A murder, a murderer, a journalist, an investigating officer, and many others who are in some way involved with the crime. If each of these events/people were a thread, they would be a convoluted knot. And if the author is not adept at his craft, it would be very much like the aftermath of a yarn explosion, after the cat through with the yarn basket. The more you pull the messier it gets and the more you write…
Kulpreet Yadav’s Murder in Paharganj revolves around Vicks Menon. Vicks is an investigative journalist who was fired. An alcoholic whose girlfriend walked out on him, Vicks’s issues are at present too many. Like any journalist, his contacts are many. Early one day he receives a call, from one of these contacts, Raju – a receptionist at a mediocre hotel. There has been a death. Vicks arrives, deduces it to be a murder and is handed over a golden ticket by Raju. A piece of evidence that could lead Vicks right to the killer. What follows is Vick’s investigative journey, obviously not without incident.
Murder in Paharganj is a very fast read. I managed to finish it in just under four hours, spread over two days. There was one problem though. Unlike most crime fiction novels, this one was a bit bland for my taste. I am not saying this in terms of gore or violence. What it lacks is the nail-biting, page-turning quality that one expects to find in this genre. And I had to muster up the interest to get back to the book after I put it down. But, that is perhaps only one negative I found. There is some good stuff too. Murder in Paharganj is excellently detailed in terms of the working of undercover agents and intelligence agencies. The author has acknowledged this in the beginning of the book, and this is a strong point for the book.
If you have a few hours and are looking for a fast read, Murder in Paharganj is for you.
All that said, I cannot be the only one who actually has this doubt – There is a serious difference in the blurb and the beginning chapter. Is this a mystery for the reader to solve?
I wonder what murder took place in December and if that remains to be solved!
You can find a copy of Murder in Paharganj here – Amazon, Flipkart.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars