Famous detective Vikram Rana goes to Kolkatta with his wife and daughter for a much needed holiday. While enjoying his mother-in-law’s hospitality and good food, he comes to know about the mysterious death of a former neighbour Akhil Garg. The insurance company, aware of Vikram Rana’s talent, asks Vikram to investigate the matter. No one knows if Akhil Garg’s death was accidental or if he was murdered deliberately. Vikram Rana, intrigued by the nature of the crime, sets out to unravel the mystery.
This is my first Vikram Rana book and I have to admit that I was not disappointed! The book has an intriguing plot, the twists and turns keep the reader engaged. Time flies while reading the book as you keep turning pages one after the other. For a mystery novel to be successful the author must plant seeds of doubt against the characters and author Sharmistha Shenoy succeeds in doing so. You, as a reader, keep doubting the actions and motives of all the characters. When the case is finally cracked, you are surprised by the actual culprit and marvel at the ingenuity of the author. There are no nagging loose ends, which are usually the downfall of many mystery novels.
The characters of the book are grey, their interactions with each other filled with rancour and jealousy. The foibles of humans, with greed, anger, revenge and jealousy are shown without any sugar coating or softening. The detailed description of their appearances and mannerisms helps the reader to create a mental image of the characters, making the book more relatable.
Vikram Rana, as the main protagonist, comes across as a rational detective who can unearth the secret. His interactions with his family, Inspector Lobo and food, makes him a very likeable character. In contrast to the dour, know-it-all detectives that we usually encounter in books, Vikram Rana is a breath of fresh air. He is young, funny and a family man, untouched by the darkness of the cases he usually solves.
The book made me want to visit Kolkata. The description of Kolkatta’s Park Street during Christmas is a marked departure of the usual Durga Puja setting of the metropolis. The beauty of the metropolis during winter months is something most of the authors have overlooked when they write about the City of Joy. Kudos to the author for showing the hidden side of the metropolis. Another point in favour of the author is the detailed description of the food which made me feel ravenous!
If you want to check out the book it is available on Amazon.
About the Author
Sharmishtha Shenoy is the author of the Vikram Rana Mystery series. The books under the series are “Vikram Rana Investigates,” “A Season for Dying,” “Behind the Scenes” and “Fatal Fallout”. She has also published a book of short stories, “Quirky Tales.” Her short stories have been published in efiction magazine and Woman’s era. She loves writing murder mysteries, the kind of books that she likes to read. Her favorite authors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. She also likes the work of Satyajit Ray – especially the Feluda Series.Before starting to write, she had been an IT professional and had worked in TCS, Satyam, Infosys, and Microsoft.She is a big foodie and enjoys Biriyani (both Hyderabadi and Awadhi versions) and rasgullas like most Bengalis. She is also a lusty singer of the bathroom singing variety.
Sharmishtha on the Web: