Author: Shouvik Bhattacharya
Publisher: Bloomsbury India
Publication date: 10 Dec 2017
Book length: 204 pages
Genre: Fiction/ Crime Thriller
When a young woman is found lifeless in a pool of her own blood, everyone is convinced that it is her college sweetheart who murdered her. The victim’s step-brothers, Rishabh and Arya,embark on a journey to unearth the truth, a journey riddled with fallacies and conspiracies, planted intentionally. What connection is there between a missing blue envelope, a misplaced sweater and stray footprints in a room. Could those people they thought they knew so well be hiding dark secrets about their past? Or did their dead sister have more to hide than they imagined?
I am thankful to the publishers for sending me this book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.
Okay! let me gather my thoughts. I don’t even know where to begin. I ain’t sure if I can express even half of what I experienced throughout the book in my attempt to write the review. Do I sound extremely dramatic? Well, can’t really help it. Am being really honest here. Before I go further into blabbering about my take on the book let me describe the story-line a bit.
The story revolves around the death of a young, hard working woman, adopted, unwelcomed child of the family, who through her extreme dedication to work had won her father’s confidence in taking over their company, Arora Cements instead of his ambitious son, Pranav. Esha was the eldest of 5 children, adopted after four years of Vishal Arora’s childless marriage with first wife, the renowned actress Archana Gulati. Within a year of adoption, they were blessed with twins – Pranav and Rashmi. But the marriage didn’t work well and after three years of their birthday, the lady eloped with a retired Major. He had then married Sunanda Rai and within a year Rishabh was born; four years later she died at childbirth, Arya arrived. Keeping this characters aside, we come to the character Anubhav deeply and unrequitedly in love with Esha who gave up his well off job to work in and support her company. With every character present in the house and no sign of outsider during the time of Esha’s murder, the inspector and sub inspector are stressed out to find out the truth. No sooner had they come to a conclusion that Rishabh informed them of a missing blue envelope from Esha’s room and the housemate believes to have heard her talking to someone before the day of murder in her room about eloping!
Who killed Esha? Was there really no outsider but was someone inside the family? What was the motive? What was in the blue envelope? Who took it? Who was she planning to elope with and why?
If only these questions weren’t enough to deal with, the author interestingly brings in the topic of lesbians and I very much appreciate this initiative. In the times when we readers must even through stories, under the condition of current society, this very book is a genuine example. It points out how India is yet to come to an understanding with homosexuality and how all the people, though have the right to love anyone and everyone, has to hid this. The fear of shame and disgust they suffer then they believe that what they feel is unacceptable in the society because it is unnatural and sin. They crush their on feeling in the name of disease and insanity.
Murder in a Minute is a fast paced, gripping and intelligent story, filled with conspiracy, suffering, betrayal, power and insanity which I enjoyed thoroughly. The choice of words and concepts are well thought out. What absolutely intrigued me was the rawness of the reality. How till date orphan and homosexuality is unacceptable, both by families and society. Every human deserves a family and the right to love anyone they choose to. Also I must praise the author’s talent of storytelling – cleanly detailed and quite informative. If I hadn’t already known I wouldn’t have believed if anyone said this book is a debut novel. I am utterly impressed and look forward to reading more works of him in coming future.
Anyone who loves crime thrillers, I recommend you to give this book a try at once.
About the Author:
Shouvik is a management graduate from S.P Jain, Mumbai and is currently working for General Electric. During the day, he designs high-end analytical software which makes aircrafts fly, and during the night he plots devious murder mysteries. He had brief stints studying in Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University and European School of Business. He is a die-hard fan of Manchester United and you might spot him reading, in a café or a bookstore in Bangalore.
You can follow him @StoryTellerShouvik on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.