Book: "Drop Dead"; Author: Swati Kaushal; Publisher: Hachette India; Pages:
321; Price: Rs.250
In the genre of who-dun-it, this is a success story.
Swati Kaushal's creation Niki Marwah, Shimla's superintendent of police, is faced with a murder mystery when the body of Rak Mehta, the flamboyant president and CEO of a successful publishing company, is found at the bottom of the otherwise serene hills of Sonargam.
Marwah and her team work painstakingly to uncover Mehta's sordid past and break the wall surrounding his junior colleagues who had all checked into a resort along with the victim for a conference. There are plenty of signs that all is not well with the publishing firm. There are lipstick stains, broken promises, jealousy and condoms. There is no trace of the murder weapon.
Marwah and her colleagues come alive as they crack the case over three intense days, the final breakthrough - brainwave -- coming through unexpectedly at a family event of the lady officer. Each police officer is as realistic as they can be in real life barring, in patches, ASP Shankar Sahay. For the rest, this is a gripping story.