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    Highly recommended for Christie fans!

    Five stars for me. It was awesomely satisfying to sink my teeth into a book full of layers and complexities. Devika Singh is a woman nobody likes; she is beautiful, cunning, thoroughly immoral and vicious. One morning, she is found murdered in her bed. Enters SP Vishwanath Sharma. As he starts to investigate the murder, it becomes clear that there are too many suspects and motives; almost everyone who knew her seems to have a motive for killing her. As Sharma delves further into the investigation, he unravels layers of deceits, lies and hidden secrets. The thing to remember is, it’s not your usual mystery. The book is much more than that; it is dense; a story not only of murder but of infidelity and its devastating consequences, how it affects a marriage and alters the mindset of the other spouse (hint: ending but no spoilers here); of human relations, of social issues and psychological complexities. The quote below summarises a failing marriage nicely: “He had swept her off her feet then, and was all charm and charisma but then the magic slowly diminished and finally died due to his secret betrayals over time. Thousands of little resentments had replaced the early warmth. But their hearts, although heavy with bitterness and anger at the failed expectations, had gotten used to the solace of each other’s company that often comes with years of living together, and they never stopped performing this morning ritual of their married life.” The characters are thoroughly developed; complex and very human. Devika, I hated. Hated with an intensity. Though, she died quickly in the first few chapters, she made me fall in hate with her. I couldn’t feel sad for her. And despite her early death, it is she who dominates the story until the very end. I liked Gayatri Bhardwaj’s character for her strong personality; especially the way the author wrapped it up for her in the end (no spoilers). Urvashi is another strong character. She is not there much in the story, but nevertheless, succeeds in leaving a strong impression on me. Thanks to the author for creating proper women characters. It seems all the literary heroines in today’s time are super-confused, drunkard, delusional and fickle. The main detective, SP Sharma takes out the role of an observer throughout the story instead of being overly personalised. The plot is tight, sharp and concise. I loved the ending. The ending is fast, to the point and nicely tidied up. Author wrapped it up quite well. There are no long chapters or unnecessary details that goes on and on just for the sake of adding another few pages to the book. Even if you're a traditional mystery buff, or have a keen whodunit interest, you may not be able to figure the culprit on your own. There is one thing I want to say. If you like pulp fiction (The Couple Next Door kind of books) this book is not for you. Read it if you have a good taste in mystery. I will be looking forward to Brar's next book.

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