Cover Image: Tied to Deceit

Tied to Deceit

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Member Reviews

This is a slow paced mystery based in India. 
Thank you to Net Galley and Penguide book for the Advanced Reader Copy. This is my honest review. 

A young woman, Devika, is found murdered. She was attractive and she was having an affair. She is unpopular at the hospital where she works. Devika was also disliked by her members of her own family because she chose to be independent and live apart from her husband. It turns out she has also abandoned a child who had Down's Syndrome. 

There are numerous suspects for Devika's murder. Everyone seems to have a possible motive - her lover, Dr Bhardwaj, the rich and successful senior doctor who is admired by everyone. Mrs Bhardway, who knows about her husband's infidelities but puts up with them. Other members of the victim's family who felt ashamed by her conduct. Her estranged husband. Other members of staff at the hospital, who resented her favourable treatment by Dr Bhardwaj and who had, at one time or another, been exposed publicly by Devika. 

We follow Detective Vishnawath Sharma and his assistant, as they painstakingly question all the suspects and piece together the life of Devika. They put together her final days and find out who killed Devika and why. 

The story was very slow moving.
There is a great deal of detail about each individual and how they lead their lives. 
In fact, the book felt to me more like an exploration of contemporary Indian life than a murder mystery. In delving into the personal lives of these people, the author shows us the clashes of modern and old society, the difficulties faced by women and the strictures imposed by expectations. This took up most of the book, with the mystery taking a low-key, back seat. 

Bottom line - I think the literary feel to this book didn't fit with the mystery side.
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**Thank you to Net Galley and Penguide book for the Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an unbiased review.**
This is not a thriller, it’s a mystery. Once you keep that in mind the book is more enjoyable. The way the plot is written makes you guess pretty quickly who the murderer is but then there are so many other details that you let yourself forget your initial hunch. For that this book gets an extra half star. The story is more domestic drama along with a murder mystery. In terms of the wiring I think a heavier hand is required at editing. The language in a few places is unnecessarily complex. Also the use of Indian words will make this book a tad harder to read but if the ebook can have the words linked to the glossary it will be a lot easier. Going back to the glossary, searching ur word and continuing reading is a hassle.
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Tied to Deceit has all the classic elements of a traditional murder mystery: particular setting, a small town, a young, merciless, beautiful woman, a grisly murder and assorted relatives and friends. SP Vishwanath Sharma must sort our everything in the end. 

The ultimate outcome is excellent: fast and nicely tidied up. There’s not a single dull moment throughout the book. As a reader, you follow Devika Singh’s life’s hidden layers keenly and try to keep up with what was going on around her life to gather your own clues about the murder. I admit I didn’t expect the final outcome and was completely left in shock.

If you love well-written mysteries with thoroughly developed characters and beautiful settings, you are going to love Tied to Deceit.
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Thank you NetGalley and Penguide Books for the eARC.
Set in a small town in India, this clever mystery is a huge treat.   Having lived in India as a kid, I love books set there and this one is particularly good.
Devica Singh, a beautiful young woman, is murdered.  She was vain, heartless and ruthless and universally hated in the community, so there are plenty of possible suspects.  We are afforded many peeks into her life, showing why so many people could have wanted to kill her.  She was definitely an accident waiting to happen...quite a piece of work!
SP Sharma, the detective, has an almost impossible job solving the murder; there are so many candidates for the killing.  Like an onion, he peels the layers of Devica's life in order to figure out the case and the ending of the book was a shocker to me, great stuff!
The characters are very well drawn and I particularly liked the depiction of the strong women.
All in all this is more than an excellent mystery; it's good literature, a book to get your teeth into with gusto,  Highly recommended!
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Thank you Net Galley. A delightful mystery/police procedural set in India. I enjoyed reading it very much. It was fun to read a mystery set in small town India. I look forward to reading more by the author.
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Five stars for me. It was awesomely satisfying to sink my teeth into a book full of layers and complexities.
Devika Singh is a woman nobody likes; she is beautiful, cunning, thoroughly immoral and vicious. One morning, she is found murdered in her bed. Enters SP Vishwanath Sharma. As he starts to investigate the murder, it becomes clear that there are too many suspects and motives; almost everyone who knew her seems to have a motive for killing her. As Sharma delves further into the investigation, he unravels layers of deceits, lies and hidden secrets. 

The thing to remember is, it’s not your usual mystery. The book is much more than that; it is dense; a story not only of murder but of infidelity and its devastating consequences, how it affects a marriage and alters the mindset of the other spouse (hint: ending but no spoilers here); of human relations, of social issues and psychological complexities. The quote below summarises a failing marriage nicely:

“He had swept her off her feet then, and was all charm and charisma but then the magic slowly diminished and finally died due to his secret betrayals over time. Thousands of little resentments had replaced the early warmth. But their hearts, although heavy with bitterness and anger at the failed expectations, had gotten used to the solace of each other’s company that often comes with years of living together, and they never stopped performing this morning ritual of their married life.”

The characters are thoroughly developed; complex and very human. Devika, I hated. Hated with an intensity. Though, she died quickly in the first few chapters, she made me fall in hate with her. I couldn’t feel sad for her. And despite her early death, it is she who dominates the story until the very end. 

I liked Gayatri Bhardwaj’s character for her strong personality; especially the way the author wrapped it up for her in the end (no spoilers). Urvashi is another strong character. She is not there much in the story, but nevertheless, succeeds in leaving a strong impression on me. 

Thanks to the author for creating proper women characters. It seems all the literary heroines in today’s time are super-confused, drunkard, delusional and fickle.

The main detective, SP Sharma takes out the role of an observer throughout the story instead of being overly personalised. The plot is tight, sharp and concise. 

I loved the ending. The ending is fast, to the point and nicely tidied up. Author wrapped it up quite well. There are no long chapters or unnecessary details that goes on and on just for the sake of adding another few pages to the book. 

Even if you're a traditional mystery buff, or have a keen whodunit interest, you may not be able to figure the culprit on your own.

There is one thing I want to say. If you like pulp fiction (The Couple Next Door kind of books) this book is not for you. Read it if you have a good taste in mystery.
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It was a boring read. A lot of Indian words I don’t understand. Yes, glossary is provided at the back of the book but I hate the interruption. You know what I mean? Alert, there’s cheating involved. I hate reading anything about cheating but as it is interlinked with murder crime, I just okay with it.
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