Book Review: Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup

Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup
My rating: 🌟🌟 (2 stars)
Publisher: Doubleday

You know you're in trouble when the murder mystery couldn't save it.

The summary drew me in but sadly this did not ultimately deliver. There's a murder and six suspects who had motive and opportunity so the fun is in the teasing out the threads and following the leads to figure out whodunnit. I feel that the story lost its way at the suspects pov level and everything that sprang from that was tainted. To be fair, I did enjoy a few of the suspects' narration but cannot forgive the thoroughly unbelievable mess that was the sole American. Even if everything else had been perfect, he was so glaringly off, his existence would have thrown me out of the story and cost this a couple of stars. As it happens, he wasn't the only problem and by the time I'd arrived at the end (which was both preachy and a let down), I didn't feel like I'd read the book I was told this was. At least it was over.

I love books that can take me to a place and through a wide cast of characters either closely or tenuously connected to one another and provide an immersive, cohesive and satisfying story. I'm going to recommend Tash Aw's Five Star Billionaire here, in case that's your thing. Read that. Skip this.

Summary: There's a caste system even in murder.Seven years ago, Vivek 'Vicky' Rai, the playboy son of the Home Minister of Uttar Pradesh, murdered Ruby Gill at a trendy restaurant in New Delhi simply because she refused to serve him a drink. Now Vicky Rai is dead, killed at his farmhouse at a party he had thrown to celebrate his acquittal. The police search each and every guest. Six of them are discovered with guns in their possession.
In this elaborate murder mystery we join Arun Advani, India's best-known investigative journalist, as the lives of these six suspects unravel before our eyes: a corrupt bureaucrat; an American tourist; a stone-age tribesman; a Bollywood sex symbol; a mobile phone thief; and an ambitious politician. Each is equally likely to have pulled the trigger. Inspired by actual events, Vikas Swarup's eagerly awaited second novel is both a riveting page turner and an insightful peek into the heart and soul of contemporary India.

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