A brutal decapitation related from the point of view of the killer. This startling premise makes a seasoned crime-fiction reader sit up and wish to read more and get to the bottom of the grappling mystery.
Sohini Sen, our female protagonist, initially seems like a defeated police offer who is shunned owing to her alcoholism and suicidal tendencies. Yet, after the murder of a young woman, Ahona Chatterjee, Sohini is swept back into the limelight and the reader watches as she slowly tries to put the jigsaw puzzle of crime together, while being dragged through a political minefield. She pairs up with a strange counterpart Arjun Sinha, and tackles the bizarre underground world of Kolkata.
Indeed, it is a dark and murky novel which attempts to understand the many layers of the human mind. However, despite a gripping plot, the reader does tend to lose interest at points. While the style of writing is praise-worthy, the excess narration and minimized dialogues render wooden at points. All said and done, it is quite a thrilling debut novel from Abheek Barua.
Title: City of Death
Author: Abheek Barua
Publisher: Juggernaut Books
Price: Rs 399