The Seventh Cup by Nitesh Jain is a different-league murder mystery with amazing concepts in between. The story shuttles mainly between Switzerland and Goa, India. The novel doesn’t open with a murder or crime scene, rather in a typical way where a guy named Avinash Roy sips coffee at a frequented café, at a particular place in Zurich. Exactly at the seventh cup of his coffee, he gets into something clumsy that people around begins noticing him. Well, he is writing the last chapter of a book, ‘In Search of Truth’. This book is about conflict of Religion, Science, and Man.
There at Zurich, in that café, Mr. Roy stumbles upon Verona Schmidt. He likes her. She teases him as SRK. At their meeting a lot of palaver about India and Bollywood goes on, as it was obvious as Verona was an aspiring actress. Anyway, there Mr. Roy plays with her by confusing her into Mind Transportation game. It is a lengthy novel, so the sub stories and sweeps in at are at crossroads. One needs to read this book in complete piece with their own peace. The story of Avinash and Verona’s one-sided love seems overdone and shallow; however, little did readers know that the same guy gets into another-level intensity to drive the plot ahead.
Next, you read Verona has been missing for over eight months. The police are searching her. Avinash was in love with her, though she was partially inclined to him. Verona had a so-called boyfriend, named Kevin. The love triangle gets complicated, again the book over and again appeals to read it completely.
At the façade of the book, Mr. Roy, in Zurich, is writing his book. He claims that he’s been continuously in touch with Verona. They talk, laugh, gossip and so on. Paradoxically, when the detective Susanne takes the case of missing persons in Switzerland, she has to solve the Verona mystery first. The story is long and once one is in, he/she cannot afford ignoring it.
The story has many fronts but Avinash Roy is always there, like banter in the backdrop. There are concepts introduced and explained, in snatches, like law of attraction, and law of universe. The author has brilliantly crafted this murder mystery and it remains under the veils as who could be that killer?
Ria is dead–a student from Goa. Avinash and Verona first met in Goa in the HOST College owing to some college student exchange program. So you got the lead as how Avinash came to Zurich in pursuit of love? Back in Goa, they developed good sub-audition, especially when they were a part of a drama.
There are many threads and each one is entwined to one another. It is a story where you may begin empathizing with the killer, not knowing his/her real intentions. Whatsoever, Avinash’s love for Verona was real and he went to limits to prove that.
But the question remains, why is this novel a murder mystery? Does Verona’s disappearance mean she is dead or something else has happened to her? There is the detective Susanne. What will happen when she comes across Ria and Avinash? For sure, a fresh and contemplative murder mystery awaits readers’ attention.
Nitesh’s narration and the way he unfurled events is commendable. However, at times, he put a lot of casual romance between Avinash and Verona. The length of the book could have been a bit shorter; otherwise the way it turns out on the lead character Avinash is something riveting. Overall, a lovely novel much different than today’s genres.
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