02 April, 2019

#BookReview :: Behind the Scenes (Vikram Rana Mystery Series #3) by Sharmishtha Shenoy

Fading superstar of the Bengali film industry Ryan Gomez is poisoned to death while shooting for a film in the pretty hill town of Darjeeling. Sheila Dhar, the film’s beautiful female lead with whom Ryan had recently broken his engagement is the chief suspect. Sheila attempts suicide and is shifted to a hospital in Kolkata for treatment. The CID, Kolkata, takes over the investigation and the film crew is allowed to move back to the “City of Joy”.

Though revenge for the broken engagement seems the obvious motive for the murder, there are several others who had reason to wish Ryan dead. Powerful film producer Rustom, the love of whose life ended up becoming Ryan’s first wife. Screenplay writer Allan, who was in danger of being fired from the production house thanks to a public tiff with Ryan. Acclaimed film director Paddy, who was in love with Sheila. Sheila’s mother, Jaya, who was strongly opposed to her marrying Ryan. The family of Ryan’s first wife, who bear a deep grudge against him.

There are suspects galore, but the murderer has not reckoned with the tenacity of Vikram Rana. 

Goodreads * Amazon

I had wanted to get my hands on this book from the moment when I discovered the author and this series. Why you ask? Well, the setting of the book promises to take its readers to a city that is my hometown and a town where I spent my formative years. Both are very close to my heart and visiting them through even a fictional work is an attractive idea to me.

A movie star getting murdered in Darjeeling while shooting for a movie is enough to set tongues waggling. But when the main suspect of that murder, who also happens to be a movie star with a personal history, tries to commit suicide, there is only frenzy among people and the media to try and find out the truth. When Kolkata CID takes over the case, the whole crew moves back to Kolkata; and Vikram Rana finds an in on the case through a personal source. But one murder mostly leads to more. Will there be more deaths or will the Police and Vikram be able to solve the case before that?

The plot is interesting at many levels. First being the motive for the murder of Ryan Gomez… Did Sheila actually kill Ryan for breaking their engagement? Everyone around seems to have a motive for murder and each is as likely to have caused the death of the star who seems to rub everyone around him the wrong way. Second is the variety of characters in the story and their development. The author has worked hard at developing each character just right and giving each one of them a unique voice. That made for an interesting whodunit game for me as a reader.  The author has taken care in setting up the plot in a way so as to maintain a steady pace while providing the readers with ample information.

Coming to my reason for picking up the book, I do wish there was a bit more description of the setting in Darjeeling. But, that is a personal feeling that I do not think any author would be able to satisfy. The author has painted the settings in ample details in order to give the readers a fair idea while not hampering the pace. This being my second Vikram Rana book, I can now confidently say that I like the author’s narrative style quite a bit. She manages to keep things steady while reeling in the readers with a feeling of familiarity.

I am pretty sure that I am going to pick up the rest of the books in the series.

Review Copy received from the Author

This post is a part of A to Z Challenge and BlogchatterA2Z


  1. Adding to TBR! :-) I love murder mysteries, and this sounds interesting. I've never been to Darjeeling, fictional or otherwise, so sounds fun too.

  2. Ah, it definitely seems intriguing. I can't read murder mysteries as a book series. Oh, I just can't. I will die of anticipation :P