Review: ‘That Night’ by Nidhi Upadhyay

A game of Ouija, a bottle of whiskey and a prank gone wrong. One unfortunate night ended Sania’s life, and destroyed a group of four friends beyond repair. Twenty years later, someone hacks the devices of these four friends, trying to reveal secrets long buried and forgotten.

Nidhi Upadhyay’s debut novel “That Night” juggles between thriller and suspense. It is narrated from the point of view of the four friends – Natasha, Riya, Anjali, and Katherine. A little confusing at the start with four same-sex point-of-views, the character traits help distinguish the voice pretty soon.

The plot is interesting, but finds difficulty in holding your interest over an event two decades ago. The dialogues at times were pretty crass, and I wondered if I have ever heard people in real or fictional life talk this way. If you call a person you knew twenty years ago, will the first sentence ever be, “can I ask you about your daughter’s death?”

I also cringed at the hacking proficiency of the hacker. Perhaps they did a better job than those working at Pegasus.

I do feel that with 263 pages, the book would be better served with revelations more spread out and not cluttered at the end. Atleast, it would help avoid some plot repetitions in the middle.

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