It’s been two years since the Based on Lies: Crimes of Love had released. I remember writing about it (the review for which is available on this blog) within days of reading the novella. The first installment of the Based on Lies saga ended on a cliffhanger and left many its readers like me curious. The second part of the book, which is now finally out, released in May 2020, doesn’t waste much time in antiques and hits the ground running right from the start.
The second part, Based on Lies: Unhinged, which is basically the climax of the novella, starts with conversations between Anurag and his therapist. And through these series conversations, the readers get a little sneak-peek into the backstories of the characters, which was one of the elements missing in the first part. How did Anurag and Aditi meet? The books answers it in a precise manner.
“The first time she met Anurag was on the roof of their college building. Aditi had come up there to take a few drags of the joint she had rolled so carefully at home before she left for college that day. She had prepared herself for a few unwelcome encounters while sprinting up to the roof.”
In addition, we also learn a bit more about the main character, Anurag. Our protagonist isn't in the right mental shape. We did get a sense of it in the first part. Here, we learn he is seeking help from a therapist (his suicidal tendencies isn’t something new, he has been living with it since his younger days), how and where his romance with Aditi (now his wife) bloomed, his love and his insecurities (steaming from his deep sense of possessive male psyche) surrounding her, and his experience with sexual abuse as a child. In short, being Anurag Sanyal isn’t easy, and creating a character like him is not a cakewalk either.
The writer has done a good job in creating a world which is messed up, disturbing, and cruel. Anurag isn’t an ideal character, he stands for all that is bad and wrong in our society, yet you will feel sad for him. You will empathize with Anurag. Somewhere, you will feel the writer also wants us to feel that way.
In the second part of the book, nothing much happen in terms of plot; the story moves fast and ends in a matter-of-fact manner which begs the question: Did this book need a second part at all? One book would have served the purpose better is what this humble writer thinks.