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Book Reveiw: As Death Stared Back

The book creates an eerie atmosphere right from the beginning, progressing in two discrete time segments of the past and the present, steadily unfolding the biggest mystery only in the last few chapters.

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Mark Twain once said, “Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” As Twain’s thought-provoking words make us wonder, As Death Stared Back by Ajinkya Bhasme, makes us believe that the dark side exists in everyone, and manages to come out when provoked. The book is a masterful tale of the horrors of a human mind and the wretchedness of the soul. The powerful unsettling narrative projects a constant battle between sanity and insanity, in a way where the readers will be forced to question their reality very often. Bhasme’s work demands the readers to surrender all control before he takes you into the depths of darkness not just to give you a good scare but also to introduce you to the beauty and sorrow the dark holds.

This is the story of Sanjana and her teenager, Manu whose life turns upside down as her dead husband, Punit comes back to life after ten years. His sudden presence is surprisingly accepted by everyone except the mother and son, who believe that he is not the real Punit. As the mystery rolls with this new Punit talking about 5 stages of an elaborate plan to someone, all we know is that he is trying to harm his own son. Bhasme smartly weaved the plot into dream sequences and reality, questioning the fundamentals of the absolute truth. This suffocating psychological horror and thriller will have you flipping pages to know if your eyes are always trustworthy and as you put your faith in different characters at different times.

The book creates an eerie atmosphere right from the beginning, progressing in two discrete-time segments of the past and the present, steadily unfolding the biggest mystery only in the last few chapters. Bhasme has spun the plot like a spider web, with beauty and intricacy, where each strand seems individual, but when you look at the complete picture, it is all connected. Every word written in As Death Stared Back, is very intelligently chosen to satisfyingly connect it to the end.

As the end of the book leaves you feeling extreme emotions, it is a modern-day torchbearer of educating people about mental health through an unforgettable narrative. The maze that this takes you through will remind you of Stephen King’s The Shining. Bhasme’s work is a mirror in the dark, it will make you question what you see.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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book review Ajinkya Bhasme

Sidharth Jain

The author is Chief Storytellar, The Story Ink

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