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Last Updated 13.08.2020 | 7:39 PM IST
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Book review – Shantanu Guha Ray’s Found Dead

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Book review – Shantanu Guha Ray’s Found Dead

Jiah Khan, Sheena Bora, Sunanda Pushkar, Ponty Chadha - These have been some of the many high profile murder/suicide cases that have remained unsolved till date. In fact there has been a high degree of uncertainty around even the motive in many cases. Journalist Shantanu Guha Ray picks up these cases thread by thread and comes up with an impartial view around facts that are already in public domain and spins a tale that makes for a very intriguing read. He narrates it all as a thriller and the storytelling is such that you ate truly immersed into the proceedings.

He picks up nine such high profile cases and packs them all in a 250 odd page book. Other than the aforementioned victims, he also talks about Rizwanur Rahman, Neeraj Grover, Shivani Bhatnagar, Shakereh Khaleeli and Vijay Palande. Except for the last two cases, former being an old case and latter being relatively recent, rest all have been reasonably high profile and are being talked about till date. As a matter of fact, some of these have already seen movies made around the killings.

What Shantanu establishes quite well is that the common element in each of these killings is the adage that goes as 'jar joru aur zameen'. There is either wealth involved or a romantic angle, and this is what has led to many a crime that took place. However, since most of these cases are still being fought in the court, Shantanu stays away from announcing a verdict per se though he does drop more than a hint or two around what could have possibly happened.

Jiah Khan's tale has a love story and professional pressure involved, Sheena Bora has greed as the central element, Sunanda Pushkar's story has a rocky marriage in the middle of affairs, Ponty Chadha's killing is narrated as a war between brothers, Rizwanur Rahman's murder is about a classic 'ameer-gareeb' love story gone wrong, Neeraj Grover's death has a triangular romantic liaison playing truant, and so on and so forth.

What makes Found Dead special is the fact that it relies entirely on facts while being told as a fiction. What could have emerged as a pure documentary tale is brought to fore as an engaging affair due to sheer manner in which Shantanu spins it all together. There is good continuity that emerges from one series of events to another and that constantly hooks you as a reader.

Of course, many of the stories being told are not for the faint hearted. Victims being chopped off into pieces, a person presumably alive before being buried underground, a suicide that could well have been a killing, a woman whose murder is planned by her own lover in the least unsuspecting of the circumstances - at many a juncture it all becomes tough to digest since the detailing is impeccable and no words are minced.

However, there isn't anything that you haven't been exposed to via newspapers or many crime series that you watch on television. If you have been an avid reader or follower of such series, Found Dead is just the kind of book you want to lay your hands on, and wrap it up all in a jiffy.

Price: Rs. 299/=

Rating: ***1/2


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