30 March, 2016

#BookReview :: Chief Minister's Mistress by Joygopal

A beautiful young woman is found murdered in an expensive house in an up-market locality in the State Capital of India's most prosperous province. Her identification and death triggers off a reaction of fear in many prominent people from government, politics, police and social circles who know that she was the Chief Minister's mistress. For Rajat Verma, her former lover and former staff member of the CM when he was Leader of the Opposition, Priyanka Singhal's death is a mystery that must be solved. But each time he gets a lead there is someone around to put him off the scent. Powerful officials in the CM's Office, police officials with hidden agendas, and his own one-time friends in the capital's social set, all conspire in a massive cover-up operation - involving bribery, blackmail and sudden death. Rajat Verma persists with his efforts to uncover the truth, despite threats and obvious danger, and his investigations gradually draw him into a world of hidden sexual, political and financial wheeler-dealing - until Rajat is forced at last to confront a truly horrifying possibility. Are his enquiries leading straight to the Chief Minister himself?

When the death of a beautiful woman triggers all sorts of reactions from powerful people, the stage is set for action and Drama. Priyanka Singhal was well known in certain circles as the Chief Minister’s Mistress and thus her murder investigation puts the Chief Minister under the spotlight. With his elite team trying their best to cover it up, there are other characters whose involvement comes into light as the investigation progresses. But will Rajat Verma, an ex-lover of Priyanka, be able to pull off the investigation along with Badrish Sharma? Or will corruption prevail and the murder covered up as a break in accident?

The plot of the book grabs your attention right off the blurb. Murder, politics and scandal is promised and so expectations were bit high when I picked up this book. The author does an admirable job in setting up the plot. But from there on the book goes downhill. There isn’t a single character in the book that stood out. Most memorable among them all is perhaps the character of the chief minister whose term at the office is well covered. However, his relationship with the victim is never actually focused on properly. So, even as a married man who had been cheating on his wife with Priyanka – his character is kept more or less intact and as a reader I couldn’t get myself to hate him either. Rajat Verma’s character as the ex-lover and the person pushing the case should have had some effect, but alas that didn’t happen either. Without a character that I liked or even hated, it was difficult for me to really invest myself in the story. The book also lagged towards the end and not all the questions were answered. Irrespective of it all, the author has managed to carry through the book with the investigation process and ample drama. 

Not a book for murder mystery lovers but more for drama lovers. Pick this one up at your own risk.

Review Copy received from Fingerprint Publishing

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