My God! This was an astounding read. I have never before come across a novel that so well threaded together the lines of literary fiction and crime. So well did this weaving take place that I was facing a dilemma – do I hurry up and finish the book at one go (like I would for any crime novel), or do I savour it and live through it a day at a time (as I do for literary fiction). That is to say, I was torn between my love for it as a crime novel, and contrastingly as literary fiction.
AFTER SHE WROTE HIM is a pioneer in reaching for what has never been reached out for (at least in my humble reading career). If there are more books in this particular niche, I owe it to this, my first such novel, for introducing to this world.
Literary fiction novels have the capacity to make me think and introspect quite a bit. On the other hand, I am a criminal psychologist, trying to figure out the mystery when I read crime fiction. Bringing these together was an utter delight to my mind fortress and I applaud the writer for her superb skill in doing so.
The characters are alive – they jump out of the novel right at you – both with their realistic subtlety and also with the fantastic phantasm that the author creates. I lived through Madeline and I breathed through Edward. And may I just say that this twists your mind? You are left grasping for straws as you oscillate between deciding what is real and what is not.
My only reason for rating this book a 4.5 star and taking away the 0.5 was for the ending which left me pining for a more solid end. But that is not to say that I did not like the ending – in fact, I did. It was, at the same time, more solid and real than it could ever have been. But the book transforms you and you are left, longing to be a part of the lives of these two main characters.
I have really loved this book and can only try my best to persuade you to read it soon! Please do! It is a tour de force! Thanks to #netgalley for #AfterSheWroteHim !
On a rainy September night, six people are
gunned down mercilessly in an old Parsi cafe in Mumbai. The mass murder at Cafe
Mehboob, located barely a few hundred meters from the police station, and right
next to one of the busiest railway stations in Mumbai, jolts the city out of
its complacence. The media immediately swings into action, while political
pressure mounts on the police force to nab the murderer.
With everyone eager to place the blame of the
murders on a madman in a bid to have the case dismissed swiftly, the headstrong
inspector Intekhaab Abbas is determined to get to the bottom of the murders. On
probing the lives of the victims, he stumbles upon a heady cocktail of love,
lust, jealousy, betrayal, rage, longing, misery and ecstasy.
Mehboob Murderer, Nupur Anand’s debut novel, unravels a stunning truth
neither the police nor the reader is prepared for.
a review copy from the author in return for an honest review. Opinions
expressed in this review are completely my own.
Murderer was an exhilarating read. With a deadline looming over us all, the
thriller goes on a pace, which seems nail-bitingly slow and yet we keep at the
edge of our seats, expecting some revelation to jump up at us suddenly from
around the corner.
the various characters that the author introduces to us, she also points out
many issues and situations that prevail in the society – which are not
necessarily good but rather, inhumane and evil.
seems like the perfect career-woman who has it all – she is successful and
single and happy. However, after the mass murder as the police delve into the
lives of all these people, we find murky realities behind them all. Natasha’s
past throws light on abuse in a relationship – physical, mental and also
sexual. The patriarchal expectations and such, set upon her by Aneesh were also
disgusting. Moreover, the embezzling of her personal funds further degrade the
personality of Aneesh and forms himself as the lowest of the scum.
is no better than Aneesh. Sexual harassment, rape and molestation also occurs
within the home itself and the author has brought in this through the back
story of Alam. How someone can abuse the women and children within their own
family is stupefying to believe really.
Mental health is another theme that the writer
brings in through Sujata and her needs. Vikram has a creative streak in him
that really helps and adds some joy and lightness to this otherwise heavy read.
the story of a father whose daughter has been raped and then murdered is a
cruel one and we see an old yet probably determined Praveen Bharadwaj. Then
again, the realization of parents that their kids are not really kids anymore
and have a secret and private life of their own is a bit heartbreaking.
flesh trade or rather, prostitution is the oldest job in the world and we see
the fate of a pair of brother and sister as it takes over their lives and they
let it – because there is no other way in which they can possibly otherwise
make enough money.
is a heartbreaking novel for sure; as we read through and find out more about
all the people murdered in the mass murder at Mehboob Café, we see different
phases of life that different people face.
love how the author has brought in so many aspects of society through all these
different people and then tied them together in unity in a story of madness and
rage and revenge. I did not at all expect the murderer to be who he was. Not
even for a moment did I think that it could have been him. Kudos to the author
for being able to keep the identity of the murderer under wraps, until the very
end when she reveals it amidst one last drink all the police men have. The characterization of the city Mumbai is
also on point. With a simple and lucid writing style, and that dramatic ending,
I think the book was awesome.
rate this book a 4/5 stars. I really enjoyed it and I hope to pick up more of
the author’s books.
Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam,
and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She
publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction
etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the
NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines
etc. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .