45 DAYS IN A CANCER HOSPITAL: A Book Review

Book: 45 Days in a Cancer Hospital
Author: Alka Dimri Saklani
Publication: Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.
Pages: 296
Genre: Fiction/Thriller

“She shouted, cried, begged, warned, she did everything she could but then she felt the sharp pain of electric current in her body, she struggled and shook for some time and then lay silent…”

“The intensity of the pain crosses the desire to live. Only the person who feels that pain can understand how one can pray for death and not life.”

When I saw the book with the title, ‘45 Days in a Cancer Hospital’ I geared myself for a sorrowful tale of a character/characters undergoing the trauma of cancer and its aftermath. My mind prepared for destiny’s cruel joke to mankind – cancer. Even before I had begun to read the novel I was in a sympathetic state of mind. I thought I knew what I was getting into.
But, the novel turned out to be something else. It was definitely about patients suffering in a hospital but this was not the tear jerking novel I had envisaged it to be. This was not the kind of novel that would tear my heart apart. It was about Cancer, Hospital, Doctors, Mystery and the Games that people play in the name of medicine and treatment.  A fast paced fiction thriller about all of the above.
The book is a murder mystery with Ashritha, a writer as the main protagonist. How she goes about solving the mystery behind the serial murders in the cancer hospital even while she is writing her novel forms the crux of the story.

“She is filled with dreams of tomorrow, not even realizing whether there would be any tomorrow for her or not.”

Alka the author has woven a story centered on characters suffering from cancer and admitted in a famous Mumbai hospital. Unfortunately, patients are dying premature deaths. What could be the reason? Why would anyone wish to kill an already dying person? Why would anybody want to murder cancer patients who have neither life nor wealth to feed the selfish desires of the murderer?

“When a person nears his death, he tries to figure out what all he is going to leave and what all he is going to find after the end, few realize they have more to gain than they leave for the world…”

All the characters in the novel are brilliantly etched, so much so that you could be provoked into suspecting one or all of them. Each character stands out on its own with characteristics and mannerisms that are very natural and apt for this thriller mystery novel.

For a debut novel, 45 Days in a Cancer Hospital is a great read.

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