Murder in Mumbai | K. D. Calamur

Murder in Mumbai by K. D. Calamur and look I just have strong opinions about books sometimes ok.

From NPR editor Krishnadev Calamur comes an engrossing murder mystery set in the heart of the new India.

Mumbai, India: a city of beauty and squalor, old and new, wealth and poverty, honest work and deep corruption… and inevitable target of scandal and condemnation if Inspector Vijay Gaikwad doesn’t solve the murder of American businesswoman Liz Barton, and quickly. Just as invested is newspaper reporter Jay Ganesh, looking for the one big story to repair his once-prestigious reputation. Both men soon discover, however, that the case is as difficult to navigate as Mumbai’s infamous traffic. From her cheating husband to the billionaire industrialist with whom she was “close”; from her jealous colleague to the environmentalist protesting her company, Barton was not short on potential enemies… and nor are they short on lies. But the pressure is on for Gaikwad, the family man trying to do right on an often unscrupulous force, to place the blame on someone, anyone, and Jay is determined to be the first with the scoop—no matter how deadly.

I tried. I swear I tried. But in the end… no.

A confession: I LOVE murder mysteries. Give me a dead person and a person investigating it and I’ll eat it up. I even like the Mistress of The Dead stuff and that’s hardly high literature. But. I just… couldn’t enjoy this on any level. This is not going to be a pleasant review to read. If you had anything to do with this book, I’d advise you do something else. Maybe go look at fluffy kittens.

My review copy provided for free by Penguin Group (USA) (who are never going to let me review a book again) through Netgalley.

I’m going to come right out and say it. The writing is dull. It would be better if it was just… bad, because at least then I could get some entertainment out of mocking it. (I am not a nice person). But it’s just dull. It tells the story in the dullest, most unimaginative, least grabbing way it possibly can. Have you heard of ‘Show, not tell?’ while it’s not as iron-clad as some people will have it, it’s a really useful piece of advice. In essence, instead of just writing ‘Ellen was sad. She was sad a lot these days.’ you instead show Ellen being sad in a way that both moves the plot on and gives you an insight into her character (perhaps showing her being distracted at work, or crying over sad adverts).  It doesn’t happen in this book. It doesn’t happen at all. In fact, we are told everything, and never shown. We are told that one character respects another. We are told, plainly, that two characters can be open and somewhat rambunctious with each other, just after an exchange which displayed neither of things. A better use of time and words would to have shown that in the text. By page 18 of this I wanted to do something horribly violent, but I didn’t want to throw my ereader.

Phew. OK.

Second problem: Cliches! Cliches everywhere! I was drowning in a cliche sea and when I tried to find a raft lo! More cliches.

Arrrgh arrgh rage arrgh. OK, so murder mysteries are never the most original of books, but must you dive into the cliches with such abandon? I mean, must you?

Third thing: Either hated all the characters, or they were so bland and interchangable I didn’t give a shit.

Fourth thing: Started far too early. I might have had a chance at liking this if it had started on page 10.

It sat on my ereader for nearly a week till I realised I was running out of posts and as it had already been archived on netgalley I should probably make an attempt to get past the prologue. And I got to page 24, I think. And I really, really, really tried. But no. I’ve got better things to do than read a book so sub-par it actually fills me with rage. And one of those things is to rant about it on the internet.


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