Arya’s Hunting Ground by Arvind Narsima is a riveting crime thriller, featuring Arya as a lead protagonist cum investigator. Those who have read previous novels (The Aravan Head & The Chosen One) of the author will have no difficulty resonating with Arya and his peculiar working style.
Published by BookMedia, the novel is set against Puducherry and Chennai’s criminal grounds. Before Arya could come into the picture, the author took his time to explain the dreadful crimes that happen there, such as murder, torture and rape of women and girls. One of the poignant efforts of this book is to appeal to make India a rape free country. The lead character Arya hates rapists more than anything.
The book is divided into two parts: Chennai and Puducherry. At both places some heinous crimes have happened, which the author used as a preface to the overall novel.
Leaving the introductory crime cases, the main story starts with the murder of a famous singer Jeyanth. He was married to Ananya – the daughter of Aadhi Kesavan – a famous politician of Chennai. Soon after the murder of the singer, three more people are found killed in and around. The police are clueless for much time until the case is gone in the hands of Arya.
Like a classic murder mystery, this too looks something else. From the outer look, it seems it could have been a case of theft, but as the story chugs ahead it becomes clear that more people are involved, so do their intentions.
The story reaches far from a murder investigation. The crime takes place in Chennai but the hunt of criminals by Arya often shuttles between Chennai and Puducherry. It is indeed a great book on crime investigation as with one case many associated cases begins resurfacing that expose startling facts about many characters.
The novel has abuse, brutality, rape, and of course torture – for instance in the case of Rudra Guru. In the banter a silent love story of Arya and Shivani keeps moving. The route of investigation used in the story is never straight and predictable. As the story keeps shuttling between Puducherry and Chennai, we see other stories that are somehow related to the main plot. For instance the brutal rape and murder of a girl Ahalya. In the singer’s murder case, a lot of people were under the suspect radar. So the work of Shivani and Arya wasn’t easy especially when the singer is related to a politician, who has a good amount of hostility with his arch rival Prabhakar Reddy. So, it’s also going to be story where one tries to outpace another.
The author has covered the A to Z of the crime world. He portrays how an insignificant-looking murder or rape case can be linked to crime masters that remain either in prison or underground.
The novel becomes unputdownable after the entry of Arya. You must read it completely and at leisure to understand each and every nuance involved. For than a murder case, the story is also about inheritance of sins, family lineage, political rivalry, revenge, and the quest of love.
The plot is tightly packed and the author leveraged his strong narration to weave a riveting tale of crime suspense and murder mystery. Despite an entertaining book, the author has strongly appealed to all of us to make our nation a rape-free country. All is good; however, the length of the novel could have been a shorter, otherwise a great thriller.
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