Life can be full of surprises. You may be getting your life together, recovering from an addiction, or trying to embark on a journey of self-discovery until it grabs you by the collar and throws you into a web of mystery. One that will entangle you in its net, and the only solution is to see the end to the means. But what can one do if they are only following a piece of the story?
The story follows Alexis, a womanizer trying to recover from an illness that cut short his previous association—coming to terms with his new life. A life that would limit his affairs and leave him with his own thoughts. But fate had other plans for our protagonist as the university girl he befriends suddenly gets killed, only leaving him with the unfinished manuscript of a novel by his favorite writer. The manuscript, in turn, leads him into a sleepy, mysterious town that was the scene of another disappearance a few months ago. Alexis' pursuit for an ending would lead him into a labyrinth that would test his morals and intellect, but alas, it seems that the ending is nowhere near.
It's a gripping read that will make you hold the edge of your seat as each turn of the page rewards you with another mystery. One that you will only be able to solve along with Alexis' decisions and choices. Bhaskar Thakuria's prose-like narrative shows a smooth flow of each event as we are taken on a mysterious journey through his character. The author's love for literature and poetry is seen on every page as each word is felt and seen like a movie is playing in front of the reader. The Dragnet is his first debut novel that speaks of his mastery and character as a multilingual bookworm who has a knack for the mystery that would tickle the readers' senses. Taking inspiration from famous novelists and their books such as John Fowles' "The Magus" and Henry James' "The Aspern Papers", his book is one that mirrors the artistry of these novelists as he successfully makes a novel that contains the same atmosphere and thrill that entangles into a web of mystery and dark secrets, slowly being revealed through the characters' perspective and investigations. His characters have proven to be intriguing as well, building them up from their miserable backgrounds to be held as heroes through Bhaskar Thakuria's narrative.
Although the book is fiction, its theme dives into the digressions of the memory and the human psyche as the author shows the readers his characters in full glory. Moreover, he allows his protagonist to be an unexpected hero, a person that one would think is hopeless. In these turns of the story and narrative, he builds his main character, Alexis一, both a very frivolous and complex character at the same time. He paints a graphic picture of the novel for the readers in order for them to visualize the book and see its marvel between the lines and taking them on a journey, one that is full of thrilling, intellectual, and erotic sequences in equal measure.
The Dragnet is intended to be a trilogy in the near future, and once readers get a taste of Bhaskar Thakuria's writing, they'd definitely come back for more to unravel the full mystery of the ending that Alexis started.
Will Alexis see the means until the end?