Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blog Tour: VIKRAM RANA INVESTIGATES by Sharmishtha Shenoy


My Review

The book consists of two detective novellas and Vikram Rana is the private investigator in both.

The Mysterious Affair at the Lohia Mansion:

In this story, Richa Lohia, the wife of the elder Lohia, Gaurav, dies suddenly after a seizure. Vikram Rana has just set up his private detective practice and is asked to investigate the death since he’s a good friend of Rohan Lohia, the younger brother.

The story begins very interestingly with the introduction of many characters: Lakshmi – the lady who takes care of Gaurav & Richa’s kids, Kinshuk – their elder son; Kiara – the had-been-famous actress-wife of Rohan; Juhi – the children’s governess and a few others.

It moves fast till Vikram manages to catch the murderer red-handed as the person attempts to commit one more murder. And you have a well-rounded murder mystery perfectly solved.

The pace of the story is good and the author’s command of the language is impressive. The story pulls you in right from the beginning.

The relationship between Vikram and his wife is quite funny and brings a few light moments to the story.

All that said, I found a couple of things that didn’t work for me:

1.       The person who’s been marked the murder accomplice – I am not convinced of this one’s role in the murder.
2.      Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism.” 
This being a cause for committing murder – the situation in the story is not convincing enough. A little more research and reworking would have made it a better detective story.

The Sonia Sinha Case:

In this murder mystery, the extremely rich, building mafia head, Krishna Mohan Dhavala, is murdered in his own car, despite his bodyguard Bilas following him from afar in another car. There are a number of people who could have committed the murder since Krishna has many enemies. Vikram Rana sets out to investigate, hired by Krishna’s ex-partner’s (also murdered a few months back) widowed wife.

Again, a number of characters are introduced and each one seems to be the perfect murder suspect. The story is woven well and the murder has also been perfectly executed for convincing reasons. All the side characters keep the story moving forward, making the reader wonder if each one could have been the culprit. Good one.

A well-woven story. I especially liked Vikram Rana's list of suspects and how he concludes that each one could be the murderer. 

In conclusion, another couple of rounds of proofing would have helped the book to become perfect. Someone has taken the care to ensure the first few pages are perfectly proofed while the ones after those have a number of errors.

VERDICT: If you are fond of detective stories, you should not miss this one.

Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of the ebook on Amazon from the gift coupon I received from the author via The Book Club, in return for my honest review. 


Vikram Rana Murder Mysteries set in Hyderabad…… 

The Mysterious Affair of the Lohia Mansion 

When the glamourous socialite Richa Lohia is poisoned in her mansion in Jubilee Hills, her brother-in-law hires his mate, ex-cop Vikram Rana, to solve this murder. This is Vikram’s first case and he, along with Inspector Gopi Reddy, must solve the case even if they face opposition from the richest and powerful family in Hyderabad, who would stop at nothing to defend themselves. 

The Sonia Sinha Case 

When property developer Krishna Dhavala is stabbed to death in Necklace Road, everyone suspects Mrs. Dhavala to be the murderer of her alcoholic and abusive husband. But is that really the case? Vikram Rana and Inspector Reddy have a tough time uncovering the murderer and Vikram himself almost dies trying to solve this case. Experience the mystery along with the duo as they fight their way through the maze of lies, deceit and greed. 

Read an excerpt...

From "The Mysterious Affair of the Lohia Mansion"
"Kinshuk sprang out of bed and followed his uncle, Rohan along the passage to his mother Richa’s bedroom.
Rohan’s wife, Kiara joined them along with Richa’s personal maid Lakshmi and two more servants. Everyone seemed to be in a state of awestricken fear.
Kinshuk turned to his uncle, ‘What should we do? Father is not here.’
Never had Kinshuk’s weak nature been more apparent, Rohan thought in distaste. Rohan rattled the handle of his sister-in-law Richa’s door violently, but with no effect. The whole household was aroused by now. The most alarming sounds were audible from the interior of the locked bedroom. Clearly something must be done."
What could have been going on the room? What triggered it?
Mrs Lohia was lying in her bed having seizures. In her agony she must have overturned the bedside table. As they entered, her limbs relaxed and she fell back on her pillow.
"I cannot see properly" she complained. Rohan and Kinshuk looked at each other helplessly. A strangled cry from the bed startled them. A fresh bout of pain had seized Richa. The seizures were terrible to behold. At that moment dr Agnihotri pushed his way into the room authoritatively. At the same instant, Richa cried "Rohan.... Rohan" then she fell back on the pillows motionless. 
Why was Richa killed? Why did she take Rohan's name?
From the Sonia Sinha case:
"He reached the meeting place at 8 pm sharp. The headlights of his car revealed a woman in a burqa waiting by the roadside. She waved her hand. Krishna stopped the car and she got in. As she removed her veil, Krishna started in surprise. At the same time another man got into the back of his car. Confused, Krishna looked at the man. Then his eyes widened in fear."
Whom did Krishna see? Who was the woman in burqa?

Grab your copy @

About the author

Sharmishtha Shenoy

Sharmishtha Shenoy loves writing murder mysteries, the kind of books that she herself likes to read. Her favorite authors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. She also likes the work of Satyajit Ray – especially the Feluda Series. She was born in Calcutta and has done her post-graduation from University of Reading, Great Britain. She lives in Hyderabad.

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