Murder in the mansion

Murder in the mansion

Writing a suspense thriller is, of course, not everybody’s cup of tea, and for the same reason, the author deserves kudos. A cold-blooded murder in an...

Writing a suspense thriller is, of course, not everybody’s cup of tea, and for the same reason, the author deserves kudos. A cold-blooded murder in an affluent family and how one of the protagonists, along with the police, unravels the intriguing mystery forms the crux of the novel. Well, a good beginning, with the author not leaving even the slightest clue for the reader to guess the actual killer. All is well that ends well.

Esha Arora is the Managing Director of Arora Cements, a go-getter and a shrewd businesswoman. One star-crossed evening, she gets brutally murdered, first by hitting her head with a brick and then throttling her with a pillow, throwing the entire household – Arora Mansion - out of gear. The investigation turns into a convoluted case where everybody who is present in the house at the time of murder is a suspect. The inspector who probes the high-profile Esha murder case stumbles upon several clues and yet is unable to bring the case to its logical conclusion. However, Rishabh, the brother of the victim, fixes on to find out the killer, come what may.

In the process, he realises a lot of unknown facts about his sister – a sister adopted by his parents before his and his brother Arya’s birth – that make him go crazy. After a lot of trials and tribulations, he zeroes in on the murderer. The story comes to a conclusion. So far, so good.

Now, the flip side. A member of a glitzy industrial family in a hill station – Palampur in Himachal Pradesh – who is smart, highly educated, and quick-witted, but a lesbian, decides to sell off a cement unit and elope with her girlfriend, also a family member, though no blood relation, to a far off country, a high-profile murder case being probed by an officer in the rank of an Inspector, the son of a business tycoon going to a rival cement plant masquerading as an ordinary employee and creating flutter there without being identified, a district magistrate directing the probing officer to bring the case to a logical conclusion at the earliest, a detective agency running without a proper address, a womaniser who comes all the way to India from a foreign destination to gratify his lust... looks like the author is a great Bollywood fan... The author’s penchant for Sir Conan Doyle and his centuries-old school of literature seems to have numbed his contemporary sensitivity.

Plot is appreciable, but language is clunky with editing like “Could it be possible...” and a lot of other stuff. There is huge scope for improvisation. However, like a renowned south Indian poet said, “Only a bald-headed man can understand another bald-headed man.”

I’m bald. So is Shouvik Battacharya. Period.

By:Payam Sudhakaran

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