- Paperback: 533 pages
- Publisher: India Research Press (23 May 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9788183861410
- ISBN-13: 978-8183861410
- ASIN: 8183861415
- Package Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 3.3 cm
- Customer Reviews: 8 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,71,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Shakespeare: Murders Paperback – 23 May 2019
Paperback, 23 May 2019
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Its 1602 and the Bard, Shakespeare is at the peak of his career. Churning out masterpieces like Hamlet, A merchant in Venice, Comedy of errors etc., the play-maker has swept the entire competition for the company he works, The Chamberlain’s Men. When things are looking north for the company, all of a sudden tragedy strikes, and their actors start falling dead just like that. With all the surviving actors tensed and scared for their lives, the Lord Chamberlain decides to bring in a famous young knight, Geoffrey Drake in hopes of using his detective skills to solve the matter. Of course the Bard and the lead actor Richard Burbage know all about Drake from the very beginning, the others are kept in dark to help the knight get some insider information regarding the situation. But it doesn’t last long and Drake’s identity is revealed after an attack on the Bard at the Lord Chamberlain’s ball.
How will the knight function now that his identity and purpose are out in the open? Will it make the murderer cautious, or will he still try to take out members of the Chamberlain’s Men? Who is it that will profit from the falling of these men, or rather Shakespeare in particular? Is it the Bard’s mistress’s husband who is jealous, or some professional rival hell bent on taking revenge of their downfall? Will the conspirator be caught before he/they are able to target their next victim?
After a long hiatus that I have had to take from reading foreign authors due to my review line up of books by Indian authors, this particular book came in as a breath of fresh air for my internationally starved lungs. The language was good and it kept in mind the era in which the story has been set, there were also a few editing errors, which could be overlooked. In accordance with the image of the Master himself, the chapters are divided as acts and it’s parts. Also, as happens in a play, although there are a lot of supporting characters, who have small but at times significant roles, only a handful can be said to be the mains, namely Shakespeare and Drake, followed closely by Richard Burbage, a physically absent but theoretically present Marie, Downtown, Beeston and a couple more. A feature that the author brings about in her book is the use of tenses to tell subplots, while the narrative follows a third person, present tense, there are chapters where the characters muse upon the happenings that has happened in the recent past, and breaking the monotony of the narrative. This mostly is put into use when some major revelation is about to be done, or some incident that has a direct impact on the main plot. One thing that surely disappointed me was the characterization, it was lost on me, I couldn’t connect with the characters for long and happened to forget their names often during the read and had to go back to check their introduction. Even the few prominent ones, Shakespeare, Drake and Richard Burbage, didn’t have much to go for their character value, although they had impactful and strong roles. It may be that plays have such things, for I haven’t read any plays till date. So, I don’t know if it’s okay or not. What I know is that I enjoyed reading this page turner.
To end my review, I must confess that, being the impatient soul that I am, I happened to look at the last page of the book after like 1/5th of the read, and somehow got the inkling of the big reveal. But, you guys don’t do that, because the control does lie in the hands of the narrator until the end.
I will definitely suggest this book to all the thriller/suspense/Shakespeare lovers (though there is nothing much of Shakespearean about it), and those who want to read Indian authors but their heart is set only on international appeal.
From the moment the story started it was difficult to put it down without wanting to finish it till the end and find out the conspirator behind the murders. The story is woven around Shakespeare and the drama company for which he authored the plays, called the Chamberlain’s Men. Everything seemed to be going well for the company till the murder of one of the players of the company. And from there starts the roller-coaster ride of action, drama and most importantly the suspense and thrill surrounding the spree of murders of the company players.
What engages the reader the most is the delicate balance between the Yay!!! Moment when one thinks they guessed the killer and Arghhh!!! Moment when they find that the killer isn’t an easy guess. And the revelation of killer definitely leaves you in shock and awe.
The story undoubtedly is beautifully written and well researched. The language itself teleports one to the era of Shakespeare.
Must read for fiction lovers and the ones who choose a book by its title.
period. Once the plot builds up it has a spellbinding effect. It is a book worth reading.