Six Suspects Paperback – Apr 24 2009
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?[Six Suspects] is unusual, witty, quirky, cleverly plotted, intelligent, and along the way it?s an informative satire on indian politics and values. . . . A rollicking good read.? ? THE TIMES ()
"If rani pink is the new black, Six Suspects is crime noir. . . . It is a grim carousel of games sacred and profane." -- The Outlook ReviewSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The 6 stories are extremely diverse in terms of both characters and style. Ranging from an American hick from the backwoods of Texas to a popular Bollywood actress / sex symbol to a corrupt bureaucrat or two, each section of the book is wholly devoted to that character and written in a different form, including third-person omniscient, diary entries, and perhaps most challenging - entirely in dialogue. Of course, there are wavers of connections between all 6 characters that pop up throughout the book giving the reader a bit of extra delight as you try to unscramble who the murderer actually is - in fact, you can envision the book as a bit like the movie Babel.
That being said, the success of the book really lies in the fact that it's not a murder mystery that focuses on its worthy victim or the crime - it's a murder mystery that looks at how six people from all sorts of backgrounds could possibly end up in the position of being accused of a murder, and the effects Vicky Rai's initial acquittal and subsequent death have on the Indian public.Read more ›
But which of the six suspects murdered Vicky Rai? Another corrupt politician? A famous Bollywood actress? Rai's sister's boyfriend? A "tribal" from the Andaman Islands, alone and adrift in modern-day India, just trying to return to his homeland? An idiot American from Texas who had come to India in search of life-long love?
I won't write more about the plot but just know that all parts of modern day Indian society is written about in this masterful mystery. It's a long book, but every page is interesting. Read it and enjoy.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The first thing that intrigued me was the book's layout. In fact, it prompted me to buy it as I was strolling idly through a bookstore in Mumbai. Each chapter is dedicated to one suspect. The second thing that I enjoyed was the detail spent developing the characters of each piece in this chess match. Everyone has an agenda. Nobody is a saint. Thirdly, the writing style of the author is markedly different for each back-story. This gives each chapter a different flavor. Finally, the book takes us all over India and shows us the myriad threads that weaves the country into a giant multicolored quilt.
Having said that, the book did feel a bit linear in some parts. I would have liked the story to be a bit more intertwined than it was. A few more run-ins between the main characters perhaps?
All in all, its a fun read and the ending, which is the bar by which whodunits are judged, was refreshing and satisfactory. I fully expect the big names in Bollywood to clamor for movie rights to this book. It has all the formulaic elements of a "masala" movie with an interesting climax.
Even if one doesn't enjoy (as I did) this eastern baroque mix of flavours, it should at least be difficult to altogether withhold admiration for the technical intricacies of such a liberally oiled plot machinery and for the virtuoso performance of the concluding pages, in which the traditional denouement of a whodunit spirals away into dizzying heights of absurdity.
Entertaining and moving though it is, however, the book's basic recipe is very similar to the one employed in the author's first novel ,Q & A'; and for his next offering, Mr Swarup would in my opinion be well advised to dish up something that works along other lines.
The way the author, Vikas Swarup, has divided the book into sections is methodical. In addition, within each section he has dedicated one chapter each for each suspect & built up the story. It's like building up from where you left.
In weaving this story, Vikas Swarup has added many major headlines that hit the Indian subcontinent in the past few years. These headlines have been added to appear as part of the story. For example, Jesicca Lall (model/actor) murder in 1999. The way the son of a politician killed this model/actor in a bar - this was weaved in the story by Vikas Swarup. In a way we could immediately relate to them because we read about these cases a lot.
Similar sounding names of some real life famous reporters/journalist have been used.
Overall, it's a good read - specially if someone likes to read about investigative mysteries.