Shanti Memorial is a psychological horror thriller divided into two parts as Roselyn and Hariya. The plot is descriptive and with its wacky schlocky moments. Readers will experience (as I) new style of storytelling experiment with its radical and alternative approach. The setting itself is an amusingly thought out and higher functioning zombies that are total hoot. Literature is very strong and phrases and idioms are used in good quantity in both the stories. The author managed to club both the horror stories together with common characters – serial killers who are at some point or the other found themselves incarcerated in a notoriously known Shanti Memorial, a home for violent and criminally ill people. A worth read!
The author Shadaab Khan is the son of reputed Bollywood actor, Late Amjad (Gabbar Singh) Khan. Author has also acted in many Hindi feature films including lead role in ‘Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat’ opposite Rani Mukherjee.
There is lot of negativity in writing as the novel is psycho-horror genre, and required by the plot. This is Shadaab’s debutant novel. Dedication and acknowledgement pages are the most hilarious pages of the entire novel.
The plot of the novel revolves around two serial killers who find themselves incarcerated in Shanti Memorial, a centre for psychotic criminals with violent records.
Amongst the main characters, Raju is a contract killer who was given an assignment to murder Dr. Percy Zorabian who lives in a huge house named Roselyn and Director of Zorabian Institute for the Criminally Insane. Roselyn is a medieval castle with its unguarded giant metal gates at the end of an abandoned road, a godforsaken home for terminally ill far away from its civilization.
Raju was happy since little did he know that Roselyn’s past was steeped in morbid bloodshed and Dr. Zorabian was an eminent psychiatrist dangerously deranged and was lying in wait, ready to unleash a terrifying surprise upon him. But later he found out that doctor is a crazy man who is intelligent player who can strike every ball to six by Raju.
The other part of the story is about Hariya a homicidal maniac. He wants to chronicle his adventures in a diary that he believes will be a trophy of his twisted deeds. Hariya’s sole intention is to create an everlasting memorabilia or a trophy of his twisted deeds which he believes will live and breathe even after he is dead and gone.
Khan has worked to create a plot with its share of chilling moments.
The setting of the novel gives scope for some humour as well. The style of story-telling is interesting. The writer hopes that his first venture is one that readers find to be an absorbing one.
However, his fractured state of mind on account of extreme psychosis leads him to narrate his tale in a very roundabout way, oscillating between reality and fiction.
Shadaab as a debutant has worked hard to make it in book. This novel will bind you to read more. Good Entertainer!