By: Purvi Goel
Author and MSJ Alumnus Karthik Raman brings a dark and twisted corporate world to life in his debut novel Twenty Years to Judgement Day. The story follows the lives of two businessmen tossed into a messy tangle of betrayal, espionage, and revenge between competing companies. The tale of revenge and redemption unites the lives of Clint Huntsford, an executive on the run for a past he tried to bury, and Jess Kramer, a young man haunted by demons and a corrupted father. As new truths come to light, the two must explore the consequences of their actions as their worlds come crashing down before them.
Short, snappy sentences make the book easy to read, and it’s easy to identify and sympathize with the well-developed characters. Though slightly unbelievable, they are admittedly talented – untrained businessmen who leap out of windows, handle guns, and are well-versed in playing the fugitive. However, much of the dialogue felt confusing, complicated, and dry, lacking the niceties of real, every day conversation. While it benefits from excellent description and boasts an engaging style, it could be less straight forward. Additionally, given the complexity of the plot, more could have been done to entice the reader.
Despite its shortcomings, Twenty Years to Judgement Day is formed around the unique idea of providing a glimpse into the inner workings of a fictional business world, allowing readers to draw parallels between the corruption described in the book with corporate America today. Although it suffers from obvious twists and expected turns, the book is impressive for a debut novel, and with more depth and emotion, could be a much better story.