A rookie detective named Saurabh loses his fiancee Prerna on Karva Chauth. He discovers her lifeless body thrown out of the terrace of her posh bungalow in Delhi. Her family is distraught and the incompetent and corrupt Delhi police has no clue about the murderer. So now, he must find her killer along with his partner in crime and best buddy Keshav. Will they succeed in finding the killer who is lurking closer than they think?
This is the premise of Bhagat’s new novel, One Arranged Murder which is three hundred pages long.
One Arranged Murder is a quick read. You will flip through the pages. It will keep you hooked at least till the first 150 pages or so. Great humour. Overdose of drama as expected.
But at best, a pedestrian thriller, which should have been 100 pages shorter.
In the end, along with the great reveal comes a deluge of information ( with über and metro details of the killer) and a blunt revelation of motive, which is a drag and lacks the finesse of a Higashino — to put it mildly.
Also, the need to add humour in a thriller probably to play up the entertainment quotient ( from a screen adaptation perspective) and to please many takes the lustre away from what is supposed to be a murder mystery. It also comes across as shallow and insensitive at times.
Honestly, disappointed as I don’t dislike Bhagat’s writing or his stories.
I do understand and empathise with the challenges of writing a thriller and there were no plot holes or chinks in the crime-solving. Although I wish that this book focused on friendship, relationships and the humour that’s born out of it, which is where it shines. Instead of forcefully turning it into a murder mystery/crime thriller.