Happily Murdered — Rasleen Syal

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October 26, 2014 by freakychakra

“I have no will to weep or sing.
No least desire to pray or curse;
The loss of love is a terrible thing;
They lie who say that death is worse”

All throughout this story spanning across 250 pages, you will find small couplets like the above, sprinkled across, interluding just at the right moments; whether to profess the silent love, or the aching heartbreak or the condemnation of a behavior.

As you may have well understood, Happily Murdered is a love story poignantly nestled within the burrows of a murder mystery. First time writer Rasleen Syal does a fine job of crafting myriad human emotions, expectations and the fallouts when these collide with realities of life, into a murder mystery. I can vouch for this by the fact that I completed the entire novel in one straight go within 5 hours straight. The story centers around the alleged murder of Gulab Sarin and how everyone in the Mehtas and Dullas family may have a stake in it. Meanwhile Gulab speaks for herself in every alternate chapter and recounts her life, her tribulations which turned to triumphs which again turn to tribulations and how she was related to every other character in the story.

The typical Indian mindset of social status, jealousy, marriage-being-reduced-to-a-business-deal, gossiping, back bitching are out in full lore decorating the build up of the story and giving credence to the susceptibility of the connivance of some characters in the murder.

For all its strengths, yet there are some glaring pits. The love life of Gulab takes immeasurable twists and turns and so rapidly that at a point you stop even relating to it. The saving grace is the end when these twists and ends are tied together within her confession. Also, having read Robert Galbraith, Dan Brown, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ravi Subramanian among others, the end seemed pretty feeble to me. The justification was alright, but yet it felt as if it was created to simply justify the entire story instead of really convincing you.

Yet, it still feels completely alright in the end and that is enough reason for me to term this book worth reading once if not again and again.


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