3 and a half murders – a review

Name of the book: 3 and a Half Murders 41igaXTEreL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_

Author: Salil Desai

My rating: 4.5/5

While going through my Goodreads bookshelves, I stumbled upon Salil Desai’s latest novel from Inspector Saralkar Series. But, this discovery was really late, almost 10 months from the publication. I am kicking myself for not following this amazing author, who gave us our own mystery hunters duo, Senior Inspector Saralkar and PSI Motkar from Homicide Unit of Pune Police. I was fascinated by the first two books from the series and that lead me to pick his latest title instantaneously.

Maintaining the track record of the earlier titles from series, Salil Desai has managed to keep the reader’s attention with him until he completes the story. This time story takes you to Kothrud, another part of Pune, to almost open and shut case; the murder-suicide of married couple Sanjay and Anushka Doshi. But as the story unfolds, mystery hunters duo’s attempt to answer ‘why’s behind the ghastly and spine-chilling murder-suicide, brings the puzzling facts about human behaviors.

The plot takes many twists and turns leading inspectors to various cities and dive in the old case papers of Karnataka Police in for the unsolved murder in Banglore entangled with shady land deals, recruitment scams and many other irregularities related to Doshis.

I have observed in Salil’s this series, he had tried to talk about human psychology and the social stigmas around various issues like sexuality and gender identity. He has developed the characters around these issues so that he can create the dialogue in the reader’s mind about these issues. This is the quality which makes you read through the last chapter where the criminal tries to explain his side of the story, and the end where protagonist put some key pieces of the puzzle on display for us.

Senior Inspector Saralkars one-line punches and jibes to PSI Motkar add the spices to the story along with the development of their personal stories, as PSI Motkar is now an amateur actor in a play and Saralkar is trying to fight with the diagnosis of hypertension. The blurb of the book and the cover is so catchy that you can’t leave it until you dive deep into it. This is how the blurb goes:

“Two corpses . . . a woman lying dead on her bed,
a man hanging from the ceiling fan.
A suicide note cum murder confession.
And a name . . . Shaunak Sodhi.
When the case comes their way, Senior Inspector Saralkar has just been diagnosed with hypertension and PSI Motkar is busy with rehearsals of an amateur play.
What appears at first to be a commonplace crime by a debt-ridden, cuckolded husband, who has killed his unfaithful wife and then hung himself, soon begins to unfold as a baffling mystery. As clues point to a seven-year-old unsolved murder in Bangalore and other leads emerge closer home, Saralkar and Motkar find themselves investigating shady secrets, bitter grudges, fishy land deals, carnal desires, the dead woman Anushka Doshi’s sinister obsession with past life regression and her husband’s links to a suspicious, small-time god-man, Rangdev Baba.And then, suddenly, the murderer resurfaces and yet another life is in grave danger . . .
Can Saralkar and Motkar get to the bottom of an unimaginably shocking motive and stop the malevolent killer from committing the fourth murder . . .?”

Paperback: 328 pages

Publisher: Fingerprint! Publishing (8 February 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 8175994258

ISBN-13: 978-8175994256

 

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हे सर्व कोठून येते? – A Book Review

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If you are aware of the contemporary Marathi theatre scene, then one name will be very familiar to you: Vijay Tendulkar. He was a fantastic playwright with many milestones in Marathi theatre like Ghashiram Kotwal, Gidhade and Sakharam Bainder which are recorded on his name. He had also written stories for some amazing films, such as Ardhasatya, Akrosh and Nishant. On the other hand, he had written many short and long articles, essays on various occasions. “हे सर्व कोठून येते?” is a compilation.

While talking about this book in its prologue, he said “After observing people for so many years, I feel labeling them is pointless. They are very complex, we can only scrape the surface of one’s personality. We have to accept that every person has a whole different life other than one we have experienced. We should not make judgments about the ‘other part’ of life. If we do, then it should be for our own musing.”

This book is all about people he met, interacted and worked with in his long span of a career as a journalist; an editor of various periodicals, a writer and during his work under Nehru Fellowship. He came across various politicians as a journalist and editor and he has tried to present them differently trying to put some light on their unique facet. He had taken the interview of ex-CM of Maharashtra Vasantrao Naik, ex-CM of Gujrat Chimanbhai Patel and J P Naik but in this book he has written elaborately about them and his experience of meeting them for an interview.

While working for Maratha, one of the old popular Marathi daily, he had witnessed a lot of different avatars of Pra. Ke. Atre, legendary writer, orator and owner of Maratha. He has been active in politics in those days and was famous for being blunt while putting his thoughts to words. He has dedicated some of the articles to his fellow writer, friends, and colleagues.

But the last two articles from the book are really different than others. They talk about death, murders and death penalty elaborately. These two articles have made me reschedule my today’s blog post for next week and write this review for you guys. I tell you, folks, I had never read anything so thought-provoking about somebody’s death or somebodies act of murdering another human. I wasn’t able to speak about anything for almost 15 minutes after I finished the book on this note. Guys, I recommend that you grab a copy of the book at least for these two articles. I know, it’s a Marathi book but you feel free to ask me anything if the language is a barrier for you, I will be very happy to help you in this matter.

My rating: – 4.5/5

Name of the book: हे सर्व कोठून येते?

Publisher: Rajhans Prakashan

Pages: 195

ISBN: 81-7434-317-2

ISBN13: 9788174343178

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Ruskin’s Rusty

Ever since I took my first dive in English literature, Ruskin Bond has been my one of the favorite author. His stories have fascinated me since my first read. I don’t know how many times I have reread them. But for some reason, Ruskin’s Rusty always have dodged me. It’s not the case that I didn’t get a chance to buy it before or it was out of print. When your bestie is with you and you both are very crazy about books, some things just click. I know one should not judge a book by its cover but guys, this edition of “The room on the roof” is so irresistible with a fabulous watercolor cover which you can’t just ignore and move on. We both bought it. That day, I changed my topic for ‘R’ of this A to Z challenge. It can’t be anything other than “Ruskin’s Rusty”

Just like any other Ruskin Bond book, it doesn’t let you leave the book without finishing the story. Or should I say, just like this book his all other stories hold you until you finish the reading? This is the first book Ruskin ever wrote. My copy being the special edition for the 60th anniversary of this award-winning book. It comes with a bonus of introduction by Tom Alter, and Ruskin’s special preface telling us the story covering the time past 60 years of this book. Eye catching water-color illustrations by Gunjan Ahlawat comes with the classic words of Ruskin as the special feature of this special edition.

As this is the first novel in the Rusty series, It introduces us to an Anglo-Indian boy from his late teens living his unhappy life with his stern guardian, who elopes the house of his guardian to live among his friends from the town of Dehra. It is fascinating to read how life can take turns so dramatically without giving any signs for the same. One fine day, Rusty is with his friends enjoying the hustle of bazaar, enjoying baths on the common tank in the town, eating chaats with his buddies, and then one by one, his well-wisher walk on different paths of their lives. To know what happens when lonely Rusty takes decision to leave Dehra for England, you better grab your copy. I am sure you won’t leave it until you get the answer of this question.

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I am participating in A to Z challenge with Blogchatter and this is my take on day 18 challenge. “R is about Ruskin’s Rusty”

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