Author : Kulpreet Yadav
Publisher : Bloomsbury India
Publication date : 10 Oct, 2017
Book length : 278 pages
Language : English
Genre : Fiction/ Thriller
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.
Rating : 4.5/5
Thanks to the publishers for sending me the book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.
“THE DEAD WOMAN lay face-up on the bed, her hands at her side.” The very first line of the book is enough to grab the attention of a reader. I, like so many other bibliophiles, have read a large number of story books because of which I have come to notice there are three types of thrillers :
- The one which creates an atmosphere of thrill and excitement from the very beginning of the book and continues the same till the very end.
- The one which though seems exciting in the beginning, loses its spark somewhere in the middle without a certainty of bringing it back while nearing the end.
- The one which although doesn’t seem much of a deal or thrill suddenly punches excitement right into the reader leaving one wanting more.
This book falls in the first category. The very beginning pumps up curiosity over the questions – Who is the dead woman? Why was she killed? And we all know this very well, Curiosity is a boon. It feeds the hunger to know more and more. Murder in Paharganj never gave me a chance to put it down except the times when I really needed to do the necessary daily life things, you know and attending college. The most important characteristic feature of the book is how it highlights present Indian conditions where people are afraid to have faith and belief in the police. It shows how politicians take advantage of the lack of information of common people to insert false ideals and fear in the name of betterment. The book fearlessly points out how due to the ill behaviour of some policemen both in the outside world and also in their own homes, the policemen who try their best to restore justice face mistrust and anger from the common mass.
Everytime I read a good book I am left fascinated by the fact how an author has the power to influence readers through words. We, the commoners, are kept in dark of the clever and dangerous happenings of the ruling powers. We can barely understand the up and down occuping deep inside the country while the only unresting effects brushing our senses are given the name of necessities in the path of development. This book goes into the depth of these curious, unimaginable, dangerous happening through the eyes and mind of a crime journalist, fired by his boss because of his overpowering habit of drinking. The urge of getting back both the job and his love who left him tired of his alcoholism, as soon as he gets the wind of a crime taking he runs to the location before the police. He moves fast and hungrily towards the truth but he ends up inside the Vortex thus he runs for both his life and story. Will he finally be able to locate the killer? What is this Vortex? Will he be able to finally get out of it?
I am very satisfied with Tonya’s character. Being the girlfriend of the main man of the book, her identity is not stuck to that alone. She was a clinical psychologist working part time at the government run all India Institute of medical science. She has been described as an independent, intelligent, witty and extraordinary woman. She is tough and soft at the very same time. Though talented she is not a flawless human and this fact probably makes the reader understand the realistic character of a human, irrespective of man or woman.
Jamie, on the other hand represents a very important role I believe. It is not unknown to any corner of rhe world how Islam is on several occasions referred to as a violent region and that they promote terrorism and mass killing. What I personally believer and the book also suggests is that it’s not essentially Islam which spreads terror but the powers working underneath it in the name of justice and faith. Young muslims are often misguided by power hungry, wrathful leaders and corrupted believers of region who instead of truly unearthing the fertile riches of a region, it’s wisdom and knowledge, concentrate on destruction and filthy ideals. Jamie i.e, Jalaluddin was one of those young people with passion and patriotism boiling in his veins, blindly believe that whatever his boss would make him believe. He took up different identities in different places just to fulfil his missions. He had become a blind worshipper of preached Islamic faith. He was from Iran has, hiding in India, working on a mission which required him to make Siri Bing fall in love with him only to realise soon the team self was falling in love to. I find it difficult to express the numerical number of emotions that arise with me when I try to understand the gym. This is the author’s extraordinary skill to have painted over canvas of words, a story so bold, so strong, so painful, so aggressive and so realistic.
There is still some more to the story some more to say but I fear the more I speak, the more I might reveal that the contents of the book. This book is something that should be read throughly, thoroughly and one I would not want to give spoilers of.
The storyline is realistic, extraordinary, thrilling, impacting and powerful. The book was very fast pacing. The power of storytelling of the author had that were mesmerising visionary effect. It was as if the fictional characters have been transformed into real life characters. While reading the book I could feel myself going deeper and deeper into it and I could clearly see myself living and experiencing it all, I could see Vicks running here and there for his life, his report, dodging the stalkers, fighting his fear and alcoholism . I could see the dead woman’s body lying still on the bed staring at the ceiling as if she would wake up just the next moment. I could see Tonya’s stress, tension, love for Vicks. The book was a nerve wrecking, mind-boggling, heart pumping experience for me. The suspense the book created with every stepping stone was exciting. It made my heart skip a bit everytime I learned a new fact about the story.
Would I recommend you to read it? Absolutely! Obviously! Like just go and read it now!! I am looking forward to reads more of Vicks Menon’s thrilling adventures in the risky and exciting profession of being a crime journalist.