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Murder In Paharganj Paperback – 12 Oct 2017
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About the Author
Kulpreet Yadav is a bestselling author, motivational speaker, startup mentor and the founder-editor of Open Road Review, South Asia's leading online literature and culture magazine. Kulpreet’s latest novel, The Girl Who Loved a Pirate, is India’s first thriller based on marine piracy and hijacking. Passionate about creative writing, Kulpreet also mentors aspiring writers at schools and colleges and has spoken at many literary festivals in India and abroad. An ex-armed forces officer, he lives in New Delhi, India.
From the Publisher
Nobody saw him enter the small lobby, as the only receptionist was asleep. He stole the master key from his drawer, climbed the stairs to the third floor, and entered his girlfriend’s room.
Surprisingly, she was awake. It was four in the morning. Was she expecting someone? She didn’t hear Jamie as he pussy footed closer, until he was just a step away. At that moment, his girlfriend looked up, smiled, and whispered, ‘I knew you would come,’ as if her wish had come true.
Jamie smiled too but stopped. He thought of telling her the truth. Thought of telling her that he was in her room not because he loved her but because he needed something she had. But he couldn’t.
Whatever he was expected to find was here in this room. Probably. If he asked her, she wouldn’t tell him and might even raise an alarm. That was something he couldn’t afford to risk.
He bent down and gently brushed her lips with his, and then, as she put the book away, he squeezed her neck with all his might. She struggled but couldn’t scream. He looked into her dying eyes, wondering what was she thinking, what her final feelings were. It was all over in a minute, slightly more. He removed his hands when her body slumped after a final, violent shudder.
Her struggle had left the sheets crumpled. Jamie lifted her and set her aside gently, as if he cared for her even now, and remade the bed. Then he placed her back on the bed, keeping the open novel, and even the page she was on, just as she’d left it.
Jamie was struck by an enormous desire to make love, like they had many times in the past six months, in Udaipur, Mumbai, and Goa. He smelt her hair, her face, felt the softness of her warm breasts, and whispered to his dead girlfriend, ‘I liked you. I wish you were pure too, a Muslim like me. But you are not, and that’s why you are my enemy. I hope you understand, that I had no choice.’
Jamie said this while looking into her eyes, which stared back at him. He sat in the chair and considered reading her paperback to let his thoughts wither away from the present, but couldn’t. She had said she wanted to be a writer, a crime writer, and had, therefore, been reading more and more novels to master the art of writing. But instead, she had become a victim, a crime victim, of a man who was killing more and more to master the art of survival.
Jamie inspected her neck. There were no bruises. He searched her bag, her wallet, and all the nooks and crevices of the room during the next half hour, but didn’t find anything unusual. What was she doing here, waiting all by herself? There was nothing on her: no suspicious devices, no documents, no pen drives, no CDs, no phone numbers, no scraps of paper with codes on them. Nothing. It was weird.
Jamie realized that he had been in her room for almost an hour and every second more was adding to the risk. Dawn was not far away. He slipped out of the room and peered out from behind the wall near the tiny lobby. The receptionist was still asleep and remained so as Jamie returned the key to it's drawer and vanished into the cold night. He wanted to cry, but he knew he had sacrificed his feelings to the desires of God. It was going to be all right. God had always been on his side.
His boss grunted when Jamie informed him that there was nothing on her and hung up. When Jamie called him again after five minutes, he was given revised instructions. He hired a new taxi to return to Udaipur and came back to the hotel. Within minutes, he’d checked out. He’d wandered the city streets for a few hours with his small backpack and finally, when he got tired, checked into another hotel. His boss had told him to relax for a few days.
Jamie saw the lights on the Monsoon Palace turn on in the distance, 2000 feet above where he sat. Dusk had completely dissipated, and it was dark now. It was time for better indulgences. He laughed, awkwardly at first and then freely.
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These are just some minor questions but as the book goes on it takes you on a rollercoaster ride with elaborate questions on rivalry between countries which are ready to go to any extent to destroy each other and how people become a playtoy to the authorities who wants their religion or country to grow enormously in the eyes of the rivals.
The success of the book is, it never stepped down from the thrill throughout the read. Though the murderer was revealed at the start, the book didn't fail to be engrossing as it rose questions at the end of every chapters.
Inspite of being a crime thriller, it didn't fail to value emotions. The pain of a father of not meeting his daughter for one last time, the guilt of not delivering the letter at right time which was worth thousands of lives, the usual disappointment on wedding anniversary, the impatience while your love is at the hands of death - the author succeeded in injecting emotions into words.
The characters travel all around the country and world like Udaipur, Paharganj, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangkok, Kolkata, Sikkim, Iran, Israel etc but the author excelled in maintaining the continuity throughout.
The characters are vast, which at times, led to confusion due to similarity of names but the characterisation is done with utmost Perfection as for some characters, the personal life was given equal priority just like the professional one which eased the connectivity of the readers to the book. The narration was indeed exceptional as the same action was narrated from both the person's perspective, leaving no room for any doubts. But the murder at the climax could have been enhanced as it wasn't justified and creates many questions like why? Who?
The cover aptly suits the book and the title and the blurb gives a deep insight to the content of the book
In the detective story, as in its mirror image, the Quest for the Grail, maps and timetables are desirable. Nature should reflect its human inhabitants, i.e., it should be the Great Good Place; for the more Eden-like it is, the greater the contradiction of murder. The country is preferable to the town, a well-to-do neighborhood better than a slum. The corpse must shock not only because it is a corpse but also because, even for a corpse, it is shockingly out of place, as when a dog makes a mess on a drawing room carpet."The critical scene of the mystery is when the detective enters. The action shifts to Sherlock’s sitting room. The little Belgian man with the waxed moustache appears in the lobby of the grand hotel. The gentle old woman with a bag of knitting comes to visit her niece when the poison pen letters start going around the village. The private detective comes back to the office after a night of drinking and finds the woman with the cigarette and the veiled hat this is when things will changeMurder in Paharganj is a page-turner and I would recommend that readers finish it in one sitting for if you stop in between the flow; one tends to look for holes in the turn of the narrativeThe premise is really interesting. A foreigner is found murdered in a hotel room and an out of work, disgraced detective decides to investigate so he can not only solve the crime but also get his gob back and maybe his reputation too. Allover happy and satisfied to read such master work done by the author. Wish you the great success author kulpreet .and every reader should read this novel at least once.
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