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By Its Cover: Murder in Bollywood

Murder in Bollywood coverAfter spotting this mystery novel’s cover, I read the book blurb:

” ‘Someone at this table has killed before, and someone at this table will kill again.’
Nikhil Kapoor, Bollywood’s biggest film director, made this shocking proclamation to his friends one night. Sameer Ali Khan, Bollywood’s badshah, seethed with rage. Nyra Oberoi, filmdom’s queen-in-waiting, turned her face away. Ishan Malhotra, producer extraordinaire, laughed out loud, while Kiki Fernandez, dress designer to the stars, looked afraid. Two nights later, both Nikhil and his wife, leading actress Mallika Kapoor, were found dead.”

Sometimes, it’s the book’s ties to a subject of interest that first draws attention to its cover. Having watched several Bollywood films over the years increased my level of interest and likelihood of taking a closer look at this title. Reading the book’s synopsis clinched my interest, but the cover art is also very appealing with an exotic noir vibe. I’d certainly be willing to venture giving this a read.

Chapter One sets the framework: “The sensation film-land killings which rocked the entire nation and generated unprecedented media frenzy have now been named the Bollywood Murders.” It goes on to name the presumed killer but not the motive for the crime. “Neither did the crime branch’s Special Case Squad give out any photograph of this Manjeet, making it impossible to know the perpetrator’s sex or identity.”

The novel’s narrator tells us that “it was all this acute secrecy that attracted my publisher to this extraordinary case, who, in turn, commissioned me to get to the bottom of the mystery and unmask it before the public in the form of a crime novel.” The narrator, a former investigative journalist, has several police contacts, but none appear willing to share more information about the case.

It’s all very intriguing.

The true start of the mystery, however, begins at a Mumbai studio where a security guard is killed. And before the first chapter ends, we readers learn of two more murders. Senior Inspector Hoshiyar Khan will be assigned to the case that takes readers behind-the-scenes of India’s film industry.

Author Shadaab Amjad Khan is a Bollywood actor and scriptwriter. He made his acting debut with the film Raja Ki Aayegi Baaraat, going on to star in several films as well as working behind-the-scenes as a scriptwriter. Murder in Bollywood is his first novel and was released in June 2015 by Penguin in both print and ebook formats.

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Categorised in: Mystery, Reviews

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