Short review: An honest attempt to write a murder mystery in an Indian setting. Very raw and fresh, it’s a good read.
This book will remain very close to my heart till the last day. It’s been 2 years that I have been writing actively and this book is the first materialistic reward. Lemme explain, Blogadda.com have this book review program. If you are passionate about books and can write reviews, you just have to sign up with them and they will send you new books for free…. Yes, free. You just have to write the review of the book you received within 7-10 days.
Coming to the book in question
Title: Murder in Amaravati. Straight to the point, very few books have a title which reflects the content. Even the great Chetan Bhagat’s recent one ‘Revolution 2020 ‘ failed in this department.
Cover: Mind blowing. It once again precisely depicts the two main important corner stones of the story.
Plot: In the Indian context, attempting to write a murder mystery is a mammoth effort by itself. Even though as readers we understand the Genre very well, we hardly come across any new authors who experiment with this Genre.
Without revealing too much, the plot is about the murder of Padmavati, a village hostess (prostitute). Investigated by a village constable, who has never had the chance to solve a case of petty crime, forget about murder investigation. He finds seven suspects and each of them with a strong motive to kill Padmavati.
Sharath Komarraju, the author, once again did a fantastic job in coming up with the commendable plot.
Setting: Amaravati – No, this is not the same populous city of Maharashtra. The author forgot to mention that it’s a village in Andhra Pradesh. The other facts about Amaravati (AP) have been depicted quite beautifully.
It’s like saying, there is a village called London near Mumbai. The author could have done better in selecting a fictitious or better setting to avoid the confusion. On the other hand, he could have added more clarity on the name and difference between the two cities of the same name.
Characterisation, story, structure, dialogues, etc.,
The novel started pretty well. It did provided an initial hook – full marks on the same. The story had its own pace, a slower one, what I expected out of Murder mystery is a fast, page-turner kind. But on the contrary, it came out a Malgudi-days-type slow paced but honest to it’s title story.
Let me be brutally honest here – The book had all the right ingredients to become a block buster, but sub-standard editing messed it up. I mean like I didn’t expect this from a seasoned Literary agent and seasoned publisher. Sharath, write to me in case if you want to learn about those editing glitches in detail. Few of them, I am jotting them down here.
- Too many characters, often get’s mixed up. You had to go back to the previous chapters to recall about the character and come back.
- The plot says the constable has never faced even a petty crime before. He’s a small time, small town constable not a detective and definitely not the smart types. How come all of a sudden he has contacts (that he has used before) in the city that can do the job of investigating within no time.
- Extensive use of the word Gaaru during the conversation, which could have been ironed out. In fact this is the only word used to depict the culture, I would have liked to learn more about the nuances, the music, the art, the food, etc.,
Now this book belongs to the genre of Easy reads, but at times the author shows-off his vocab which was completely unnecessary.
However, there were some good lines that stayed with me.
- Education doesn’t make people smart or foolish. Education just makes people educated.
- Huge patches of grey clouds irregularly punctuated the blue sky.
So my dear reader, overall it’s a nice, slow paced story – a welcome break from the College romances and chic-lits that are being floating around. Go read it and let me know.
It deserves a good 3/5.
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