On a drizzly August morning, the inhabitants of the hill town of Sanover, Himachal Pradesh, wake up to the shocking news of the murder of the exquisite, secretive, malicious, and thoroughly immoral Devika Singh.
As Superintendent of Police Vishwanath Sharma begins to sift through the hidden secrets of Devika Singh’s life, it becomes evident that everyone who knew her seems to have a clear-cut motive for killing her.
Faced with the investigation of a crime that appears to have as many suspects as there are motives, Vishwanath Sharma probes the sinister web spun around a tangle of lies and deception.
Shalini and I did a buddy read for this one. It was our first buddy read and we had super fun.
Shalini and I felt that the book was very descriptive – certain details were unnecessary and could have been omitted. Also, there were tiny discrepancies in the story here and there – but as we read further, we realized that it was the author’s way of confusing the reader so that the reader does not play detective.
We laughed over the blouse remark – fatter ladies have smaller blouses because 80cm is the standard blouse material size. (Which, of course,, isn’t true!) It was a very funny remark, again, another way of keeping the reader engaged in the story.
As the story proceeds, the police finds certain clues and hints that Might help catch the killer. In fact, there are a whole lot of clues, scattered throughout the story, but will the police put two and two together and solve the crime using these clues? I will let the readers decide on this one.
As I started reading, I was transported back to the times when Ekta Kapoor’s serials were a craze. Juicy gossips, who had an affair with who, illegitimate kids and what not. Just like how a Garam Masala has a good mixture of all the aromatic spices, this story too had a good dose of everything sweet and spice.
Since the story was set in the 1970’s, there was no DNA testing and all the latest forensic gadgets that they use in the modern times. Solving a murder case was mostly based on intuition and good ol’ police work. Those were the times when cell phones were non-existent. And telephones were a royalty. Placing a long distance call had to be through the exchange – a trunk call. The author has kept all these in mind while writing the story, making Tied To Deceit an interesting read.
The writing was informal. Tied To Deceit is a slow-paced crime-mystery novel. Heap loads of twists and turns keep the reader hooked on to the book till the end. My favorite character has to be Gayatri Bharadwaj – a strong woman, who in spite of being gossiped about in the society, keeps her head high until the end. She portrays the image of a loyal and loving wife of a can’t-keep-his-eyes-off-other-women husband.
The author has done a wonderful job, be it the integration of the characters and their dark secrets, family, relationships, and society. With the amount of importance given to detailing and presentation, it is hard to believe that this is Neena’s debut novel.
P.S. : What did Shalini think about the book? You can read her views here.
My Rating: 4/5
Title: Tied To Deceit
Author: Neena H. Brar
Published on: August 4th, 2018
Genre: Crime, Mystery
Thank you, Shalini for giving me an opportunity to be a part of the blog tour.