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Book Review: Scar on the Moon by Sandesh Raj

Scar on the Moon by Sandesh Raj is an absorbing crime thriller read. Backdropped against the chilly climate of Shimla, Sandesh Raj weaves a hot tale of a female police inspector caught in the personal life dilemma and the prejudice of her senior officers. Chandrika is the lead character. She is an example of fine human values with moral integrity. She is tall, dark, and beautiful. Her life takes backseat due to being a dark woman. In India, in our societies, people don’t reckon dark people as their equal. Some streaks of prejudices turn dark people inferior. Similar approach perturbs Chandrika.

But you will be thrilled to take a sneak peak in her family roots. The novel is mostly narrated in multiple POVs, however, it shifts its momentum between past and present. Around 200 pages, this time the author Sandesh Raj emerged with finely chiseled and exceptional writing skills. Though he impressed with his previous novels, well this one is stunningly terrific, well-placed, and a crime thriller with a fully-fleshed out characters. The plotline divulges buried secrets subtly, takes time with a proper cast of suspects and cues.

The sync of investigation commences when Chandrika begins questioning three culprits harassing a famous model of India named Varunika. A plenty of plot occurs among these three culprits. Chandrika and a constable handling the case! Before it could be closed, soon the model’s husband Hardik is found murdered. The twists and turns to catch the murderer once again falls back on these three culprits. However, Chandrika delves deep to find the real killer with motives. Will she succeed in that?

Chandrika sees Varunika with deep esteem. She is helped by her designer to look a better version of herself. The personal aspirations of Chandrika are normal like any woman, but at the same time she doesn’t forget her duty in the case. What will happen if Chandrika has to go harsh on Varunika? Is the case simple or has its share of tumultuous past that can highlight the sins of the murderer and masterminds?

The novel impresses with its all arteries. Characters are limited, but perfect to their assigned roles with their idiosyncrasies. The writing is to the point, describing Himalayan beauty and crime scenes, all flows beautifully. So many angles but all are so gelled well that the readability of the novel turns out excellent, commendable, and praiseworthy. If you are looking for fresh crime thriller with no heavy burden, this novel must suit you. Kudos to Sandesh Raj. Highly recommended.

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