Book Review: 3 and a Half Murders by Salil Desai

  • ISBN: 978-817-599-4256
  • Genre: Fiction/ Suspense / Murder Mystery
  • Publishers: Fingerprint Publishing
  • Price: Rs.250/-  ( I got the book for review from the publisher)
Two corpses . . . a woman lying dead on her bed, a man hanging from the ceiling fan.
A suicide note cum murder confession.
And a name . . . Shaunak Sodhi.

When the case comes their way, Senior Inspector Saralkar has just been diagnosed with hypertension and PSI Motkar is busy with rehearsals of an amateur play.

What appears at first to be a commonplace crime by a debt-ridden, cuckolded husband, who has killed his unfaithful wife and then hung himself, soon begins to unfold as a baffling mystery.

As clues point to a seven-year-old unsolved murder in Bangalore and other leads emerge closer home, Saralkar and Motkar find themselves investigating shady secrets, bitter grudges, fishy land deals, carnal desires, the dead woman Anushka Doshi’s sinister obsession with past life regression and her husband’s links to a suspicious, small-time god-man, Rangdev Baba. And then, suddenly, the murderer resurfaces and yet another life is in grave danger . . .

Can Saralkar and Motkar get to the bottom of an unimaginably shocking motive and stop the malevolent killer from committing the fourth murder . . .?

Behind the Book


About the Author
Salil Desai is an author, columnist and film-maker. Three and a Half Murders is his fifth book and the third one in the Inspector Saralkar Mystery Series. He has written three more crime novels—Killing Ashish Karve (2014), The Murder of Sonia Raikkonen (2015) and Murder on a Side Street (2011) as well as a collection of short stories, Lost Libido and Other Gulp Fiction (2012). An alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), his dramatized management training videos are much appreciated in the corporate world. Salil also conducts workshops in creative writing and film-making. As a columnist, over 400 articles, op-ed pieces, features and travelogues written by him have appeared in The Times of India, Indian Express, DNA, The Tribune, Reader’s Digest, Deccan Herald, The Hindu, etc. He was also one of the four international authors selected worldwide for the HALD International Writers’ Residency in Denmark, hosted by the Danish Centre for Writers and Translators in June 2016. Salil lives with his wife and two sons in Pune.

Me thinks

An honest confession before I start my review of this book - This is the first book I am reading by the author.

P.S: I fell in love with the cover and tried clicking it to capture its theme aptly.

Copyright (C) Privy Trifles
Now the review. This is one of the finest thrillers I have read in recent times by an Indian author. There was not a single loose end in the book which would have left a reader high and dry. The author has created the beginning with a bang and grabbing your attention. He entices you with his words, promising you of pure unadulterated thrill in the next few pages. And fortunately for us readers, he stays true to his words. 

He tempts you with his plot twists and makes you crave to turn the next page just to know what happened. He has also ensured that not a single twist in the book comes anywhere close to being predictable. With crisp writing and engaging dialogue the author has created a novel that can be described in one word as "Enjoyable"

There have been constant moments of the scene reaching a peak and then suddenly as your anticipation builds up the author takes you on a different path altogether. What is misleading, what is truth, whom to believe whom to not - are some of the questions that will come to your mind while reading this book. Despite being a thriller, murder mystery with all its complications intact the author's lucid narrative ensures that the reading never feels tiresome or unending. On the contrary I wanted it to not end. The excitement was just too much!

Inspector Saralkar is one of the most interesting characters that I have come across off late in the Indian literary scenario (Yes! I am now tempted to read all the previous books with this character and I am sure I wont be disappointed at all)

Usually I have noticed that most of the crime writers have a perfect story going on but end up creating chaos with a hurried ending. But that is where the author scores a brownie point. He has made sure the climax is perfectly baked, not hurried and one that such a wonderful story full of twists and turns deserves. It is a justified ending to a grand plot making you feel contended as a reader after finishing the book.

Strongly recommended to all crime lovers, this is one author you surely need to look out.

Foodie Verdict

This book is like- Rose tea- Majestic with subtle and lingering flavours

Source: Tea Majesty

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