The murder of a foreign national in a dingy and shady hotel in Paharganj , Delhi stirs up an interesting opportunity for investigative journalist Vicks, who is desperate to save his job. A tip about the mysterious death of a white woman to Vicks starts off the novel. Being the first to arrive at the crime scene, Vicks faces a dilemma of going ahead with the story and risk becoming a scapegoat by the police. However, ignoring everything, he dives head-first into the case, often landing himself into near death situations. The police are after him and so is the Israel intelligence. As we progress, the story starts unravelling itself revealing several hidden layers.
Vicks was fired from his job due to his unhealthy obsession with alcohol. This led to his breakup with his girlfriend, Tonya, who is a criminal psychologist. Her character is extremely interesting adding an edge to the story.
The story has been narrated from several view points. Contrary to popular opinion, the introduction of several characters’ point of views gave the plot a unique edge. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the backdrop of the characters and what prompted them to become who they are. The POVs were short and the transition from one character to the next was smooth. The author’s writing style is effortless and he managed to grab the readers’ attention.
The story, however, had its dull moments too. Although the ending was predictable it wasn’t disappointing. There are certain instances where the story got confusing for me and I had to go back and refer to the previous chapters again. Having said that, I believe, writing a crime fiction is difficult and a story with several POVs such as this one is hard to pull off.
Kulpreet Yadav’s novel is a fast-paced narrative with several components that do make it an interesting read. For readers who are new to the genre of crime fiction, this can easily be your pick.
Author: Kulpreet Yadav
Publisher: Bloomsbury India
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.