Goodreads blurb: When detective Vishal Bajaj receives a call from his old flame Aditi, he is seduced into a vortex of family lies and a murder. Vishal sets out to catch the murderer, while dealing with the resurgence of an irresistible desire for Aditi that he had buried years ago. Vishal is a witty, hard drinking, tough private detective who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty as he races against time to catch a meticulous killer. Seduced by Murder weaves a web of noir and suspense that keeps the reader riveted and guessing till the end.
With a crisp candid blurb like that it would be hard to resist picking up Seduced by murder by Saurbh Katyal, but it has to be said that the cover design is quite tacky and reminds one of sleazy B Grade Hollywood movies of the 80s. But the saying don’t judge a book by its cover has never held more truth than in the case of this particular book. Seduced by murder is anything but sleazy and is evidenced by the fact that this is one book which I literally read in the course of just over 4 odd hrs over the course of an early evening and the next morning, early in the day.
Joining a rapidly growing list of private investigator protagonists in India is Vishal Bajaj in this book. For somebody who got into the profession of being a private detective just to escape the corporate rat race, Vishal was doing pretty decently for himself investigating husbands and wives cheating on their respective spouses when he gets embroiled in a murder investigation. The victim’s family, the Kapoors are wealthy industrialists who make their money from a thriving real estate business and the investigating police officer Babu is a bumbling buffoon, to say the least. And to complicate things even further, the mere sight of Aditi, his ex-girlfriend who is now Sunil Kapoor’s wife tends to rekindle old passions in Vishal.
At the outset while most circumstantial evidence seems to point towards one of the family members, subsequent developments and other conversations that Vishal has with others in the house complicate things even further. He soon discovers that things are not as open and closed as they seem to be and he sets off on a journey to unmask the killer while uncovering the motive for the crime as well.
Suffice to say that the ride that Saurbh takes us on with Vishal Bajaj is a good one and provides enough food for thought for all murder mystery aficionados. The setting, although urban is not riddled with too much high-tech equipment and gadgetry to turn off regular readers, and the narrative also flows quite well without too many unexpected twists and turns. Yes, the book has its mandatory ‘red herrings’ thrown around here and there, and also a few twists and turns, but the beauty of the narrative is that the author has gelled them well with the rest of the plot and they don’t jar the reader too much.
The climax by itself stands out quite well and provides a more than satisfactory end to what goes on to be an extremely competently written murder mystery. Vishal Bajaj also remains a private detective whose stories deserve to be chronicled and here’s hoping there’s more from his file cabinet of case files which can be presented to us by Saurbh.
If you are a fan of crime thrillers and murder mysteries, then Seduced by murder will easily satiate your need for a decently written book in this genre. Go ahead and purchase the book from Flipkart [Link] or Amazon [Link] by clicking on either of these links.
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Disclaimer: Although this review was commissioned by the author, the views expressed above are completely my own and are in no way influenced by the author.
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