Sep 16

Review: Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup

Review: Six Suspects by Vikas SwarupSix Suspects by Vikas Swarup
Published by Transworld Publishers Limited on 2009
Genres: crime & mystery, fiction
Pages: 574
Source: ARC received from publisher

The second novel from the author of the bestselling book and film Q and A /Slumdog Millionaire now available in paperback. There's a caste system even in murder. Seven years ago, Vivek 'Vicky' Rai, the playboy son of Cabinet Minister, 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. Six guests are discovered with guns in their possession - and each one is equally likely to have pulled the trigger. Who are these six suspects? And what were they doing in the farmhouse that night? In this elaborate mystery we join Arun Advani, India's best-known investigative journalist, as the lives of these six suspects unravel before our eyes. Ingeniously plotted, Six Suspects is the work of a master storyteller.

I started this book with great anticipation, my interest stirred by the unusual format and a current fascination with fiction set in India. The fact that Swarup’s debut novel was Q&A, the basis for the award winning film Slumdog Millionaire, added to the attraction.

I did enjoy most of Six Suspects, but at time my attention wandered and I found the subplot involving the naïve Texan Larry Page with his never ceasing colloquialisms quite annoying. I was left guessing the identity of the murderer until the final pages, so from a mystery point of view the story worked well.

I think Six Suspects was simply a little over ambitious. Swarup offers readers a glimpse at the many faces of modern India – family and cultural rituals, petty theft, a country of great beauty and resources as well as incredible poverty and corruption, Bollywood, call centres, religious traditions – but the sheer number of subplots and secondary characters minimises the suspense and slows the pace of the story.

I did enjoy this novel and I am still quite keen to read Q&A. Six Suspects was at times quite insightful and there were some wonderful characters whose stories I followed with interest.

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  1. anothercookiecrumbles

    I loved Q&A, and I’ve had half-an-eye on this for a while now. I’m looking forward to reading it, and am glad you thought it was an insightful read.

    I’d recommend Q&A very highly though – the character development is incredible.
    .-= anothercookiecrumbles´s last blog ..Sarah Waters – The Little Stranger =-.

  2. Bec

    Nice review, I only review audiobooks so will will check this out.
    Nice site,
    Bec´s last blog post ..Dead, Sometimes

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