Book Review: Murder On A Side Street

Murder on the Side Street by Salil Desai

Murder on the Side Street by Salil Desai is the author’s second novel. I happened to read Desai for the first time while reading a review copy of Killing Ashish Karve, which was his debut work. And it was impressive. Tightly written. When I started using Kindle, I came across his second work on a monthly deal and the author’s name was enough to click Buy Now.

Murder on the Side Street is the story of the killing and subsequent investigation of Ravinder Wadhwa. It is also the story of how just-out-of-college, Sandeep, Dhivya, Jerry, Aarushi, Kapil and Sharmeen turn detectives. Well, not Sandeep the rest of them because Sandeep is in jail. Wadhwa is dead. All circumstantial evidence is against Sandeep and he is arrested. After facing the abusive Wadhwa for months, Sandeep, the trainee, definitely has reasons to kill his GM. But so have many others, they find out. His friends jump in and want to find the truth, lest the police close the case without reaching the truth.

The friends investigate; involve the police only when they have completely exhausted all their means and, as is expected figure out the killer. The police take care of the remaining formalities.

If you are reading Desai’s books in order of publication, you will be highly disappointed with this one. Because the author manages to impress with his debut but with this book his game dips. This book looks more like an experiment, the writer is attempting in his style. He seems to want to create a series (called MBA detectives). This looks like his attempt to hook the younger reading crowd, what with the protagonists in this book and the book ending with the birth of MBA Detective Agency. But to be honest, the experiment falls flat. Murder on the Side Street is just an Indian version of Nancy Drew. It is amateurish and lacks the tightness of an adult crime fiction.

The narration flows well and the writer does justice to the plot he has in mind. But the plot itself is weak and does not hold much interest. So it finishes quickly but not well. And so it Nor does the book score with its cover. In hindsight, I will say the cover does give an insight into the content inside. Both are amateurish.

This is a book, which is neither an underage reading material, nor does it deliver immaculately to its adult readership. It happens to be a book, which got lost somewhere in between.

Title: Murder On A Side Street
AuthorsSalil Desai
Publisher/ ImprintUnicorn Books
Pages: 224
Genre/ Sub-Genre: Fiction/ Crime
Rating: 2.50 of 5.00
Reviewed for: Personal copy

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