.The Con man book by Surender Mohan Pathak is a thriller
Publishers Westland publications.
The book belongs to a series of crime journalist called Sunil Chakravarthy. Who is the crime reporter for a popular newspaper called Blast in a second tier city in UP. The town is up beat enough to have resto-bars, and youth clubs.
The story begins with Ramkant Malhotra the owner of Youth club bringing a pretty girl Kiara Sobti asking for help, she was conned by Aditya Khurana an NRI investment banker who had returned to town. But when Sunil goes to talk to the person he is found dead. Then the fabric begins to weave. Cops confiscate the mobile of the dead person and find 6 names on the frequent caller list, Kiara, Toral, Kavya, Devayani and Prakash Raj. The story then meanders like a Perry Mason with the first three women being conned while Devayani is the next prey.
Aditya Khurana it turns out is a conman who lived in a local middle class housing society and Prakash Raj is his partner. Aditya’s wife Jyothi does a pick-a-boo. Then we have Nidhi who works at a jewellers shop who happens to be Prakash Raj’s extra marital affair. Prakash Raj himself being a high flying gambler. Though the character of Dimple Saxena as Nidhi’s roommate is interesting has all the signs of being conned, I would have made her the murderer. Another red herring appears in the form of Toral’s brother who works in the same hotel as the victim.
Lestrade of the series is the cop Prabhu Dayal of course there are rookie journalists, and cops a few henchmen of a loan shark all thrown into the cauldron.
the book gets weighed down voluminous dialogues. The original case being often forgotten. Westland could do well in insisting on editing the book. The book reads like the Hindi version was run through a google translator, at times I suspected toogle.
The book is best read in the original language Hindi.
About the author: Surendra Mohan Pathak is India’s highest selling crime writer. He has 298 novels to his credit. He has individual series for the protagonists he has created, like Sunil series for the crime journalist, Sudhir series dedicated to a private investigator Sudhir Kohli, Jeet series featuring a petty thief who takes to crime after a heartbreak. Finally the Vimal series where the protagonist Sardaar Surendra Singh is a gangster with a conscience.
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