20 June, 2015

#BookReview :: Killing Ashish Karve (Inspector Saralkar #1) by Salil Desai

Senior Inspector Saralkar is back at his desk after spending a rather annoying week at a Secrets of Living course, especially for police officers and he is itching for some action now. Luckily, an exciting new case turns up right away!
The body of Ashish Karve, a local businessman has been found in the back seat of his car. To PSI Motkar, Saralkar's diminutive assistant, it seems to be a straightforward case of suicide. But Saralkar's sharp mind is agog with the dark possibility of murder. As the case unfolds Saralkar finds enough motives for people, be it Ashishs business partner, his wife, his brother, his friend, his brother-in-law or even strangers to want to do away with him! Is the senior inspector becoming too fanciful in his imagination or is he on the right track in assuming that Ashish was killed?
Delve into this deliciously thrilling whodunit and walk along with Senior Inspector Saralkar and PSI Motkar as they set out to sift the truth from lies and half truths.

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This is another instance where I have read the second book first. Don’t get me wrong, the books in this series can be read as standalones, but I rather like to read them in order. That way I get to see how the author introduces the protagonist and then note the growth of the character through the series. I have already read The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen, and have enjoyed it quite a bit.

Senior Inspector Saralkar had been away for a week attending the Secrets of Living course. To a man of action like Inspector Saralkar, it had been a particularly annoying week. But he manages to get a case soon after his return. The body of Ashish Karve has been found in the back seat of his car. While it seems like an open-and-shut case of suicide, Saralkar’s intuition says otherwise. As he takes on the charge of investigating this death of a local businessman as a murder, Saralkar is thrown into a world of deceit and betrayals. Everybody in Ashish Karve’s life seems to have a motive to kill him – his wife or, his brother or, his friend or, his business partner… They all have something to hide. It is up to Saralkar and his assistant to separate the truth from the lies and get to the bottom of the matter.

I liked the way the author introduced Saralkar and Motkar to his readers... each in a personal situation that had nothing to do with the case. It was like looking at a common man without the uniform.  Saralkar has so many shades – he can be grumpy, and mostly he is. But he can also be sarcastic and funny. There is also an indulgent side to him which doesn’t come out often. Motkar is a perfect sidekick who is meek, provides comic relief and often stumbles into something important without realizing it. Saralkar and Motkar make quite a pair. There are a bunch of other characters in the book, but none are expendable. They each bring in something to the plot. Each character is uniquely developed and there are only a couple of them who I felt were underplayed in the story.

The plotline is not very complicated. It’s the number of suspects with motives that add to the mystery in the story. I also particularly liked the way the author has portrayed how the Indian Police work. It is not as gritty as some of the international police procedural books or tv shows, but it was a nice change to read about the Indian counterparts. It is not very common in Indian literature, especially not in the recent times. The other thing I liked was the way the author left the clues out in the open like breadcrumbs for the readers to follow and play a classic game of whodunit. The narration style is addictive with ample amount of twists and wit infused in it. The story starts with a crack and continues to build its momentum till the climax.

A thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Review Copy received from Fingerprint Publishing

1 comment:

  1. Quite interesting. I have never read thrillers from Indian writers. Added to wishlist.