I received the book Fatal Fallout by Sharmishtha Shenoy as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same. This is Detective Vikram Rana’s fourth case and I must say, it is an unputdownable page turner. The book can be also read as a standalone. The author has given an introduction to the private investigator at the beginning of the book so even if the book is being read as a standalone, there is no confusion.
Beautiful model and aspiring actress Gauri is found dead on the highway from a gunshot wound. The jewelry she had been wearing and other valuables are missing. Is it a case of a robbery gone wrong? Or is it premeditated murder?
Gauri’s friends and family hold her boyfriend Akash responsible for the death. Gauri had recently broken up with him because of his abusive behavior. Did the fallout of the breakup turn fatal for her? Did Akash decide that if he couldn’t have her, nobody else would either?
Moreover, why did the film director Madhav hire detective Vikram Rana to investigate her death? Is it because he loved her, or because he wanted to point the needle of suspicion away from himself?
Adding to the puzzle, is the corrupt police inspector Phani Kuma sabotaging the case for his devious motives?
The media, meanwhile, is sensationalizing the case, and pressure is mounting on ACP Gopi Reddy to resolve the case at the earliest.
Ace detective Vikram Rana swings into action to untangle a complex web of abuse, lies, and murder to get to the truth.
Gauri Kamalakar, the only daughter of a well to do businessman, was a student of BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus when she met Akash Akula, her senior and the son of a local politician. And they fell in love. Now, an upcoming actress, she is working on her first film which is being directed by her school friend, Madhav. And Akas does not like her irregular hours and they are constantly having fights so much so that she wants to break up with him.
One night, Gauri is on her way back home from Hyderabad airport, after a modelling assignment in Mumbai, when she is feels that she is being followed. She is accosted, raped, robbed and murdered. And when her body is found, there is an investigation by the police.
And Madhav approaches Vikram Rana, private investigator as he feels that Akash did it. Once a star criminal interrogator with Hyderabad police, Vikram left police service and started private investigative agency. His is good friends with ACP Gopi Reddy, with whom he had solved many cases, and who is also a big time foody like him.
Who could have done it? Akash, because she had walked out on him, but he has an alibi. Madhav, because he loved her. Her producer cum co-star, because she had avoided him. Or somebody else.
As the case moves, there are unexpected turns and the police want to solve the case as soon as they can.
Set in Hyderabad and Dubai, this murder mystery is unputdownable. The prologue sets the tone of the story. A fast paced story, it kept me up till three in the night because I wanted to know who had done it. As soon as I would feel, now it is done, something in the form of an alibi or another suspect would come up and I would be left wondering again.
The characters are well developed and Vikram Rana’s introduction at the beginning makes him familiar to the first time reader. I loved the friendship between Vikram and Gopi and also Vikram’s wife, Veena. The city of Hyderabad has been precisely described, which shows the author’s familiarity with the city.
The language is simple and can be understood easily. The book has been edited well and the twists and turns ensured that I was not bored. It is definitely a must read.
Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.