Posts Tagged 'mystery'

Book Review: Bloomsbury Crime Box Set

unnamedBloomsbury Crime Box Set is combination of three widely different books: The Hanging by Danish writer duo of brother and sister Lotte and Soren Hammer, Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse and The Ghost Runner by Parker Bilal aka Jamal Mahjoub.


The Hanging

the_hanging_engThe book opens with two kids discovering the victims of a gruesome crime committed in the school. Chief Superintendent Konrad Simonsen is immediately called upon from his vacation to solve the murders. He is an archetypal police chief from those crime shows we watch on TV, whose personal life is in shambles but admired by his team. He won’t be stopped from solving crimes even if it means doing so by unconventional means.

The outrage about gruesome murders soon die; narrative in media and public is reshaped when it is revealed that the people murdered were pedophiles and deserved to die. The pedophiles were executed in school as they deserved. Simonsen’s team suddenly finds that public is no longer willing to help them solve murders. The public opinion is so divided that members of police team are forced to question their beliefs. The book is not so much about whodunnit but a police procedural that explores the impact of public opinion and morals on the investigation.

Before We Met 

bwmHannah has been happily married for a few months to Mark. One day when her husband fails to come home, panicking, in search of an explanation, she looks up her husband’s study and calls around. She is intrigued by few trifle but completely baffling discoveries. The book is befitting addition to genre of sinister marriages pioneered by Gone Girl. My only grouse with this book is that it had too many details and had a very slow start. This book could have been edited to be about 100 pages less and yet would have packed a punch. For most part of reading this book, I felt tension build up and hair on my neck rising since I felt something truly sinister is going to hit Hannah from behind.

The Ghost Runner  

I was very reluctant to read this book. Mostly because the book title seemed to suggest some kind of exorcist and this misconception was further backed by the synopsis which indicated the setting was an Islamic country and protagonist Makana was a Sudanese, living in exile in Egypt. I avoid reading stories from Islamic countries since stories of inequality, corruption, honor killings have a way of making you depressed. Sure enough, private investigator Makana is asked to investigate the death of a young lady shopkeeper, suspected to be an honor killing committed by her unsavory, exiled father. makanaMakana travels to Siwa, an oasis-cum-small town in Sahara desert, where lawlessness and exploitation of weaker people prevails. Tormented by his past, his memories of his dead wife and daughter, Makana relentlessly investigates amidst hostility of ‘not being one of them”.His only comfort being spitfire Zahara, a women’s aid worker. But strangely, before he can solve crime, several more bodies start to fall around him in Siwa. Can he solve the mystery? Even though I eventually enjoyed reading the book, the reveal seemed hasty and some twists I couldn’t quite make sense of. If you could, let me know.

(I received a review copy of the box set courtesy of Flipkart and the publisher.)

Book Review: Case Files Of PI Pojo – Killing Of Mr Heathcote

PI_pojo

Pratap Pande aka Pojo is a precocious private detective (PI) who has currently come to study at The Heathcote International boarding school in Panchgani. Born to writer-detective parents, it was only natural that Pojo would turn his attention to matters of detection and mystery. So far Pojo had opened his ‘office’ in derelict corner of the boarding school where he took petty cases such as ‘case of missing tuck’, ‘case of prize winning orchid’ etc meticulously documented in his case files.

However, then comes a mystery which no self-respecting PI can resist. Mr Heathcote, the cat who has been with Heathcote International since the beginning, is found dead. Mr Heathcote is no ordinary cat, he is not only loved and revered by Heathcotians, but also considered as their mascot. The cat had been constant, silent companion to Pojo on his stealthy errands around the campus. On its death, Pojo is intrigued and convinced that there is foul play behind Heathcote’s death.

Pojo’s investigation would lead him to several twists and slips. From tracing steps of a student athlete from rival school, breaking into senior’s lockers, visiting forbidden alleys and pathways (throw in some secret pathways), facing the wrath of the seniors, recording unsuspecting villains on camera  – Pojo would do it all. He would also find his two sidekicks, one his senior who he really can’t kick around and other a well-meaning, pesky junior Pops. Pojo will risk punishment and his reputation to unearth the mystery behind the death of Mr Heathcote. Will he succeed?

One can finish this mystery book by Megha Singhee in one sitting. It serves as a sweet reminiscence of life at boarding school – day trips, free days, ragging etc.  It is ideal for children since it is fun mystery with sly humor and has no references to violence or sex. For this reason, I would call this contemporary Feluda. I am sure we will hear more about PI Pojo’s cases.

Instagram for the book: https://instagram.com/p/2xpoZcElVt/

(I received a review copy of the book courtesy Flipkart’s review program.)


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