This weekend, I finished this book, Bhrigu Mahesh, PhD THE WITCH OF SENDUWAR, a thriller. This is a first book by a budding author. It seems a book published under self publishing option.
The author, Nisha Singh is a crime fiction enthusiast who has written short stories for several publications. She enjoys reading and watching movies and currently resides somewhere in Uttar Pradesh. As Nisha Singh is a trained pharmacist, I presumed it a medical crime thriller, but it is not.
A detective is on a quest to solve a complex mystery to separate truth from a local legend. Superstitious villagers believe that a witch killed as punishment an innocent boy. His mother believes otherwise. Nothing mysterious seems about death of a child, whose brain is not so developed. Any child in India falls from rooftop and die. This is one common happening in Indian villages. This is also true that illiterate villagers believe some supernatural power regulates such deaths. This thriller is successful to build a case for investigation with some suspicious events thereafter.
The story has so repetitively explained that readers may predict final story. However, there are many small filler incidents which distract mind of readers from guess but not for long period. Readers want to know with intelligent guesses how case may be otherwise. Half of mystery solved in mind of readers but readers become interested to know how, why and where detective reached to the conclusion. Same time, first chapter of the thriller compel readers to read further to connect significance of this parallel story. Readers guessed again correctly.
The detective and his scribe talk more, discuss points to irritate readers. Yes, book following famous Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson story format. I immediately lost interest in at least one character in the thriller, as he is nothing intelligent to do in such thriller. The long discussion between detective and his scribe seems to be filler for otherwise a short story. They discuss more, readers seems to be less interested. There are few turning points where mystery may take sharp turn but interestingly, all these points proves to be useless and story remain same.
Thriller is not well researched. In a motion picture, one can overlook minor details but not the book. Minor details usually leave impact in mind of a good reader. Story is woven around a remote village somewhere in Bihar. Tendu leaves are not a produce there, but mentioned in the book. This may be good if, author paid a visit or two to a place in that region to have firsthand knowledge about geography, culture, agriculture, buildings, and social order etc. Such minor details when goes wrong kills joy of reading thriller. Some important facts in story itself are not corroborated correctly. Date Saturday 14th June become Saturday 13th June without reason. Writer had not spent time on editing. Lack of professional editing reflects prominently from the book.
With proper edition, 2nd edition of book may have about 200 pages and correct fact.
P.S. This is a family thriller – murder mystery with little dose of romance. I count it a plus point.
Title: Bhrigu Mahesh, PhD THE WITCH OF SENDUWAR
Authors: Nisha Singh
Publishing year: 2016
Genre: Fiction – Crime thriller, Mystery,
Number of Pages: 311
Price: Rs. 499
This book is available here.