WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4.5/5
Slowly and steadily thrillers and murder mysteries as a genre are gaining acceptance and popularity in India. This phenomenon can be attested by the ever increasing number of such books which are constantly being featured on websites like Flipkart, Amazon and Goodreads. So, what distinguishes a good murder mystery from an average or a poor one? Well, we are just about to find out.
The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen is one such book which has bypassed all expectations which a reader may have from a good murder mystery. It has all the right ingredients and in just the right doses. A strong plot backed by a sound concept and delivered fantastically is what sets this book apart from many others. Not so long ago, I read and reviewed another murder mystery and stressed in the review about the importance of developing a strong central character which can be further exploited in future sequels.
Well, Inspector Savalkar is just the guy I am talking about here. He has a persona and charm. Has his own set of peculiarities (is afraid of dogs!), reservations and a unique working style. Has a decent job, a set of good efficient subordinates and a bossy boss. He also has a family life and a set of personal problems which are carved beautifully into a separate sub plot by the author. All these aspects do well to lend him credibility and authenticity and help give Savalkar identity and recognition in the reader’s mind.
Before I digress further and drone on unnecessarily about the charms of the charismatic Savalkar, let’s skip to the story part. The story starts when a Finnish girl Sonia Raikkonen is found murdered in a park near a posh urban locality of Pune. The suspects range from a taxi driver who drove her last night, to a group of rowdy gym goers who had tried hitting on her a few days back, from a minister who is pit deep in corruption charges to her Finnish boyfriend who is very keen on leaving India at the earliest possible. So who murdered Sonia? What was the motive behind her murder? Will Savalkar be able to solve this seemingly impossible murder mystery? Know this and much more in this tantalizing tale full of love, lust, greed, betrayal, and corruption.
The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen is full of interesting and never ending twists and turn. What seems a very easy case develops into a quite complicated one when at the end of each chapter the author successfully introduces a new twist, a new suspect, a new motive or a new clue. Result: The reader is engaged and the pressure no matter what is always up and felt by the reader too. The way the book starts is equally exciting and nice. The end too is well thought of and leaves very little scope for predictability. Overall, the book is a fantastic read and I therefore recommend it to all my readers. In the end, I would just state one thing – I don’t know about others, but I am surely an Inspector Savalkar fan now.