Ambreen Momin reviews Catching the Departed by Kulpreet Yadav for Kitaab

Kulpreet Yadav, Catching the DepartedIn the opening of Kulpreet Yadav’s third novel, Andy Karan expresses his appreciation for his favourite fruit – “Easy to eat, a banana wasn’t time consuming.” Much like the humble banana, Catching the Departed is an easy, quick read.

The book is shortlisted for the Hachette-DNA ‘Hunt for the next bestseller,’ and I can see why: with a delightfully mad villain at the helm of an evil conspiracy, the main storyline is entertaining indeed. In terms of the plot, Yadav combines the quick pace of English crime fiction with a good splash of masala – romance, action, a good versus evil showdown, and tragedy. There are enough twists and turns to keep the reader involved and guessing until the end – helped along by Yadav’s clean, fluid writing.  

Kulpreet Yadav, Sep 2014Kulpreet Yadav’s latest novel ‘Catching the Departed’ was shortlisted by Hachette-DNA in a contest called ‘Hunt for the Next Bestseller’ and launched at ‘The Arts House, Singapore’ on 18 July 2014. He is the Founder-Editor of Open Road Review, an international literary magazine that has published over 130 writers from 20 countries in the last three years. As a Creative Writing Mentor, Kulpreet has conducted several workshops for aspiring writers in India. Shortlisted numerous times for literary awards, Kulpreet’s stories and essays have appeared in over 30 publications, in India and elsewhere. He has participated in various literary festivals in India and abroad like Asia Pacific Writer’s events at Bangkok in 2012 and Singapore in 2014, Hyderabad Literature Festival, Delhi Literature Festival, Glitterati Gurgaon Art and Literature Festival, etc. He is an invited speaker at Literati fest at IIT Delhi in Sep 14 and at Goa International Writers and Readers Festival in Oct 14.  Kulpreet lives in New Delhi.

Here is an interview with Kulpreet Yadav:

Tell us about your debut novel. Why did you choose to write a thriller? Did you have any models/writers to follow?

Kulpreet Yadav:  ‘Catching the Departed’ is a popular fiction novel. Though my first thriller in a commercial sense, this is not my first novel. The two books that I had written earlier had a literary slant. And so did my collection of short stories. ‘Catching the Departed’ is a spy novel that has an intricate plot and a high entertainment quotient. It reminds us of the imminence of manmade tragedy that surrounds our lives, where money and power are the only remaining elixirs of gratification.

I used to read a lot of thrillers in my school and college days. Mostly James Hadley Chase, Alistair Maclean, Sidney Sheldon, Fredrick Forsyth, Ian Fleming, Leon Uris, Jeffrey Archer, etc. More recently I have been reading Lee Child, David Baldacci, James Patterson, Steig Larsson, John Grisham, etc. I don’t follow a particular writer’s style.

How can you describe ‘Catching the Departed’ in three sentences?

An embodiment of eternal patriotism, Andy Karan, the protagonist of ‘Catching the Departed’, reminds us that nothing else matters.  This is the story of a young Indian spy in his late twenties taking on a bigger, more vicious and powerful enemy.