How often is it that you come across a crime thriller book that you cannot put down till you have read the very last line? That doesn’t happen quite often, right?
The pain of having turned the pages through half of the book and still not getting the feeling of thrill, enjoyment, and suspense is something that I have borne for long.
Everyone is sailing in the same sinking ship, I guess. But, the savior is finally here. Murder in a Minute by Shouvik Bhattacharya is a suspense thriller so good that you cannot resist reading it in one go.
It is so much suspense and thrill and such a solid storyline that it should be made into a movie. Anurag Kashyap, if you are reading this, please make a Bollywood Blockbuster on it.
There are crime thrillers, there are detective novels, and then there is Murder in a Minute. It is racy. Full of suspense. Each and word is gripping.
And it counters one of the biggest woes that one finds in suspense fiction. Halfway down the book, you know the secret or suspense. You know who the murderer is. You have already solved the mystery.
Not in this book, though. Shouvik keeps you guessing till the very last line.
And in this book review, I will not tell you to go and read the book. Because I am sure, you won’t need the push. Once you know what’s in store, you won’t be able to resist reading.
Introduction to the Author – Shouvik Bhattacharya
Shouvik Bhattacharya is a Data and Analytics Lead at GE Aviation. He is a management graduate from S.P. Jain, Mumbai, and he designs high-end analytical software.
The software he designs makes aircraft fly and the crime thriller novel that he wrote flew off the shelves soon enough. The author of the bestseller, “Murder in a Minute,” Shouvik is a man who doesn’t shy away from doing what he loves.
He loves his day job, and he is great at it. He loves writing and that’s how he had written a novel that has made a home in its reader’s hearts.
And you can spot in a Bangalore café, reading a book. Or maybe you’ll find him cheering for Manchester United in nail-biting matches.
He has become a critic and fan favorite with his first novel. The world awaits more of his prolific writing and charismatic storytelling.
Murder in a Minute Book Review
Want a simple one-line book review for Murder in a Minute? Here it goes:
“If I could make one wish right now, it would be to get a sequel to Murder in a Minute today.”
That is exactly what I thought when I read the last line.
It is a murder mystery. The murder is revealed in the end. And yet, you want more. It is one of those stories that you don’t want an end for. You want it to go on because you cannot stop thinking about it.
Esha Arora is the head of Arora Cements. She is an adopted child. Talented, beautiful, loving. At first glance, there is no way anyone could have murdered her.
And yet she lies in the pool of her blood, in her own house. As the story progresses, every suspect has a motive. The ineffective small-town cop, Inspector Rashid, doesn’t do much to solve the mystery.
But Esha’s loving brothers Rishabh and Arya take every step to find the murder. There are nine suspects in the story—each one with their backstory.
Rashmi and Pranav, Esha’s step-siblings from her father’s first marriage. There are Rishabh and Arya, Esha’s brothers, from her father’s second marriage.
Then there is Mr.Dhruv, from the rival company and Naina, the over-ambitious accountant. Anubhav, Esha’s lover, is also on the radar. And the housemaids Jyoti and Meera have their own side stories too.
And the suspense of finding the murderer is not the only thing you’ll find in the book. The book touches on almost every aspect of human life. Love, longing, money, power, trust, betrayal, jealousy and survival instincts.
You name the emotion, and you’ll find it in Murder in a Minute. There is absolutely nothing not to like. It keeps you hooked from first-line till the last line.
The Storyline of Murder in a Minute
There is this one thing about Indian households that everyone is involved in everyone’s lives. There are hardly any boundaries. The lives of the characters in Murder in a Minute are so inseparably intertwined. It becomes impossible to know one without knowing the other.
It is not just Esha Arora’s life and murder that the Murder in a Minute is all about. This story is much more than that. The story revolves around multiple characters and gives them equal space.
For most authors, managing multiple storylines is a task. And Shouvik Bhattacharya has done it so effortlessly, in his first attempt itself. Also, he has kept the page count low.
In just 230 pages, he shows you ten lives. And not one of them seems to be missing an element. It is both surprising and fascinating how he manages to say so much in so less.
The storyline is beautiful, carefully plotted, and written in a way that can be called “perfect,” if not more. There are twists and turns, and there are beautiful moments, there are highs and lows.
The speed of reading is maintained throughout. There are no dull moments, no unnecessary details. The story has no loose ends and no lack of story development either.
The book justifies its thriller and suspense genre and yet doesn’t lack on any other grounds. It is a love story, it is a story about siblings and the emotions that they share, and it is a story about crude business people and the struggle for power and longing for love.
Before reading Murder in a Minute, I honestly didn’t feel it was possible to offer so much in a book.
The characters are the blood to the body that a book is.
The characters in Murder in a Minute are real, raw, and extremely well-written. They are the people that you will see around yourself. They are the people you connect to.
It is easy to understand their feelings, their pain, and their reasons for doing what they do. It is easy to start relating to some of the other characters. A word of caution here. Be ready for heartaches. There are going to many.
And they are not the lost love kind of heartbreaks. They are deeper pains that come with understanding. Understanding of human nature and the many complexities that are birthed from our innate emotions.
As the characters unravel throughout the book, this understanding dawns upon the reader. You get a new perspective on life. The perspective about what was happening, or what had happened in Esha’s life.
And somewhere along the line, you get little epiphanies for your own life as well. Murder in a Minute brings out human emotions in the rawest, most pure of forms.
There are no sugar coating things. There is no exaggeration. It is just pure, blatant truth. The characters grow throughout the book; their emotions and perspective towards life change.
And unlike characters that stay rigid, these character change. From good to evil, and evil to good. It is in these changes, big and small, that you realize how fickle everything around us is.
Our relationships and our lives, one minute and your life can take a 360-degree change.
If there is one thing crispier than French fries, it is Shouvik’s writing. Well, did I take the analogy too far? Well, that isn’t an overstatement. How else can you write a nail-biting, gripping and sitting-at-the-edge-of-the-chair-for-revelations type of a novel?
Some authors write hundreds and hundreds of pages trying just to build the suspense and yet they fail to keep the readers gripped. Murder in a Minute makes no laborious effort for a build-up.
It happens effortlessly. Whether it be the blue envelope or the black sweater, the reader is intrigued instantly. The book is written to be a racy read, and it does the complete justification for the need of the genre.
There are no loopholes. Often, suspense thrillers fail to explain or unravel a complicated plot in the right way. Shouvik does that effortlessly. When the story is inching towards the end, you start understanding things.
It is easy and engaging. But does that mean you’ll know the end before the end? Not at all. Until the master writer of this masterpiece lets you know, your guesswork is all going to be wrong.
Your hunches will be wrong, and you will be as stunned by the end as the characters in the movie were. And that is still not the end. The book ends with a perfect hook.
And once you reach the end, you will wish for one with all your heart.
What Do I Like the Most?
I liked each and everything about the book. There is absolutely nothing not to like.
From the characters to the suspense, it is all great if I have to pinpoint one thing that will be the brother-sister bonds. The sweet and the sour relation that siblings, especially step-siblings, share.
You have Esha, the adopted child. And you have Pranav and Rashmi and Rishabh and Arya. Five different people, with different temperaments. They have a different perspective on life.
Their goals are different, and they have different ways of achieving those. And yet there is one thing binding them together, their common surname. And the fact that they shared the same father.
You see the love that they share (different shades of love). The jealously that brews among them. And the lengths to which they are willing to go. Both for each other and against each other.
The relationship between children and how it evolves when they grow up are not common topics. Until it’s a book especially about siblings, you hardly find a story that has not one or two, but five people bound by this bond.
It is a fresh perspective, and it is something that needs more mention in popular literature.
What Didn’t I like in Murder In a Minute?
Okay, so I have no words for this one. How does one not like something about a 230-page book that has each thing that you could have asked for? Murder in a Minute is pure heaven for book lovers. And suspense fans.
The one thing that irks me terribly about Murder in a Minute is that it is so raw and real that it gives you chills. And chances are you get a sudden, unwarranted revelation about your own life.
It throws light upon a few topics that are tough to talk about. It makes you feel uneasy at once. But then again, the feeling of uneasiness roots from the fact that our society has such rigid standards for relations that we hardly ever acknowledge a love that is not limited to the boundaries.
And yes, the one thing I hated about the book is that it still doesn’t have a sequel.
Best Quotes from the Murder in a Minute
The spring breeze with coffee cups, No words said. Only eyes catch-up. On green fields. With trembling lips. Our hearts collide. On the moist mud
The uncertain phase of life where the heart tunes up with something you could never get, and yet every ounce of you want to hum the unsung melody.
Sometimes, you got to climb the mountain alone. Much precious time is wasted, convincing others how beautiful it is up there.
It takes courage to hold on to something you love. It takes more to let go.
Two things eat from the inside. Termites and Memories.
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