Book Title: Tied to Deceit
Author: Neena H. Brar
Total Number of Pages: 328
Publisher: Penguide Books
Publication Date: 4 August 2018
Link To Book: Amazon
REVIEWED BY SOHINEE DEY
I love crime fiction, murder mysteries and anything that has to do with finding a killer and discovering secrets. I think I have established my love for this genre by saying it plenty of times so, before I get distracted further, let me discuss the plot of this book in brief. Oh, by the way, my kindle started once again! Yay to that!!
‘Tied to Deceit’ is a mystery novel spun around the death of Devika Singh, a woman who was known for her manipulative behaviour, secret nature and clandestine affairs.
The story is centred around a hospital and the characters constitute mostly of doctors, nurses and patients. The backdrop of the story is a place called Sanover in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal is a hilly area located in the north India in the western Himalayas.
It is in the month of August that the murder takes place. Superintendent of Police, Viswanath Sharma takes charge of the case and slowly starts to uncover bits and pieces of Devika’s life which she kept secret and from these discoveries, many people are suspected of being guilty of her murder. Some of the leading suspects include Dr. Bharadwaj with whom she had an affair, Mrs. Bharadwaj who knew about her affair with his husband and was fed up with his debauchery, people at the hospital and even her family members. All of these people had reasons to kill her and when there are way too many suspects, the case becomes a lot more difficult to solve.
I have read murder mysteries where you’re unable to suspect anyone because all of the characters don’t seem to have any reason to kill the person but, in this book, it is quite the opposite. Also, there’s not much of bloodshed, no stalking or the usual masked killer. There’s only one murder and a neat one at that (if it makes any sense). The murder scene isn’t described that much so if you’re someone who can’t stand vivid descriptions of such actions, good for you.
Along with a murder mystery at the heart of the book, there are other topics which the book deals with, such as adultery, deception and falsity.
The thing about the book is that even though most of the story revolves around Devika, it’s all about her actually but she is introduced into the storyline as a secondary character. When I first started reading this book, I had thought of Gayatri as the main protagonist (and now I am not so sure as to who is the main protagonist in the story) because she had this haughty demeanour about her and because she was the first character that was actually introduced. Then there was Dr. Bharadwaj, Rudra and the whole Bharadwaj family, I guess. So, I never thought that the story would be about this woman who had an affair with the doctor and even when I was reading that particular scene, I was like “okay, she is going to be that character whom everybody is going to hate” but in the end turned out she is sneaky.
The most important thing about ‘Tied to Deceit’ that struck me was how well-written the book is. For a debut author, Neena had done an excellent job with the language. I don’t get to say this often but Neena’s writing style is truly commendable. She has a very good command over the language and knows how to string around with words without making the sentences appear ostentatious.
There’s a lot of character detailing which goes on in the book. If I look at it from a literary perspective, the minute details about the character really works well but if I consider the murder mystery plot, I think describing the characters a bit too much hampered the flow the story. Don’t get me wrong I loved each and every character was so well-developed but since the book is a mystery, I think the pace is a very important factor. I felt that the book lacked to keep up with a constant and smooth pace which did hinder the overall flow of the story.
All the characters are flawed and no one is shown to be extremely good or bad (except for Devika). So, I was in a constant dilemma as to whether I should sympathize with a particular character or be angry over their actions. The characters always kept me on my toes with their actions and thoughts.
The character of Gayatri was very well-structured. Her character was one of the truest to life character. There wasn’t too much exaggeration about her but there was enough to tell me that she is human and not a doll.
Another important thing about the characters is that they show their emotions. Unlike in other mystery novels, where the emotions of the characters aren’t highlighted much, Neena made sure to show her characters’ emotions whole-heartedly. I could connect with the characters, feel what they were going through and it was an amazing experience.
‘Tied to Deceit’ is definitely a character driven book rather than plot-driven considering the genre of this book, not that I am complaining.
The book is really compact in its composition. The narration is precise. The scenes are well-described. All in all, the book left a positive impact on me which translates to…I loved it. Except for the pace being a tad bit slow and the character descriptions being a little heavy, I loved everything about the book.
Recommended to mystery and crime fiction lovers.
POESY IN CHRYSALIS RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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