Murder in Paharganj by Kulpreet Yadav

Murder mystery is a universally loved genre and equally hard to write because there are multiple elements that could go wrong with it. Especially because mystery lovers are ruthless if a crime fiction disappoints. Kulpreet Yadav’s latest was almost on the verge of disappointment.

The book has a promising start wherein a foreign national is found murdered in a low-key hotel in Paharganj. Her body when discovered by an investigative journalist, Vicks (strange choice of name), starts the wheels of motion of the story. Naturally, he is the immediate suspect of the heinous crime and Delhi Police tries to track him. To save his job and reclaim his lost reputation, Vicks goes out of his way to track the real murderer and while at it, suffers many a hindrance (dangerous ones too).

What to expect :-

A fresh plot including Israeli Intelligence, international spies and a journalist working hard to find a dangerous murderer. There were a lot of interesting elements adding up to the story line which makes for a gripping thriller.

The book is based on a very important premise, the murder of a lady from a foreign country. Very little attention is given to this common crime in India and I really loved the fact that the author intended to focus his story on it. Hopefully, this book will draw more media attention to such unnamed women suffering or being subjected to torture and death.

However..

I have quite a few complaints with this book and one of them is the unnecessary backstories of each and every character in the book. It is understandable that the author wanted to show why each character behaves the way he/she does but it turned more into a pity party and quite disconnected to the main plot.

Despite being an investigative journalist, Vicks actions were not calculative enough and sometimes seemed way more naive than it should have been. I wish Tonya’s criminology skills were exploited more in terms of the plot.

Edited- I cannot say how much it annoyed me to see a Bengali character’s name written as Tonya. FYI no one in Bengal has a name Tonya. It is something my hooliganish North Indian friends might say to tease a Bengali girl called Taniya. The name Tonya reminded me of a major stereotype that has been propagated by Bollywood since ages.

The book gradually became extremely predictable and the ending was rushed and did not do justice to the entire story.

I would recommend..

this book to readers who are new to crime fiction and are looking for a light read for the weekend.

Synopsis

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 specialises 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.


Publisher : Bloomsbury India

Pages : 278

Rating : 3 / 5

You can buy the book here.

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