Let me start this post with a small question – How would you like to read a book that is in lines of Sherlock Holmes crime solving methods,with Dr. Watson by his side except that it is set in a typical Indian condition?
To answer this question, let me review the book – Bhrigu Mahesh, PhD: The Witch of Senduwar by Nisha Singh.
First, about 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 in Uttar Pradesh.
Now to the story line….
The detective thriller is set in a village called Senduwar. This is a place where nothing much happens and there is no excitement or entertainment what so ever. But then there is a sudden gold rush when a boy ,Malthu,discovers some pieces of gold supposedly a lost treasure at an abandoned site that is said to be haunted by the spirit of an angry witch. The boy soon dies under mysterious circumstances close to this site and the people of the village start believing that the spirit of the witch has killed him since he disturbed her resting place.
Several years later,Bhrigu Mahesh, a detective visits his hometown and an elderly lady-Malthu’s mother, seeks out his help to clear the mystery behind the death of her son.
The detective solves the mystery in his style and unravels a lot of mysteries and secrets and finally is able to restore peace in the small village.
There are stories within this story. A small girl who sacrifices herself in order to bring out the truth about her father and also help the villagers, the legend of the witch Jiyashree,a trail of lies and murders….
My thoughts on the book….
Well, the book reminded me of Sherlock Holmes mystery solving style. Here Bhrighu Mahesh has his unique way of solving the crime and with him is his friend Sutte who is like Dr.Watson, following him around, asking questions and trying to understand what Bhrighu Mahesh is up to.
Though Bhrighu Mahesh is super intelligent and extremely talented, he still fears his aunt Nirja Masi who lives in the village and finally he is able to overcome this mind block.
Sutte, who narrates the story, is in awe of his friends crime solving abilities and the methods that he uses -the physiological approach!
There are so many characters in this book – right from the witch of Senduwar – Jiyashree who was supposed to have concocted a potion that would make the one who takes it,act according to the givers wishes and words!And then comes the girl, who in the middle of a storm, runs away from home with a prized possession ,buries it in a spot where she knows it will be found and then kills herself.
Then comes our hero – Bhrighu Mahesh,a detective with the Police department who does not mix and mingle much with the others and has risen to fame by solving his first case in a unique way! He leaves the department when his colleagues and superiors fail to see the effectiveness of his methods and instead of acknowledging it, mock him and leave him feeling gutted.His friend- Sutte,a journalist who shadows Bhrighu Mahesh,who tempts him to visit his village after all these years.
Then comes Jayathi Devi, her dead son Matlu, her husbands side of the family, the seven suspects, the Zamindar of the village,Ghanshyam Singh and a host of others!
The story undergoes several twists and turns and at one point when you almost conclude whom to suspect, you are in for a surprise when Bhrighu Mahesh puts it the other way and eliminates the person as the suspect!
Finally, when you come to know who the real person is behind the murders , you will be totally shocked!!!
The narration is carried out by Sutte in a very effective manner and the plot is very good. Finally not only does Bhrighu Mahesh solves the mystery but also turns the garden of witch Jiyashree’s into a place that no one will ever fear to step into!!!
The only thing I found on the downside in this novel is the lengthy narrative / the huge paragraphs of description! It drags a bit in places and at a point I was even tempted to skip a page or two.This creates a lull in the thrill..
Apart from the typos where the dates of the crime is mixed up,[13th June / 14th June] and the very lengthy description, this book is a good read, something from the regular genre,that will take to the heart of the village and let you think and solve the crime with the Indian Sherlock Holmes – Bhrighu Mahesh.
Until nest post…