Thriller on the go!
As reading goes E, on Kindle and other devices, and reading on-the-go becomes a thing, thrillers and love stories become the go-to genre for the millennial reader. Adding to the thriller genre's repertoire is communication skills trainer and author, Ruby Gupta who is out with her mystery read- No Illusions in Xanadu. A murder mystery set in the backdrop of Bollywood high society's swish set.
'Xanadu' here being a plush apartment building of the celebrated star Rajvir Kapoor. The celebratory do at this swanky pad of Rajvir and wife Pallavi Kapoor becomes the scene of crime, with one of the guests at the party finding himself to be the sleuth made in charge of navigating the maze leading up to the murderer of the devilishly handsome, legendary Bollywood superstar Rajvir Kapoor, found dead in the thirtieth-floor study of his swanky new home. Investigations reveal that Rajvir Kapoor was murdered, and now everyone is a suspect.
Barely hours before his death, Xanadu, had been teeming. With a motley 'high-society' bunch. Professor Shantanu Bose, eminent nano-expert and part-time sleuth, a houseguest at the time, who is willy-nilly forced to join the investigation finds himself in an alien world of the glitterati and their idiosyncrasies, where murky secrets are revealed, and facts muddled. As Shantanu struggles to piece together the puzzle amidst the confusing moral codes adopted by the people of this starry realm, glamorous Mumbai seduces him, and he finds himself irresistibly attracted to the enchanting prime suspect. The plot, as they say, thickens.
The characterisation is deftly handled by Gupta, using a common parlance that is free of jargon and is true to the register of Bollywood bored, privileged wives, the pick of the country's elite, hot-shot celebrities, business magnates, pompous actors and flamboyance of the glitzy world. The usual tropes may though seem to be a tad forced at some points, but nothing that takes away from the narrative. The action comes to a head as the surprising killer is revealed in the end, difficult to guess amidst well-wishers of the dead actor, present at the grandest party to felicitate him on his milestone journey in the tinsel town. Illusions aplenty perhaps, in Xanadu. Find out!