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Book Review: A Degree In Death by Ruby Gupta

Title: A Degree In Death
Author: Ruby Gupta
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Alchemy Publishers (2012)
Genre: Mystery
Read: Paperback
Stars: ***/5
Buy On: FlipKart
Summary: (Goodreads)
The midnight murder of a student in the sleepy town of Dehradun rouses everyone with suspicion and alarm. Violence is incomprehensible in this institute located at the foothills of the Himalayas. With no clues or suspects, the police are unable to catch the killer.

Professor Shantanu Bose, an eminent nano-expert and Dean of Research and Development is deeply troubled at this havoc caused to his institute. Determined to bring back the peaceful academic environment of the campus, he begins his own investigation.

Fear increases as another dead body turns up. Soon the professor finds himself in grave danger. Yet, he persists with his inquiry; and discovers that the truth is more startling than what anyone could have imagined…

My Review:

Note: Thanks to the guys at MySmartPrice for offering me this book to review 🙂

Cover: So so!

Paper and font: The font was eye-friendly but the paper is ordinary. Nothing great.

Readability, language: : The language is easy in the mind and the book reads fast.

Why did I choose this book: I had found the blurb interesting and since I’ve been to Dehradun the location had me interested too.

MIST is an engineering college in Dehradun where life is rolling along as normal with the usual skirmishes of students and teachers. That is until there is a sucide in the boys hostel. On investigation it is revealed that the boy hadn’t committed suicide, he had been murdered. While the management is scrambling to maintain order among students and reduce bad publicity, Professor Shantanu Bose who considers himself a bit of a detective starts to investigate the murder. Soon more deaths follow and it becomes imperative to find the culprit soon.

Professor Shantanu reminded me of Bomkesh Bakshi, a detective I grew up watching on TV. A simple man who has an objective and logical mind-set, Professor Shantanu follows each lead in the case trying to fill in the blanks and complete the big picture. He is helped by students and faculty who also believe they have the answer to the case.

There is the usual mix of people who are scared and don’t want to have anything to do with the murders and there are also those who believe they will be the ones to solve the case and catch the murderer. But as they get closer to the answer they get eliminated and the answer continues to elude the Professor.

Set in Dehradun, a quite retirement town, the furor caused by the murder is understandable. The city is shocked and shaken as the murders continue. Gupta captures the essence of the city and its landscapes well and I could see it all in my minds-eye as the story unfolded.

A lot of research has gone into the book as Gupta talks about Tibet, the Dalai Lama and Tibetans taking refuge in Dehradun. I got a better understanding of the political and world situation in regard to Tibet as I read the book.

The layout of the book could have been better though, the paragraphs flowed into each other and the breaks between situations and locations was not distinct. I had a lot of confusing moments in the book as I tried to figure where one act ended and the next started.

If you are into mysteries and thrillers this is definitely a good book to read.

Buy On: FlipKart

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