Book Reviews / Fiction / Murder Mystery / Suspense-thrillers / Thrillers

Book Review: Delhi at Dark by Ram Vignesh

My Rating ***

Delhi at Dark by Ram Vignesh is the story of a killer who abducts women, kills them and leaves their corpse at his next abduction site. He is a born killer and uses queer methods. It doesn’t take long for Crime Investigating Department to realize that they have an organized, skilful, death dealer on their hands. Three childhood friends, now top crime investigating officers in the capital city of India, Jay Mithra, Asra Khan and Amar Rathore come together to solve the mystery of this killer. While their hunt throws light on dark secrets, it also brings more dead people.

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I would give this book 3 star. It is good, but I was hoping for more. If you are looking for deep character development, wonderful prose or something that really makes you think, then this book is not for you. This book is meant for pure entertainment and to shock and keep the reader, along with the characters, constantly guessing as to what will happen next. The story has excellent organisation (a beginning, middle and an end, all of them well-knit with each other). The style has a dramatic function. It makes for fusion, an interpretation of the past and the present, the fact and the sense of fact, that is, the two planes of experience are associated with the basic meaning of the story. While I admit enjoying this book, I did not find anything surprising. Many times you feel that you are reading a Hindi novel of Surendra Mohan Pathak (a popular Hindi novelist). Overall, the book is a quick read and the author has managed to tie things up nicely with an effective climax.

The title of the book is ‘Delhi at Dark’. However, the setting of Delhi itself doesn’t feel so much like Delhi. The author never really takes advantage of anything this wonderful city has to offer. Delhi is a beautiful and magical city filled with so many hidden secrets and mysteries. I desperately felt that the story was missing out the essence and spirit of Delhi. While we get references of few famous places of Delhi, it never really felt like Delhi at all. This is from a person who has spent a considerable time in Delhi. The other thing that disappointed me is author’s treatment of the main character of the book – the serial killer. His backstory and personality are, to put it simply, poorly built. His character could have been developed in a much better way as the whole story revolves around him. The book would have been much more enjoyable if it had been focused on the psychology of the serial killer. The cover of the book also could have been much better.

(I received my copy of Delhi at Dark free from the author via Goodreads First Reads program.)

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