Book Review: Murder in Paharganj



TITLE: Murder in Paharganj
AUTHOR: Kulpreet Yadav
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury India
ISBN: 9789386826619
GENRE: Fiction ( Crime Thriller)


On a cold December morning, a white woman is found murdered in a cheap hotel in Paharganj, New Delhi. Vicks Menon, an out-of-work journalist, is tipped off by the hotel’s receptionist and is the first to arrive at the crime scene, where he discovers a lead. It’s the bus ticket used by the dead woman two days earlier. But Vicks is battling personal trouble. He has no money, an alcohol problem, and a nearly broken relationship with Tonya, his estranged live-in partner, a clinical psychologist who specializes in profiling hardened criminals. Moving in and out of the shadows, Vicks pushes his investigation harder as it takes him from Udaipur to Bangkok. On his side, for resources, he has a nameless intelligence operative, and to read minds, a lover who is beginning to trust him again. But above all, his instinct to stay inches ahead of death will be the key to his survival. If Vicks lives, this is one story that will change his life forever.


Intriguing, engaging and craftily weaved, ‘Murder in Paharganj’ has all the right elements in right proportions, to keep you glued to the pages of the book right from the word ‘go’ till the end. The best part is that inspite of the author revealing the person behind the crime at the beginning of the story itself, the reader’s interest interest in the story remains intact, i.e. the move does not act as a damper. It has the opposite effect. One can’t help but wonder regarding the motive. The author does a fine job leaving his reader’s guessing till around round-up time.

Packed with a bundle of emotions ranging from love to hatred and fear to relief, the story begins with a murder that at first appears to be simple, but later takes an interesting turn with the role of some covert operatives revealed and clandestine operations standing exposed. Interesting twists and turns unfold as the story moves ahead and we see one fellow racing against time with determination even in the face of sure death.

While shady characters and spooky settings set the perfect pace and background for the story, the style of narrative has the power to keep the reader hooked. Success with characterization is 75:25. While the character of the protagonist Vicks Menon and the antagonist Jamie are well developed, that of Vicks girlfriend Tonya lacks solid story goal. This makes her appear as an unwanted baggage, while in truth she has a lot of potential to contribute and work wonders for the story.

Language is simple, crisp and lucid devoid of nerve- wracking jargon and grammatical errors that tend to act as speed-breakers.


An enjoyable, breezy read that one can pick up either on a lazy afternoon when the sun is hot and one feels drowsy or on a late night when sleep tends to make the eyelids droop. Believe me, in both of cases the brain will be stimulated by the read and put on high alert.


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