Book Name: Murder In Paharganj
Author: Kulpreet Yadav
Book Blurb: 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 specializes 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.
Review: This novel opens with the murder of a foreign national, in Paharganj. Vicks Menon, a recently laid off journalist owing to his drinking habits starts working on this murder case in order to redeem himself. The premise is basically attention-grabbing. The author has superbly narrated the circumstances where a disgraced Vicks who has seemingly lost everything but later during the course of the story, manages to get everything back, love, respect and a decent job. The story begins remarkably well and I was expecting a lot more from this book.
However, Yadav’s writing is very shallow and the story sounds a bit clichéd too. Yadav has got the premise right and he starts very well but the thrill and magic dissipates somewhere during the middle pages. There were some places wherever the plot is shifted to some completely different character that results in confusion. The plot fails to supply the page turning, nail-biting experience in spite of its scope with its huge plot line and a very intriguing plot. No character except the protagonist is compelling within the story and Vicks was doomed to carry the plot on his small shoulders all alone. The climax appears to be rushed in an exceedingly hurried fashion with some uninspiring incidents.
This book has a lot of material and could have improved a lot on several aspects; perhaps a slightly trimmed version could have triumphed with the readers. Try again Mr. Yadav.