“When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses.”
— Shirley Chisholm
Cold Truth is a horrifying story that lays bare the consequences of man’s greed for more–more money, more power, more control.
It follows a journalist’s search for a missing girl through emails, WhatsApp voice messages, newspaper reports, press releases, letters, diary entries, interviews and even Reddit posts. As she uses her sources to dig deeper into the case, she realizes that it is much more than a missing persons case.
The story stretches from a modest house in Delhi to the unwelcome embrace of Moscow to the freezing climes of Antarctica. Its scope is so expansive that I had to put in some mental effort to hold all the threads in place and figure out what was happening.
I hadn’t expected the pacing to be so steady since the book is basically bits of information held together by WhatsApp conversations. The author’s writing style is brilliant and his mastery over the English language makes it a pleasure to read. Even when I wasn’t reading the book, I was thinking about it.
We see corporate greed and political one-upmanship, a tug-of-war between regulation and indiscriminate research and the inner workings of intelligence agencies. It is all very exciting but it also shows how people think nothing of sacrificing innocent children to further their purpose. I don’t think even the most jaded reader will fail to be moved by the heartbreaking portrayal of the parents of the missing children.
What didn’t quite work for me was the out-there ending. The narrative changes tone in the last few pages and becomes, for lack of a better phrase, a mind-bending explanation of events. It felt like a splash of cold water to be offered a metaphysical reasoning after staying firmly realistic throughout the story.
If you like your thrillers unconventional, a bit bloodied and full of unrestrained ambition, Cold Truth is the book for you.
(I won the book in a giveaway by Blogchatter as part of #BlogchatterWritFest.)
Buy it here.