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My Rating - 3 out of 5 stars

Publisher - Notion Press
Genre - Fiction/Mystery
Publishing year - 2022
Language - English
ISBN - 979-8-88641-620-6
Pages - 480

Noctambulism by Shubhan Balvally

Book Review - 

After concluding the Arihant trilogy, Shubhan Balvally comes with another crime mystery thriller named Noctambulism: Flood of Blood. The plot revolves around a series of murders happening on an island. 

Pinto brothers Lazarus and Lawrence are among Goa's most wealthy families. Their family celebrates Christmas and New Year on their private island, far away from the crowd. These ten-day celebrations are also a chance to create harmonious relations between all the stepchildren and their mothers. 

Lazarus has two ex-wives, Monica and Magdalene. His present wife is Amanda, and he has eight children from these three wives. Lawrence is different from his elder brother; he is married to Natalia and has two children. 

They both build an empire and equally put blood and sweat into it, but Lazarus and his lawyer use Lawrence's meekness to their benefit, and instead of making him a partner, he holds the director position. His family hated this decision but stayed quiet for the time being. 

Monica and Natalia's children work in their fathers' company to make it more affluent and expand. In contrast, Magdalene and Amanda's children took a different path and didn't work in the company. 

This topic occurs in every gathering and creates additional hatred between these so-called family members. But unfortunately, the only person they listen to is Archangel, mother of the Pinto brothers and head of the family. She lives with Magdalene and her triplets. 

This seventeen-member family once assembles on a Bat Island to celebrate this year's festivities. But this year, it is going to be a bloody one. The whole family was stunned when Lazarus declared his will; some felt cheated, while others felt humiliated. Then, from that night, murders started to happen. 

They can't leave the island because of the bad weather, and no help can reach them either. But then the trio immerged and took the matter into their hands. They are Natalia's niece and nephews, Anita, Melwyn, and Anil, who joined in celebrating the festivities. They are freelance detectives and the best option for the Pinto brothers in this bloodstained situation. 

They started their investigation and interrogation with the minimum resources, but the murders won't stop. Soon, they find a lead and work on it, but their whole plan fails when the murderer changes its pattern. 

The entire family is frightened and agitated but continues with their celebrations; rich people's problems. They all are elitist, drunkards, and spoiled. Even after these deaths, they cannot show genuine sympathy, which is why I was not too fond of any character. 

With the help of detectives and police officers, everyone realizes the truth and the whole case takes turns when the assassin's identity is revealed. It was genuinely shocking, but the story does not end here. Many twists came after that and hooked the reader for sure. 

Shubhan Balvally worked very well on the plot but lacked the essential elements regarding editing and characters. Many things were unnecessary, like Goan dishes, which can be cut out, then the author mentions many vital facts in bold, and it definitely distracts the readers; many times, the couple names were mismatched, which confused me. 

When it comes to characters, we were told that these festivities are for family only; a few colleagues were part of the party, but they were gone after that, so why did Michael's girlfriend stay till the end? I'm sure other siblings have partners too, but they were not invited, and neither did we know how Lazarus felt because he is shown as a mysterious person, and this is a family business. This is one example from many. So, I do hope that the author works on these suggestions in his upcoming novels. 

As I said earlier, the plot is fantastic and immaculate. I enjoy how things turn out, and the author drops another bomb when you think this is the end. The slaying scenes were gruesome, and the author's narration of them was remarkable and gripping. The story is undoubtedly a page-turner, and I recommend it to mystery lovers. 

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