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Book Review: Love, Murder, and Ambition by Vidhi Chauhan

I stumbled upon this book on Kindle while looking for some short reads in the genres of crime, murder, suspense, etc.  Its cover page grabbed my attention and when I found that it’s even less than 100 pages, without a second blink, I have had it in my TBR list. Let me tell you that it’s been penned down by a new author, in fact, this being her debut work. I have always believed that first-time authors put brilliant efforts in their debut work, and here Vidhi Chauhan, based in Singapore, proved it quite elegantly.

It's a murder mystery, placed against the fast-paced, yet ambitious, multi-cosmos backdrop of Bangalore. It has been woven using a few decent yet brutally smart characters. The man in the light is Mahesh. His background is something like: confident, smart, manipulative, and have weakness for women's beauty. The story is mainly about the corporate world. Before getting married to a Bengali girl Anupamma, he was with Shobhna, his office colleague. Sobhna was in love with him but he used her to get Anupamma. All is fine but this guy is not honest in relationships.

While working, he starts his own company related to IT industry, for venture capital and all he befriends Aakriti. Soon, they are flying high in a relationship. Just as it’s a murder mystery, it also has a tight air on extra marital affairs. What happens to Sobhna? Will she confront him for his indecency? What will happen if Anupamma discovers his affair with his business partner Aakriti?

Before revelations are made, Aakriti is found murdered in her apartment. Based on the suspect, Mahesh is taken to the prisoner. He does not know how to defend himself, unable to get any evidence or lawyer at his side, the only hope is his wife Anupamma, who also happens to be a legal advisor, but can now fight a case for him.

Anupamma is devastated to know the dishonest side of Mahesh, but still she takes up the case. Who is supporting Mahesh and how will he prove his innocence? It’s a typical whodunit murder mystery, the murder has taken place, the accused is taken by the police, but the puzzle has not been solved. The novel has no special detective but it runs on its own. That's the beauty of the author Vidhi Chauhan. She succeeded in delivering a near perfect murder mystery without making things complicated.

Laced with lucid narration, the novel moves at a good pace and keeps the readers in tight spot and nudges them to form opinions before the end reveals everything. A superb novel in the murder mystery garb...highly recommended!


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