Author: Sohil Makwana | Genre: Crime Thriller| Pages: 297
A horrifying decapitated head. A CBI intern on an assignment finds mysterious ‘Two Dots’ from a cold case. Human DNA is extracted from a mosquito’s stomach. “Why had Harold Shipman killed 250 women?” A question of criminal psychology enters the picture. Against the corrupt system, a CBI intern leaves no stone unturned to dig the rot of a cold-blooded serial killer. Several incredible, high-tech forensic investigations are stacked against a tech-savvy killer who knows his job inside-out. And, the sexual sadist killer releases another cipher with a rise of body count. Forensic advancement has brought out a digital face from DNA. Will she able to get the killer’s DNA? How has he become a monster out of a man? Are these efforts enough to catch the killer? Or is there something special in the store?
Murdrum is book one in a possible anthology of crime thrillers. This is a relatively fast-paced novel with a gripping plot that takes the reader deep into medical science and forensics. While the plot is a compelling, rather engaging one, the characters felt loosing the touch with the story; except the lead intern who had her claws hooked deep into the crime case at hand, determined at solving it. The story goes on smoothly, at an easy pace, with scenes and dialogues unfolding in tandem, in perfect harmony complementing the plot in an organized pattern. However, the lengthy detailed narrative will put off the most dedicated reader.
The protagonist, Komal Rathod does a brilliant job in leading the plot and leaving no gaping holes, and the supporting characters blend well in the narrative. While the story held a bit too many police officers than essential, toward the end, the flow narrows down on just the really crucial ones central to the story. The antagonist is portrayed as a formidable figure – he is a serial killer with a troubled childhood and more on his character and story to be revealed in the sequel. The story is set in the lesser-known locales of Mumbai, city in India.
The flow of the story is seamless with acute precision of details but running it through an editor’s eye could’ve made it crisp and yet more impactful. The language which is simple but too local could also be neutralized a bit, which could lend it more authenticity, and thus, more relatable to the masses. The vivid description of the crime scenes were credible and outstanding, but could be disturbing for some. Toward the end, the cliffhanger totally justified the suspense.
‘Murdrum’ is a fantastic first attempt at a crime thriller in Indian literature paradigm. A definite recommendation to everyone who loves thrillers and don’t mind gory graphic details. Also recommended to lovers of Hannibal Lecter and Thomas Harris novels.
Have you read ‘Murdrum’? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.
P.S: I received a review copy from the author but the review remains unbiased.
Happy reading till we meet next. Until then, carpe diem!