03 June, 2015

#BookReview :: The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen by Salil Desai

Late one November night, the mutilated corpse of a young Finnish tourist is found in a public garden in Pune. It looks like a case of brutal rape and murder, but Senior Inspector Saralkar and PSI Motkar find themselves probing further....delving deeper.

Standing virtually clueless, except for a single white sandal found on the scene of the crime, the policemen duo start looking for suspects.

Things get murkier when Saralkar's old friend and colleague, Inspector Patange, seeks his help to establish the identity of another murder victim - an old man found by a wooded hillside on the outskirts of Pune. Not only do the old man's injuries match the wounds inflicted on the Finnish girl, but he is also found wearing the other white sandal.

As Saralkar and Motkar struggle to find the link that connects the two murders, nothing is what it seems....The emerging truth seems far more dangerous and the motive far more bizarre! 

Who murdered Sonia , and why? The truth will chill you to the bone! 


This is the second book in the Inspector Saralkar mystery series… But this is the first time I have read Salil Desai’s book.

Senior Inspector Saralkar and PSI Motkar are summoned to a public garden where the body of a Finnish tourist has been discovered. Sonia Raikkonen seemed to have fallen victim to brutal rape and murder. The only clue the duo has is a single white sandal found on the scene. Though there seem to be a lot of suspects to choose from, the case gets murkier when they realise that the murder may be connected to a second murder… Will Saralkar and Motkar be able to solve this case or is it way over their heads?

Frankly having not read Salil Desai’s works before, I did not know what to expect. But I am always drawn towards a mystery novel which is why I ended up reading this one.

The best thing about this book is its characters. Each of them has been developed individually and with distinctive characteristics. Saralkar, the protagonist, is a very likeable character. With his honest and intelligent approach to the case to his sense of humour, makes him a very entertaining lead. Motkar, provides the necessary support and brings about a sense of balance between the two. Aside from the individual characters, the dynamics between the recurring characters are also fleshed out well. For instance the dynamics between Saralkar and Motkar is actually interesting… it is not typically a professional dynamic between two colleagues, nor is it the dynamic between two close friends. It lies somewhere in between those two, bringing in the best of both worlds. The plot was interesting and it was easy to get hooked right at the beginning. The author has provided enough clues, twists and turns throughout the novel so that the reader can play the whodunit game along as the plot progresses. Certain twists also ensured that the readers were taken by surprise at certain point and even elevate the stakes. The narration style was just perfect for a reader to get close to the characters and in the thick of the plot; especially the dialogue delivery was quite impressive.

The only let down of the book was its climax. It really did not do justice to all the buildup and twists in the plot. I had the murderer pinned from an early stage and was hoping to be proven wrong. But the red-herrings did not really work and I was right, much to my own disappointment. However, that should not, in any way, deter you from picking up this book. It was an thrilling ride to take along with Saralkar.


Review Copy received from Fingerprint Publishing



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