him.
All other characters of the book had their story and were equally important in the book. They were nicely represented and made story interesting.
The book was third person narrative, character driven with the brief life story of all characters in the book and how their life was connected with one person Dimas. Though he was the villain of the story the book was so closely looped around him. Characters were charm of the book. The plot was pretty mix of many crime thriller book but characters made it more distinguishing.
There were some disturbing scenes related to abuse, torture and offensive language but author haven’t gone much in detail. As I read this book almost blindly and with not too high expectations, there were few things that were surprising and enjoyable like- twists, Italian phrases and author’s efforts to give the setting a realistic feel, emotional heart wrenching stories of characters.
I liked the first half of the book more. Zephan and Logan’s friendship, feelings of Abigail and Logan for each other were narrated soulfully in first few chapters. Story progressed at gradual pace. First 50% of the book, it was all about introduction of all character, their life and how they were connected to each other. It took interesting turn when Dimas suddenly disappeared.
Second half was all about Inspector investigating all characters on whereabouts of Dimas, his history which unrevealed many stories and buried pain and suffering of characters, some twist and turns. Suspense was gripping, till end I couldn’t guess who was behind the disappearance of Dimas and whether he was really disappeared or murdered.
Author did nice job in putting all pieces on chess board and playing with them till the end. Title made lot of sense in last chapter. End was dramatic and Bollywood style. That last line was impressive.
I knew that author edited book himself, there was no professional help and I could see that in the book. If book was edited by professional editor, it would be more polished and impressive. There were many unnecessary details that just added word count which could be avoided.
At some scenes the emotions of characters didn’t come out natural. Though it had potential it failed to affect me, may be because of style of conversations which felt underdeveloped at many points.
I can’t deny that cover is so lookalike of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. I wish there was a bit originality.
Overall, it was interesting, suspenseful, character driven crime thriller. A nice debut novel which could be better with bit of polishing. I like it.
*** Note: I received this book from the author, In exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author. ***
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