Book Review: The Clockmaker
Author: Paromita Goswami
Rating: Four stars
Theme: Supernatural, suspense and paranormal
Publisher: Ficus India Books
What if you possessed a prized error-proof clock laden with mystery and tampering with it would wring misfortune? Paromita Goswami’s The Clockmaker is a good yarn of a story, offering heart-pounding narration, sending an adrenaline rush as time is toggled in not only altering destiny but an attempt to create two uniquely different worlds in the present scenario. The theme of possessiveness, greed and destruction is explored in a spiritual and subconscious manner as Karma looms large in the form of a shadow, never failing to put its protagonists in a fire trial. The Clockmaker addresses several questions plaguing humans and fiction offers an answer to questions seers explained through their wisdom for decades and something obliterated by humans in their quest for greed.
The story is set in Delhi, moving places and the prelude takes place in 1948 Alwar, smeared with a vivid description painted in a colorful manner and offering a visual treat. It doesn’t take time to makes it a pulsating ride where a shadow never leaves the sight and step of a human being. The narration hits the right chord, sending chills and engrosses the reader like a spell as ‘Bauji’ is brought face to face with the hooded shadow.
A narration whirling in a tailspin and heart-pounding fashion at every sequence shaking the reader jostled out of its comfort. The stage is set for the story reaching its crescendo. Moving in a flash pan as Ashish’s dirty secret is kept far from the glare of his wife Lata. Nobody ever gets wind of it. He carries a huge burden on his shoulder. The timepiece is lent not just credibility but also tilting the balance beyond comprehension to cheat time and lives zipping in the past, present and future. Paromita Goswami is a magician and her unique skills in bringing two worlds together in one frame where no gap lurches in this terrific composition. It’s an adventure and thrilling ride, a wonder similar to the fantasy tales we read in childhood but she takes it further in escalated tension and intensity.
The black-hooded man appears in a menacing way and the sketching of this fearful character is redolent with meaning, treading on the unknown territory and how greed is a huge price to pay. The characterization of Ashish coming face to face with the dark shadow is replete with symbolism about death, belongings and the facade of destiny. The conversation between Ashish and the shadow, carries the element of fear, spiraling to the fore and verging on the anticlimax to the climax, wringing a succession of suspense, and delightful in tone.
Love and romance play a prominent part in the book serving as a rich metaphor, solidly anchored to the twists and turns in the plot and subplots. Vicky is the carefree son of Ashish falling in love with Kavya as both are caught in successive lives in this time cheated saga, evolving in various time zones, lending credibility to a theme, often unexplored in mystery novels, reincarnation where it wouldn’t be wrong to say, something revived by Paromita in her own style. Conflict resurfaces when Lata becomes seething red with jealousy when her only son is losing his heart to the coy and innocent Kavya with a heard of gold. Isn’t it the problem of many over-possessive parents, and in this particular scenario, the mother where there is the gnawing fear and insecurity with all kinds of manipulations are thrown? The author taps ingeniously into one human trait, obsession and obstinate refusal in letting children grow and soar to chase the sky.
Paromita Goswami offers a razor-edged tale and the finest nuances of emotions are captured in each of the characters, be it Ashish’s vulnerability, Lata as the socialite posing as someone with steely poise but suffers from jealousy and insecurity, Vicky as the genuinely caring guy, carefree, emotional and responsible at the same time or Kavya, the demureness, honesty and feeling of being hurt making the book complete a circle. The gripping tension escalating throughout is worth every word is written and as evidenced in the reappearance of the hooded man, nail-biting climax and near agonizing end as one of the characters senses the untold, calamity looming large that makes The Clockmaker an adventurous ride.
The Clockmaker is flawlessly written as one flips through the pages and makes it an almost impossible task to identify loopholes. The fact that the narrative flits from one point world to the other makes it exposed to gaps but the author’s unique style casting a spell over the characters makes up for the flaws.
The Clockmaker is about chaos reigning supreme and ignited by this timepiece spelling destruction of lives embedded in greed, jealous and the human power lingering on attachment or arrogance. Paromita Goswami’s writing is hauntingly brilliant and the descriptive prose, build-ups in creating conflicts captures the fiction of reality in choosing this unique subject. It’s a fancy, adventurous, spooky yet an unmissable tale. Simply magnificent, nerve-wracking and enthralling paranormal book.