Vikram Rana Murder Mysteries are set in Hyderabad…
The Mysterious Affair of the Lohia Mansion
When the glamourous socialite Richa Lohia is poisoned in her mansion in Jubilee Hills, her brother-in-law hires his mate, ex-cop Vikram Rana, to solve this murder. This is Vikram’s first case and he, along with Inspector Gopi Reddy, must solve the case even if they face opposition from the richest and powerful family in Hyderabad, who would stop at nothing to defend themselves.
The Sonia Sinha Case
When property developer Krishna Dhavala is stabbed to death in Necklace Road, everyone suspects Mrs. Dhavala to be the murderer of her alcoholic and abusive husband. But is that really the case? Vikram Rana and Inspector Reddy have a tough time uncovering the murderer and Vikram himself almost dies trying to solve this case. Experience the mystery along with the duo as they fight their way through the maze of lies, deceit and greed.
For me, it all started with Nancy Drew, Famous Five, Hardy Boys and then later with Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes. Yes, I love the intrigue and the thrills, the puzzling problems and the edge of the seat experience that the thrillers and murder mysteries provide us with. When I got the opportunity to read a murder mystery set in our very own country, I grabbed it immediately.
Vikram Rana Investigates: Tales of Murder and Deception in Hyderabad is a collection of two murder mysteries. Vikram Rana is an ex-police officer turned investigator. The murder of a business tycoon’s wife is his first case which he gets through his friend and brother-in-law of the deceased. As Vikram moves ahead with his investigation, the plot gets complex with plenty of suspects from the family. The family dynamics in the Lohia clan are interesting and every person in the family has the needle of suspicion pointing towards them. And that made for some good twists and turns which kept the reader in me engaged.
In the second story, a rogue builder, Krishna Dhavala is brutally murdered in his car. As Vikram is close on the heels of the culprit, the killer goes on to kill two more people to cover his tracks. And it gets murkier with more secrets tumbling out. Vikram along with Inspector Reddy from the Police department finally nab the killer in style.
The story progresses smoothly with a steady pace. The climax is not a nail biting finish but nevertheless, the intrigue has been sufficiently built and that makes you turn the pages one after the other. I liked the way Sharmishtha shared about the hangouts, places and food of Hyderabad in the story.
I like humor and sarcasm in relationships but the one shared between Vikram and his wife became a bit tiresome to read for me. His wife truly annoyed me. I found a few instances a tad unbelievable in the story, like Vikram’s meteorical rise to fame, his insightful dreams, Richa’s (the murdered woman) brother-in-law and sister-in-law going to the pub and work respectively the very next day of the murder, or keeping the extra bottle of Nyquil (medicine) in the storeroom, errors in event timeline etc. The book has some minor editing glitches.