Friday, 12 August 2016

Vikram Rana investigates - Sharmistha Shenoy

An interesting thriller set in Hyderabad.

Like the author states on her bio-profile, I love reading thrillers too. So I jumped at the chance to review this book when it came through tbcblogtours. 

Indian whodunnits are something I have watched more on TV. I was looking forward to the reading experience.

This book held promise. It has not one but two crime stories. Terse, compact and plunging right into action, these plot driven stories offer a fascinating insight into the high society and its inhabitants.

The protagnist Vikram Rana reminded me of Rowling's Cormoran Strike, both embarking on their first case after a stint elsewhere. But that is where the similarity ends. Rana is a more conventional and stable character than Strike.


Vikrama Rana is an ex-cop turned detective. He lands his first case when a close friend calls on him to solve a murder. To get to the killer, Rana will have to wade through murky secrets and lies, while trying to balance a feisty domestic front.

What works:
  • The setting. This is the USP of the novel. I loved the way Shenoy infuses the story with Hyderabadi names, food and flavour. What sets a thriller apart for me, is the setting and the backdrop. This book scores on that count.
  • The protagnist. Vikram Rana is an interesting character with his own set of vices. His relationship with his wife and their domestic banter is portrayed very well. It is interesting how Shenoy had etched out the two characters. Only wish Gopi Reddy had such a distinct persona as well. The stories change but these characters will remain constant through the series. Developing these characters better through each murder case will add value to the series.
  • The suspects. Shenoy lays out an interesting set of characters in each of her cases. They represent different social strata and contribute to the story in their own way. 
  • A fast track read. The stories are quick and compelling perfect for today's restless readers. 
What doesn't:
  • The story is action oriented and focused towards containing the reader's attention. However, the plot twists could have been worked better and the characters could have a bit more depth. 
Barring few typo errors, the book is like a quick snack. An ideal travel companion for those holiday weekends.

Detective aficionados will like this more.

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in return for an honest review.

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