Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review of Murder In Paharganj by Kulpreet Yadav

A cover showing man in shadows and colophon abstracting murder, suspense and a struggling protagonist, I decided to again indulge myself in fiction and take a break from the stream of autobiographies that almost made my last month.

Book Blurb
On a cold December morning, a white woman is found murdered in a cheap hotel in Paharganj, New Delhi. Vicks Menon, an out-of-work journalist, is tipped off by the hotel's receptionist and is the first to arrive at the crime scene, where he discovers a lead. It's the bus ticket used by the dead woman two days earlier. But Vicks is battling personal trouble. He has no money, an alcohol problem, and a nearly broken relationship with Tonya, his estranged live-in partner, a clinical psychologist who specializes in profiling hardened criminals. Moving in and out of the shadows, Vicks pushes his investigation harder as it takes him from Udaipur to Bangkok. On his side, for resources, he has a nameless intelligence operative, and to read minds, a lover who is beginning to trust him again. But above all, his instinct to stay inches ahead of death will be the key to his survival. If Vicks lives, this is one story that will change his life forever.
Overall Verdict:- Lucid, No rush and Easy on the eyes

“Murder in Paharganj” starts with a murder of a white Israeli girl and centres around Vicks Menon who is an axed journalist wanting to redeem himself by pursuing this story and during the process make things right with his former live-in girlfriend Tonya. Things slowly spiral out of control as agencies from both the countries get involved whilst Vicks pursues her fanatic killer Jamie (Jalaludidn) who wants to disappear and doesn’t hesitate to kill, if need be.

The book is written in third person narrative. Its easy on the eyes and doesn’t burden a reader with unnecessary details. Yes, it does lack the element of powerful suspense, but makes up for it by keeping the story well paced and interesting. The chapters are short well placed, and connected. The use of simple language aids the plot as the readers can actually focus on the story and keeps them engaged.

Vicks Menon as a central character gets disconnected every now and then, but mostly sticks to the plot. His alcohol cravings are captured well. The female protagonist Tonya could had been used more (for instance her psychologist abilities). Jamie as an on-the-run criminal is captured well and has his moments whenever a confrontation occurs. Personally, I liked the character of Ariel which I felt was the most perfectly written character in the entire plot.

Overall, the author delivers us a story which is surprisingly light for a criminal fiction genre. Inspite of its not-so-new plot, the book successfully captures the readers interest and delivers the perfectly paced and placed ending which I find missing  now a days.
For Kulpreet Yadav’s simple yet lucid criminal fiction, my overall rating would be 3.5/5.

Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart

Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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