Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Six Suspects – Book #65

Six Suspects Add Video
by Vikas Swarup

Swarup is most famous for his first book, Q&A, which was turned into the movie Slumdog Millionaire. His second effort is a murder mystery involving the shooting of a spoiled rich kid of a corrupt politician. He is at a party to celebrate his acquittal of the shooting death of a young female bartender who refused to serve him after closing. This is the not the first time he has killed though his own arrogance and negligence but has never been convicted. After the shooting the police lock down the home and find six individuals in possession of guns, hence our six suspects.

The book then goes back and has six chapters each detailing the life story of the suspects and their relation to the victim. The next six chapters detail their motive to be at the party, to have a gun, and why they would want to kill the victim. Finally we have several short chapters wherein
possible scenarios are presented as solutions.

Swarup’s strength is in telling in creating characters and the details of their lives, not in creating a good mystery. So I really liked several of the individual story lines and wish they had been books in their own right (the politician who was possessed by Gandhi’s ghost was quite good), but others not so much. He also is quite too neat with some of his plot elements (to many convenient coincidences), like with the American and how his life intersected the Actress’. And the solutions to the mystery were just thrown out there with no build up, no investigation. It was like they were an afterthought.

So it was a good read overall, but disappointing as a mystery. This is unfortunate as several really good books were buried in the pages just waiting to be drawn out.

Mormon Mentions: None

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