Book Review – Murder in the Ashram

What

Murder in the Ashram – a mystery / thriller drama set in New Delhi.

Who?

Written by Kathleen McCaul, the book features Ruby – a freelance British journalist, aspiring to make it big in India, and Stephen Newby, Ruby’s flatmate and dear friend, whose mysterious death she tries to unravel.

When?

Published in 2011.

How did the book fare?

The book had a promising opening and continues to have raving responses.

Did I like it?

No!

The cover art looks cliche and leaves little for the readers’ discernment.

The novel deals with the life of Ruby, a British girl who is desperate to prove her mettle as a journalist in New Delhi. Her life gets rattled when her flatmate and best friend Stephen Newby is fished out one morning from the Yamuna river, where he presumably drowned to death. All that Ruby has for support are Swami Shiva and Rani, two monks from a popular ashram in New Delhi, which Ruby and Stephen used to frequent. Would the monks have had any role to play in Stephen’s death is what Ruby has to deduce.

The plot starts off on very interesting terms, and the introduction of each character grabs the readers’ attention. This is a bold book in terms of impartiality and indiscrimination about looking at an incident from different perspectives. But the story gets predictable beyond a point, and the cliché depiction of a non-Indian’s views on India starts sounding very monotonous and repetitive.


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