WRITING STYLE: 5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4.5/5
3 and a half Murders is the third book in the Inspector Saralkar series.
As a book reviewer, every now and then I come across a book which is so good that I am often left wondering why is it that certain mediocre books sell so well whereas really deserving books don’t get the popularity that they should. In my humble opinion, 3 and a half Murders is one such book that should be on the all the bestsellers list because this book totally deserves it.
3 and a half Murders is the third book in the Inspector Saralkar series, one of which – The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen I have had the privilege to read back in 2015 and just like 3 and a Half Murders, the earlier book too had left me enthralled.
The book starts with a double murder in Pune which is made to look like a simple case of homicide cum suicide but when the cops dig deep, clues point to a 7-year-old unsolved murder case from Bangalore. Inspector Savalkar further discovers that the entire case is a complex plot and to solve it they will have to investigate shady land deals, a rogue past life regression facilitator, an immigration scam, and a false godman. To know what happens next, read the book today!
The plot of the book is tantalizing. There are multiple sub-plots which keep the reader hooked right till the end. Just the fact that it takes you from Pune to Bangalore to Dharwad to Goa on the goose chase makes the book a fast read. Also, adding spice and dimension to the book is the fact that the present case is linked with a 7-year-old unsolved murder. This makes the mystery all the more intriguing and complex. New clues turn up at the end of every couple of pages and that makes the book a compelling read.
In mediocre murder mysteries, I have often seen the lack of proper development of the character. Not much attention is given to building up the character. This, however, is not the case with 3 and a Half Murders. Inspector Saralkar is what makes this book a winner. His character is so well developed that he dominates the story at all points. The reader also gets to know a lot about his personality (his weird habits, eccentricities, anger etc) and his personal life. Inspector Saralkar leaves the confines of the pages of the book and comes alive to the reader. PSI Motkar is yet another charming character who manages to gain attention and interest of the reader.
The writing style of the author Salil Desai is brilliant. The book is a perfect blend of all the necessary elements that are needed to write a compelling murder mystery and that is surely praiseworthy. The book also has just the right number of pages, it is neither too short nor too lengthy which makes it an easy read.
The climax of the book was unpredictable. The last 50 pages presented at least 50 possible outcomes. Almost everybody was made to look like a suspect and that kept the reader in me confused and hooked right till the end. In the end, though, it all comes together and the book gets a befitting end. The reason for the eccentric name of the book also makes sense in the end.
Needless to state, the book deserves stellar ratings and hence I give it five out of five stars. There was not a single thing that I did not like or did not enjoy about 3 and a Half Murders. I recommend it to all readers of fiction especially those who love murder mysteries.
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