Book Review: The Chennai Killings by Chital Mehta

by - 3/18/2020

Title: The Chennai Killings
Author : Chital Mehta
Genre: Suspense, Crime, Fiction
Pages: 194
Publisher: Qiugnog

Thrillers are my eternal favourite. I have grown up reading suspense novels. Starting with The Famous Five in my childhood to Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys in early teens to graduating to Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Sidney Sheldon etc etc; a major chunk of my library consists of this genre. So I was really excited to devour this book. From the cover, it looked like a series of Chennai murders without any apparent reason. How mind boggling? Thankfully the reason of the murders could be traced out and this book turned out to be my favourite read of 2020 so far. 
The book: The story starts with the brutal murder of a young girl Sandhya. CID Vikram Rathi is given her case to solve the mystery. However Vikram has his own long buried grievings. His baby sister, Priya (the only living member of his family) was killed brutally two years ago. Her murderer could not be traced and life was never the same for Vikram, who immersed himself in sorrow and depression and resorted to smoking and alcohol. His family started suffering; his wife and his son, the only people in his life. So when Vikram was handed over Sandhya's case, he was determined to get to the bottom of it.
A twisted case of a love triangle, an illegitimate child and a series of deaths. For once you would think that you have solved the case as it's easy to rationalize a lover's remorse. But there is more than meets the eye. Beneath a series of murders and an apparent suicide, there is a deep rooted motive. But the plot gets really hair raising when you start sniffing a connection between Sandhya's and Priya's murder. How could that possibly be?
What I loved about this book: Every character is very well etched out. The chapters are not numbered, they are about a particular character and are named after the same. The novel starts with a gory murder, builds suspense and the thrill multiplies higher and higher as the story progresses. The mystery gets solved very logically and the ending is far from happy. However the father son union lightens up the much tense atmosphere in the end.
 Also at the conclusion of every chapter, there is a tiny revolver..depicting murder and mystery. I appreciate such minute details. 

My Rating: 5/5

About the author: This is Chital Mehta's fifth novel. She is a Gujrati who has been brought up in Chennai (that explains the topic of her current book) but currently resides in Massachusetts, USA with her husband and two children. Her affiliation to Chennai can easily be absorbed from her book. The neighbourhoods and the nooks and crannies of the city have been described so vividly that you feel that you are actually wandering in Tamil Nadu; despite the city you are reading in.

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  1. 5/5 rating? Is it that good, even not being an avid reader, I am wanting to read this one. Another fact that interests me for this book is its genre.

  2. Wow. This sounds like a must read. I love the fact that chapters are not numbered and Chital has tried to bring out the characters along with story. It's always about connection to each character that holds me to a book. Loved your review

  3. Looks like amazing book to read. I recently completed few books and looking for some good books to read. Thanks for recommending this book

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your review! It got me titilating .. so getting this one for sure

  5. This seems to be an interesting read, I'm looking for some good reads on self quarantine.

  6. Looks like very interesting book as per your review. Definitely try to read this.

  7. I am a sucker for spine chilling murder mysteries and killings, maybe I am a psychopath inside !! On a serious note , I am grabbing this today.

  8. I like thrillers too, i am currently reading one but surely pick this one as you have given full rating, it must be a good read.

    - ujjwal mishra