BR #13 | Mehboob Murderer | Nupur Anand | Om Books International | ★★★★★

Book - Mehboob Murderer
Author - Nupur Anand
Publisher - Om Books International
Rating - ★★★★

Author Bio: (from book) Nupur Anand is a Mumbai-based journalist from Patna, Bihar. She completed her early education from Notre Dame Academy and St. Joseph’s Convent, Patna. Literature being her favourite subject in school, she actively participated and won several creative writing competitions. She studied English Honours at Miranda House, in Delhi University. Here, theatre struck a chord with her and she joined Anukriti–the Hindi Dramatics Society as an actor and scriptwriter. During the three years in college, she and her team bagged over 60 awards. After post-graduation in Journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bengaluru, she worked at Bloomberg TV, where within six months, she became the key producer for the primetime news anchored by the channel's Editor-In-Chief. The shows produced by her were always amongst the top-rated shows of the channel. Eventually, she decided to shift gears and move to print journalism. She kicked off her career with The Economic Times, where she was a part of the team that launched India’s first personal finance newspaper–The ET Wealth. Next, she joined DNA, where her stories regularly made front-page news, after which she moved to Business Standard in 2014. Currently, she is a writer with Quartz India. Mehboob Murderer is Nupur Anand’s debut work of fiction.

Book Review: "Mehboob Murderer" by Nupur Anand is a crime thriller based on a shocking mass murder at Cafe Mehboob in Mumbai, the financial capital of India. The gripping tale portrays a story interwoven deep within the culture of any metropolitan city like Mumbai and is undoubtedly a great thriller which is fast-paced yet believable. The author has set a story unlike others where nothing is glorious as far as the police team is concerned regarding their investigation, and it is this innate quality of writing that has truly made this story quite beautiful to read unlike the crime shows on TV which portrays investigations as a glorified hobby quite quickly solvable.

We are thrilled to read the opening. The story opens like a striking climax on the spot when the killer has opened fire for reasons obviously unknown at the beginning. We are immediately transported to the next scene where we encounter our hero, police officer Abbas who has recently been promoted despite vile looks from his teammates. The very next moment witnesses the case handed over to Abbas amidst a frenzy of news reporters and other seniors of his police department. Political pressure amends Abbas to solve this mystery within 2 weeks. He has his small team of officers to investigate the death of 6 murdered individuals - each having a past no less forgivable by nature as the mystery unfolds and a psychotic murderer at large in one of India's busiest cities. Given the fact that the investigating police officers have their own personal lives to deal with, the story truly sets itself apart from the rest.

Despite the growing tension, the author has used adequate resources to ease the tension among readers by discussing relevant details about the city, its food, lifestyle, and people. But what lies embedded underneath all the suspects and viciousness is the pace of this story where we are faced with motives of man in general, some wanting to close the case, some trying to solve it, and most people trying to avoid it. This crime thriller is truly an awe-inspiring read for many fiction lovers who would expect a realistic story set in the world we live in, where crime takes time to reveal, or does it reveal at all? Even if it reveals, does it ever stop? Surely inspector Abbas has more coming his way than he expects!

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